||Issue No. 342 -- 26 September 2005
Quote/s of the Week
Ad Hoc Article/s of the Week
Bits and Bobs
The Legal Beagle
Where are they now?
Club and Other News
Credits and Contact Info
Subscribing and Unsubscribing
|Send this Issue to a Friend!
Happy birthday to me! Yes... today is my birthday - another year older and hopefully wiser!
Yesterday I went to the De Widlt Cheetah and wildlife Centre (www.dewildt.org.za)
And had a tour with Captain Ken as a birthday treat.
It was an amazing experience and one I would recommend to anyone who is in the area.
Here is a pic of us with Byron... please check it out on the web site (www.saw.co.za) if you can't see the big version in your e-mail. Byron is beautiful!
We learnt a great deal about cheetahs and other endangered animals such as wild dogs.
| SAW Advertisement|
VisitBritain SA and the UK Post Office are giving away a 7 day rendezvous for you with your friends and family living in the UK. 4 Flight tickets to the UK, accommodation and a whole bag of goodies included. Click here to get your name in the draw!
These from me...
The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. Niels Bohr
One word frees us of all the weïght and pain of life: That word is love. Sophocles
It's not what you take but what you leave behind that defines greatness. Edward Gardner
This from Des Cowie...
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - Thomas Edison
This from Daniel Jan le Roux...
Be kind, for everyone you meet could be fighting a hard battle. - Plato
Send in any quotes you love... that have some special meaning for you... and I will use at least one every week. Usual address! firstname.lastname@example.org
|Ad Hoc Article/s of the Week
Each week we will feature a question and answer sent in to the Company for Immigration. We hope these will help answer any questions you might have regarding any part of the coming home process. If you would like to send in your own question, please feel very free to do so.
We will also be featuring a great amount of information on the SAW Website (www.saw.co.za) under the Coming Home section. You can also find out info by visiting our newly relaunched site, South Africa Online (www.southafrica.co.za) and checking out the Coming to SA section.
Here is a bit more info...
Whenever and wherever South Africans meet, the surest way to start a lively discussion, is to ask someone for an opinion about emigration from or remigration back to South Africa. In 2002 we (i.e. the non-profit immigration service, Company for Immigration, and the trade-union, Solidarity) realized that the return of South African expats had become a fact and that their inputs are essential for the growth and development of the country. We are neither interested in a debate about the reasons why people leave or come back, nor about the merit of their decisions. We prefer to provide a practical service instead:
offering advice and assistance to prospective remigrants;
addressing the problems which cause people to emigrate; and informing people about the pros and cons of emigration, to help them make an informed decision before leaving.
Interested? Want to receive our monthly newsletter by email? Have questions or suggestions? If so, please visit our mirror sites www.comehome.co.za or www.komhuistoe.co.za and leave your details on the visitor's page, or contact us at email@example.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
This week’s Q&A:
G, Europe: I am considering moving to SA from Europe as I have received an offer of employment in SA. I use medication for a chronic health problem and need to know whether the medication will be available in SA.
The best way to find out, is to contact a local pharmacy chain, like Dischem - firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell them the name of the medication, the name of the manufacturer and the strength which you are using currently. If the exact kind of medicine is not available, they will suggest locally available alternatives. When relocating to SA, you will need a prescription for these and the doctor you visit in SA will need to specify the strength of the medication. It will be a good idea to find out whether the SA offer of employment includes medical insurance and if it does, whether the medical fund will cover chronic medication of this nature. If not, compare costs when deciding whether to accept the position or not.
