6 months ago

TOTT 22 March 2018

4 Talk of the Town

4 Talk of the Town ADVERTISING / NEWSDESK: (046) 624 4356 Find us on Facebook March 22, 2018 110th milestone for Bathurst Agricultural Show this year EXPERT TALK: Last Tuesday former mine surveyor, Richard Henshall, right, spoke of his working life at the De Beers Finsch Diamond Mine near Kimberly but, to the disappointment of the Probus Club members, did not bring any free samples with him. Presenting Henshall with a small token of appreciation for the talk was Probus Port Alfred Probus Club president Doug Sutherland Picture: ROB KNOWLES Talk about a girl’s best friend ROB KNOWLES LAST Tuesday’s Probus Club meeting, held as usual at the Port Alfred Ski-boat Club, was a masterclass in diamond mining, presented by former mine surveyor Richard Henshall who spoke of his 40 years at Finsch diamond mine, located about 160km north-west of Kimberly in the Northern Cape. Discovered in 1961 during exploration for asbestos, the kimberlitic deposit at Finsch was first developed as an open pit. Since 1991, production has come from the underground mine beneath the old pit, and Henshall explained the procedures required to convert an opencast mine to an underground mine in order to extract more diamonds from the rock. Yet the area itself is hot with very little rainfall. “The facilities at the mine were and still are second to none,” said Henshall, who explained that schools and boarding, medical care, golf, travel and other amenities were subsidised or paid for by De Beers. The village of Lime Acres where employees live is set up to ensure the comfort of the workers. Henshall described how diamonds are formed in the mantle and delivered to the surface by deep-source volcanic eruptions. It is estimated that the kimberlite pipe at the Finsch Mine was created by a now extinct volcano at the site around 18.5 million years ago. The eruption produced the kimberlite and lamproite pipes that are sought after by diamond prospectors. Diamonds, weathered and eroded from these eruptive deposits are now contained in the sedimentary (placer) deposits of streams and c o a st l i n e s . Everything from the eruption ends up in the rivers where the weaker kimberlite erodes away leaving rough diamonds to be exploited by the pan-handlers, who seep the riverbed for these illusive gems. Safety is a critical aspect of the mining process and ventilation shafts are extensive and run throughout the mine to ensure fresh air to all miners. When surveying the mine extreme accuracy is required to ensure shafts line up with each other. Even a slight variance of less than one degree of arc could mean that two shafts might not meet. The surveyors and others use Microstation Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems to ensure accuracy when sinking shafts or extending existing ones. The entire mine is modelled using this CAD system. “When we measure [using a theodolite and more modern instruments] we spot flags that have been set up accurately as place markers indicating the height above sea level as well as the longitude and latitude. But we need to switch off the ventilation to stop the flags from moving when we take measurements,” Henshall said. Another critical aspect of mining is supporting the void from which the kimberlite is extracted. “We shore-up the hanging wall [roof], the side walls and the foot wall [floor] whenever we dig,” he said. Henshall also mentioned that, even prior to the national elections in 1994, workers of all races lived together and shared the facilities the village and De Beers had to offer. “There was no discrimination at the mine,” he told his audience. Showing from Friday 23 March - Thursday 29 March R50 Adults - R40 Children (U/13). 3D Movies - R65 per person. Pensioner’s Special Wednesdays - R30 Times are subject to change due to demand. Like our FACEBOOK page and stay informed of ŵĞĂŶĚŚĞůĂĞŶĞ THIS year’s Bathurst Agricultural Show is the 110th show to take place at the Bathurst Showgrounds and will run from Friday April 6 to Sunday April 8. The show, the province’s oldest, biggest and longest-running show, has allowed the organisers, the Bathurst Agricultural Society (BAS), to help surrounding community members with development projects. Through the show, BAS is able to help by providing additional employment and income during the preand post-show period. Tourism is also equally boosted as an estimated 12000 visitors are attracted to the area each year creating support for local businesses with much-needed funding. “Where Town and Country Meet” is the show’s motto and is demonstrated by an average of 180 standholders from near and far. There is considerable excitement from visitors as they tour the market stalls each year, bringing the showgrounds to life as the stallholders display their extensive range of products – from heavy-duty farming equipment to homemade arts and crafts, which often results in business partnerships being formed, trading opportunities furthered and the cross-section of ideas taking place. Although there is far more to see at the show, cattle and other livestock remain the reason for the show’s e x i st e n c e . Quality livestock, comprising of a vast selection of cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry compete for prizes and magnificent and prestigious trophies. The ever-popular auction allows buyers to become owners of stud and commercial cat tle. There is also competition by local pineapple farmers who challenge one another to discover who can produce the best fruit. And the national standard equestrian events draw more than 100 horses and their accomplished riders to occupy the main arena for an extra day. Amazing talents and skills are displayed in a home industries hall with a wide range of of categories – from adult and junior art, photography, quilting, needlework, floral decorating, farm produce, leatherwork to woodwork just to name a few. The home industries section is one of the few that still exist at agricultural shows, and the diverse exhibits are judged according to the highest standards applicable and prizes are awarded in the form of trophies and items generously donated by local businesses and the public. There will also be plenty of entertainment and fun for all ages with miniature train trips around the grounds, an exciting funfair, paintball, quadbike rides, jumping castles, face painting, a mechanical bull, an army obstacle course, Tiger Titans mini-cricket, as well as popular games, such as sack races and egg-and-spoon races. In addition, there will be a vast array of delicious meals and tempting tasty treats supplied by numerous food kiosks. How long has it been since you tasted “m o e r kof f i e ”? Or freshly baked koeksisters or melktert? The show also features vintage tractor and classic car parades, an incredible dog show, sheep shearing demonstrations, school bands and a Scottish b a g p i p e r. For those who view the show as the perfect opportunity to catch up and relax with friends, old and new, the two pubs – the Bull’s Inn and the Horse and Plough – are where one finds friends, as well as live local music. Survival of the Bathurst Agricultural Show has always relied upon the muchappreciated volunteers, as well as the support of sponsors, be it either financially or by kindly donating prizes towards the numerous competitions. “The society is most grateful for their assistance and generosity and hopes for continued support in the many years to come,” BAS president Danny Wepener said.