COME HOME CAMPAIGN
Migrasie / Migration
Solidariteit Alliansie / Solidarity Alliance
P O Box 8766, Centurion, 0046, RSA
This from South African Culture in New York email@example.com
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Jessica Cioffoletti, Program Manager
For more information: ph: 914-738-2525, fax: 914-738-2686, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Uthando Project (The Love Project) with Agnes Johnson
Saturday, November 12, 2005, 1:30- 3:30pm
South African boy with doll made at Uthando Project
The Uthando Project began in 1996 as a graduate student from Columbia University in NYC
returned from a trip to South Africa where she worked at a neurology hospital. At the hospital, she came upon a child who was not expected to live through the night. Since the child did not have a doll of her own, the graduate student managed to get together a doll for the child and lay it next her. The following day the child began to recover and the graduate student returned home. Upon realizing the extreme joy that a simple item could offer to a child immersed in poverty and facing such adversity, the student put a call out for dolls to be shipped to South Africa-both new and homemade. Community members from all over the US began creating dolls at schools, festivals and on their own for what was then called “The African Doll Project”. The dolls arrived in day care centers, orphanages, hospitals and schools.
This program continues today and is organized by the Africa Centre in Mtubatuba, Africa. The Zulu women named it Uthando Project which translates to The Love Project. The various communities that currently receive the dolls are the most socially deprived and severely affected by HIV. Many of the children have lost their parents to AIDS and most have never had their very own, special toy that belongs only to them.
This workshop, led by Agnes Johnson on Saturday, November 12 from 1:30 -3:30pm at Pelham Art Center is an opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life and enhancing the ideals of World Volunteerism and a Global Village. The Art Center and Uthando Project is FREE and open to the public.
All ages are welcome and no sewing will be required in creating the dolls.
A letter from South Africa describes the Uthando Projects:
I have been constantly amazed at the care and thought that has gone into the dolls delivered to us… I had always felt that this was something no government or social agency was ever going to be able to prioritize right now with so many unmet needs. Of course, all children desperately need access to schooling, nutrition and health care, and this is the first priority. But so many people around the world would love to be able to do something small, something kind, something that shows that they care, and connect themselves in some way.
I have been encouraged by how much a little gesture of love can encourage communities to want to stand up and continue do more for themselves and their children despite the terribly adverse circumstance in which they live. I realize that part of what we may be doing is helping people all over the world begin to think about Africa’s children and their plight, to humanize our children to be more to us than just statistics reported on television. Many people have written about how making the dolls at home or in groups have encouraged discussions about issues around poverty and suffering in Africa with their own children and families. This connectedness I believe can only serve the state of the world and our children well.
It has been amazing…watching the process of empowerment and observing the moments of connectedness that the beautiful dolls have enabled. You have allowed mothers the opportunity to share a moment of exquisite joy with her little one, starting with disbelief in many instances, but quickly moving to great excitement and then the shared attention in the examination of the precious little doll, these are moments I will treasure for all of my life.
Agnes Johnson was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Queens. She graduated from the HS of Performing Arts majoring in Ballet and received her BA from SUNY at Farmingdale and then majored in sociology at SUNY at Buffalo. She returned to NYC and joined the Eleo Pomero Dance theater, touring throughout the US and many Caribbean islands. She joined the American Dance Center and danced in the Alvin Ailey Rep. Company where she was partnered by Alvin Ailey on the ABC TV salute to Duke Ellington. She danced the lead in the original Night Creature and was featured in The Mooche. Ms. Johnson also taught dance throughout NYC and LI and choreographed for the Miss Black America's USO tour to Europe and danced in major musicals such as the original Bubbling Brown Sugar, Don't Bother Me I can't Cope, the Hot Mikado, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (Leonard Bernstein musical), All Night Strut and Guys and Dolls. She co choreographed with Nat Horne at the Nat Horne's Musical theater. After playing the role of "Mary" in The Black Nativity on Bway, she went on the Washington DC tour in the role (directed by Morgan Freeman) and then continued in the role that opened in Rome, Italy. Her teaching and choreographing has continued over the past 20 years and she continues to advocate for the arts in education and in the community. Agnes’s first book, "Failing Our Children" was published with Publish America.com.
Ms. Johnson has been a part of the project since its inception in 1996. Then in 2004, she noticed an ad placed in a doll-making magazine. The letter was from the Africa Centre in South Africa requesting help with having hand made dolls for the children for the holidays. Ms. Johnson wrote back and offered her help and her past experiences. Since then she has led the Uthando Project at various locations such as The Graham Elementary School in Mt Vernon in Dec. 2004 and for the City of White Plains, Youth Bureau in April 2005. She will lead the workshop at Pelham Art Center on Saturday, November 12 from 1:30 -3:30pm.
The Pelham Art Center hours are Tuesday – Friday, 10- 5:00pm, Saturday, 10- 4:00pm.
Pelham Art Center 155 Fifth Avenue, Pelham, NY 10803 ph: 914-738-2525
Pelham Art Center receives much appreciated funding from New York State Council on the Arts and New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, state agencies, Westchester Arts Council, through county government, Westchester Jewish Community Services, The David Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion, Strypemonde Foundation, Town of Pelham, New York State Department of Education, Prince Family Foundation, Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health Services, Ginsburg Development Fund, City of Mt. Vernon, Robin’s Art+Giving and Annual Fund Donors, Members, and individuals.
South Africa 28th in the world for ease of doing business
This from Guy Lundy...
A report just released by the World Bank ranks South Africa at 28th in the world for ease of doing business, out of 155 countries surveyed. Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs, cosponsored by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, points out that countries that make life easier for entrepreneurs to start and run businesses create more jobs.
The report, now in its third year, was based on the efforts of more than 3,500 local experts in the 155 countries. This is the first time that it has included rankings of all the countries. The rankings are based on a set of ten business environment indicators, namely starting a business, hiring and firing workers, enforcing contracts, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, closing a business, dealing with business licenses, trading across borders, and paying taxes.
The country at the top of the list was New Zealand, followed by mostly developed nations including (in order) Singapore, the USA, Canada, Norway, Australia, Hong Kong, Denmark, the UK and Japan. The authors of the report point out that all of the top countries regulate business, but they do so in less costly and burdensome ways than those lower in the rankings.
South Africa ranked significantly higher than a number of European and other developed countries, such as Spain (30), Austria (32), France (44), Italy (70) and Greece (80). Importantly, the country also ranked higher than many of our main trade competitors, including Taiwan (35), Portugal (42), Pakistan (60), Mexico (73), China (91), Indonesia (115), India (116) and Brazil (119).
The highest ranked African country was Mauritius (23). Namibia came in at 33rd and Botswana at 40th. Most other African countries, like most poor countries in the survey, ranked relatively low. The report found that poor countries levy the highest business taxes in the world, which is actually counter productive in the long run. The Democratic Republic of Congo was ranked 155th out of the 155 countries surveyed.
The report's authors found that since the survey was started it has helped to motivate more than 20 countries to institute reforms. Amongst the top reformers were Rwanda, Egypt, Mauritius and South Africa. South Africa has reduced taxes for small companies, provided business incentives for SMEs and ensured that it now takes only one day to register a Close Corporation.
For more interesting and exciting news about developments in South Africa, subscribe to the International Marketing Council's regular BrandSA newsletter by visiting www.imc.org.za/goodstuff.htm or www.imc.org.za/subscribe.asp.
If you would like to contact Guy, visit his web site here.
Last week, we were living in a rented pink house on a noisy bus mall here in Old Mazatlan.
This week, we have moved to lovely place with a sunny courtyard and a bubbling fountain. It's very peaceful.
At least, it's that way in the evening and right on until dawn. During the day, there are jackhammers. You see, it's still under construction.
So, I've been thinking a lot about sound, noise, and irritation, and I thought I'd share with you some tips I learned during mediation training a few years back
Mindfulness and Mediation: What's Your Barking Dog?
A few years ago, I was trained as a mediator. Having been involved in different ways in a couple of neighborhood disputes, I thought it would be valuable--and perhaps healing--to learn how to guide others through the process of resolving their particular challenges in an open and supportive manner.
The first thing we learned was that neighborhood issues are rarely what they appear on the surface. Instead, individuals tend to swim in repeated waves of ideas around privacy and respect and too often get caught in a riptide of disappointment and anger.