March 22, 2018 ADVERTISING / NEWSDESK: (046) 624 4356 Find us on Facebook Talk of the Town 5 El Shaddai pupils explore history of PA JOEL GREAVES and DANIELLA GAVRANOVIC THE Grade 8 social sciences and Grade 10 history pupils of El Shaddai Christian Academy went on a history outing in Port Alfred on Monday. They first stopped at the Kowie History Museum, where they had a guided tour by curator Yvonne Surtees. The museum contains a wide variety of artefacts and exhibits, each with its own story to tell. The pupils learnt about the Napoleonic wars and the 1820 Settlers. They learnt about the Set tlers’ hardships in working the terrain from Port Elizabeth to Bathurst where they were each given a piece of land. They also learnt where the ships were harboured and how boats would transport supplies from steamships anchored at sea. Next they visited Richmond House, William Cock’s old “c a st l e ” residence which later made way for a modern house. The pupils enjoyed surveying the magnificent view of the Kowie River and then moved on to the museum and music room which owner Sue Gordon built on the property. Gordon showed pupils the old cannons, paintings and maps. The pupils learnt of William Cock and his two children who survived the voyage while the third died from measles. They found out that William Cock’s land was in fact the same place Green Fountain Farm is based today. They learnt of his second-oldest son, Cornelius, and how he saved people from a ship that went down off of the coast at Fish River. The pupils were told about the way pirates would attack the travelling ships and take their valuables. The pupils stopped at Wimpy for a quick break and then visited the Wharf Street Brew Pub where they enjoyed investigating the wine cellar, on a tour led by owner Bram Coetzee. The cellar was once used as a freshwater reservoir for ships that docked in the harbour. They learnt that the building’s construction was finished in 1853 and that the two buildings were actually used as a customs for harbouring ships. All agreed it was a very exciting and interesting outing. The school expressed gratitude to all the people who helped the pupils learn about, and enjoy Port Alfred’s history. MONTHLY AUCTION 29 MARCH 2018 AT 10am ENTRIES WELCOME SEE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR PICTURES PACKED WITH POTENTIAL - R860 000 SOLE MANDATE HISTORY BUFFS: El Shaddai Christian Academy Grade 8 and 10 pupils at Richmond House Museum on Monday VIEW BY APPOINTMENT This well built 3 bedrooms, 2 bathroom face brick home is situated in a popular area on the West Bank. Love and TLC can turn this back into a lovely family ŚŽŵĞŽĞĞŝŶŚŝŝĐĞďĂĐŬĞĂĞĐĂĐĞŽĐĂůůŽĚĂĨŽĂŝĞŝŶŐ Contact Heather: 073 542 6202 The Anchorage, Gluckman Road: Tel 046 624 2454 Fax 046 624 3347 e-mail: Dispensary SERVICES OFFERED: Clinic daily from 8:30 to 16:45 (lunch 13:00 - 14:00) Gifting and Toys, Coffee Station, and NOW Kodak Self Help Instant Prints Beauty Clinic Peu de Lux Instore hearing test kiosk Heritage Mall, Port Alfred Tel: (046) 624 1648 Fax: (046) 624 3547 E-Mail:

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