Your barking dog might prompt Bob next door to call the dispute resolution center's number, but it's likely that a series of seemingly connected events compelled him to pick up that phone.
Maybe he approached you one day, tentatively and awkwardly, and you assured Bob that you would keep your dog quiet--even though you could sleep through an all-night howl session and have never once heard your dog bark in the wee hours.
Perhaps the next time Bob saw you, he waved but you didn't respond--he didn't know you hadn't seen him through the glare of your windshield.
A few days later, Bob came over to deliver some mail that had arrived in his box by mistake. He stood on your doorstep ringing your doorbell for several minutes, but you never came out because you were in the shower. A few minutes after that, Bob watched you get into your car and drive off without so much as a nod in his direction.
And now, maybe poor Bob has had two nights in a row of sleeplessness and he got up this morning feeling angry about his insensitive neighbor--YOU, who are quite unaware that Bob is so upset.
Mediators spend a lot of time asking questions to get to the very heart of the issues, but mostly, they listen to the way these neighbors tell their stories. Often what seems like anger is really disappointment and hurt. After all, Bob wants to get along with you, and he is bewildered by how you seem to be avoiding him--and his concerns.
Once we start drilling down into the complex feelings and ideas involved, the whole situation starts looking like a comedy of errors, except that it isn't funny to the participants.
The pivotal role of the mediator is to present the pieces of the puzzle in a way that resonates with all parties. By unraveling the stories, everything becomes clearer and instead of avoiding each other, neighbors actually begin to understand and respect each other, even if they have different perspectives.
More that once, I've seen that barking dog become a non-issue once neighbors have made the effort to build a relationship that is open and respectful. And that's what everyone wants, really--to be able to discuss any concerns in a civil or even friendly way.
We all have our own symbolic 'barking dog' that annoys and hurts us. We weave together isolated and often misinterpreted incidents to create a story with the ending we choose. 'My neighbor is a jerk.' 'My partner is attracted to someone else.' 'My boss is out to get me.' 'My parents are ruining my life.'
Mindfulness makes it possible to clearly see what is going on around us, and more importantly, within us. Think of it as a personal live-in mediator, asking questions and helping us unravel our carefully stitched stories.
By paying attention to your barking dog stories, you see those threads as just that--pieces that have been arranged by you in only one of many possible tapestries. To play with mindfulness and mediation, try this:
1) Look for loose threads. Is everything stitched together neatly? What doesn't fit?
2) Start pulling gently. Ask questions. Did this really happen in this way? Is my reaction reasonable--or just understandable? How many layers have I built based on this one thread?
3) Step back. Gain perspective on the way things look from different angles and in different light.
4) Delight in discovery and connection--even if it means releasing your attachment to your favorite barking dog scenario.
Remember that to be mindful, first we must be willing to open our eyes and see the real world for ourselves.
If we view the process as illuminating, uplifting, and even enjoyable, we can begin to see that barking dog as simply that--without the added clutter. Cooperative and friendly relationships become our vehicle for engaging in the world more fully and meaningfully.
And that makes life a whole lot more fun.
Your Secret Assignment: Your Barking Dog
This week, pay attention to a particular annoyance related to where you live. It could be a noise, smell, or view that displeases you. It might be the way someone seems to ignore you or behave in a way that you interpret as unfriendly, insensitive, or even cruel.
Now, start pulling threads. Be honest. Ask these questions:
*When does a sound become noise, a scent become an odor, or a view become an eyesore?
*When does silence become rudeness?
*When do accidents start seeming intentional?
*What events and interpretations shift your perspective? See what you discover about yourself, your situation, and the way you create stories.
What will YOU learn? Drop me a message and let me know about your barking dog story:
Maya Talisman Frost has taught thousands of people how to pay attention. Through her company, Real-World Mindfulness Training, she offers playful and powerful eyes-wide-open ways to get calm, clear and creative. To receive her free special report, 'The Dirty Little Secret About Meditation,' visit her website at MassageYourMind.com
(C) Copyright 2005, Maya Talisman Frost
52 Best Stories – My First Taser
The Friday Morning Stories bring either a tear to the eye....or a smile to the face. Today's story is the latter. We guys can do some pretty dumb things at times and are quite lucky to not hurt ourselves very often.
With Kind Regards, Sandy
Last weekend I spied something at the pawn shop that tickled my fancy. Keep in mind that my "fancy" is easily tickled. I bought something really cool for my wife. The occasion was our 18th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my sweet girl.
What I came across was a 100,000-volt Taser gun. For those of you who are not familiar with this product, it is a less-than-lethal stun gun with two metal prongs designed to incapacitate an assailant with a shock of high-voltage, low amperage electricity while you flee to safety. The effects are supposed to be short lived with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, but allowing you adequate time to retreat to safety.
You simply jab the prongs into your 250 pound tattooed assailant, push the button, and it will render him a slobbering, goggle-eyed, muscle-twitching, whimpering, pencil-neck geek. If you've never seen one of these things in action, then you're truly missing out. It is way too cool!
Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two AAA batteries in the thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was so disappointed. Upon reading the directions which I HATE to read, I found much to my chagrin that this particular model would not create an arch between the prongs. How really poor! I do love fire for effect.
I learned that if I pushed the button, however, and pressed it against a metal surface that I'd get the blue arch of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs that I was so looking forward to. So I did it. Awesome! Sparks, a blue arch of electricity, and a loud pop!
Okay, so I was home alone with this brand new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two AAA batteries, etc., etc. There I sat in my recliner, my dog looking on intently (trusting little soul), reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh and blood target.
I must admit I thought about zapping the dog for a fraction of a second and thought better of it. He is such a sweet pup, after all. But, if I were going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised.
Am I wrong?
So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt with my glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, Taser in the other. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water.
All the while I'm looking at this little device that is measuring about 5" long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference, pretty cute really, and loaded with two itsy, bitsy AAA batteries) thinking to myself, "No possible way!"
What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best. So I'm sitting there alone, the dog looking on with his head cocked to one side as to say, "Don't do it buddy."
I'm reasoning that a one-second burst from such a tiny l il' ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad. Sound, rational thinking under the circumstances, wouldn't you agree?
I decided to give myself a one-second burst just for the hell of it.
You know, a bad decision is like hindsight - always 20-20. It is so obvious that it was a bad decision after the fact, even though it seemed so right at the time. Don't ya just hate that?
So I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and HOLY MAN ALIVE! DAaaaaaamMN!!!
I'm pretty sure that Jessie Ventura ran in through the front door, picked me up out of that recliner, then body slammed me on the carpet over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, nipples on fire, soaking wet with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position. The dog was standing over me making sounds I had never heard before, licking my face, undoubtedly thinking to himself, "Do it again, do it again!"
NOTE: If you ever feel compelled to mug yourself with a Taser, one note of caution. There is no such thing as a one-second burst when you zap yourself. You're not going to let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor. Then, if you're lucky, you won't dislodge one of the prongs 1/4" deep into your thigh like yours truly.
SON-OF-A-GUN that hurt! A minute or so later - I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at this point, I collected my wits, sat up and surveyed the landscape. My glasses were on the TV across the room. How did they get there??? My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 pounds give or take an ounce or two.
Yup, pretty dumb. But I had to do it. Like climbing Mount Everest because it is there. Well, that's a pretty far stretch of the imagination, but you get the picture. Some things we men just have to do.
But for sure, I have done it and am never ever touchin' that Taser again!
~ Author Unknown ~
One Man’s Australia – Feedback for Glen
Dear Maureen and Glen
Glen, you express your doubts about whether your contributions will still be welcomed. I can assure you, it will. As expats we are always on the lookout for greener grass somewhere else. Not necessarily because we want to move there, but perhaps more to assure ourselves that we have made the right choice in leaving South Africa in the first place, and that as South African expats we can succeed elsewhere. However, that is not the full picture either. Perhaps what goes through our minds is more a combination of factors such as:
Did I make the right choice by leaving South Africa? I know I have, but there will always be that small amount of doubt in my mind. Always.
What is happening back home? Not because I want to go back, but more because I will always retain a certain amount of interest in my country of birth. That said, I have very little interest in the bad news, such as the president denying the cause of AIDS or some kind of mismanagement once again uncovered somewhere in government. That is too depressing and I have no need to read depressing things when I access a South African newsletter. As they say, 'Life is too short for that'. Coming to think of it, if where I am now is so bad that only bad news from South Africa is keeping me in my adopted country, I might as well go back to South Africa. At least the bad news will be shared by more of my own kind.
What are other SA expatriates doing? Specifically, are they coping (integrating) well, and if they are, how are they managing to do that? That is financially, socially, and otherwise. This I think Glen, is the most important thing you could write about. Being a first generation expat is difficult. We will always be strangers in our adopted countries. We need to be able to integrate as new citizens, and therefore it is probably wrong to cling to other South Africans. To a certain extend however, it is inevitable. Hearing how other expats are overcoming their obstacles, and how they are successfully integrating as new citizens, are what we need to hear and read about. No matter in which country they are. In addition, as expats we are more willing than others to read about other countries, and how people in these countries live. If what we read is based on the experiences of fellow South Africans, then so much the better.
Keep on writing mate!
Kind regards from one settler to another.
Dear All at SAWmail,
Please let Glen know that I enjoy his column but often wonder if we are living in the same country. I live in the Blue Mountains and he lives in another very beautiful part of our State on the Illawarra Coast. I love reading the viewpoints of other Newbies to Australia having been here over 40 years myself. I have sympathised with him in the loss of Lynette and rejoiced with him in the birth of his granddaughter. Having travelled a similar road except that I have fourteen grandchildren! I can tell him the joy of that never ceases. The loss of a loved one also changes the way you look at life.
Some years ago I stubbed my toe on a chunk of wood and ended up in a wheel chair - at first the diagnosis was that it could be that I would stay that way, in so much pain I couldn't walk, but somehow I persevered, I live alone so I had to, and that was probably what saved me. Life looked different again. Now at 75 (I've just had a birthday) I can look back on my years - I was born in Scotland and left there as a teenager, my time in Cape Town where I married, and my life in Namibia where I gave birth to two daughters. Then Australia in 1958 where I had another daughter and a son. I've not done badly though there have been some very difficult ups and downs. Australia has been kind to me and I became an Aussie several years ago now.
Bushfires, flooding the lot I'm still mighty glad I came to Australia, oh and by the way I never was the one to make the choice to move but I always felt strongly that where my family was - that was home!
Best wishes to all and especially Glen,
One Man’s Australia – Connie
Thanks to all for the feedback on the columns. I will carry on with what this series of columns started off to do - run a commentary on one man's Australia - and attempt to portray the life of ordinary Australians in an industrial city south of Sydney.
A note on one email: The nickname Gobble has gone forever except in our memories. The reason? Miranda learned to talk. Nowadays she chatters like a cockatoo on a perch. But when she started Miranda was a big name to say.
So she named herself Nina. Nothing would shift her away from it - so we gave in and her name in the family is - Nina.
Connie's birthday party
This weekend we are throwing a 50th birthday bash for a beautiful lady - Connie - in a VERY large shed with her present as guest of honour.
Her formal name is "Southern Preservation" and her registration is VH-EAG. Her name relates to QANTAS, whose Super Constellations were all named "Southern...". Her registration is an original QANTAS Super Constellation registration. The original VH-EAG was named "Southern Constellation". The rest of that QANTAS block of Super Constellation registrations is nowadays the registration block of their Boeing 767 fleet.
The Lockheed 749 series Constellations and the Lockheed 1049 series Super Constellations revolutionised air transportation in the 1940's and 1950's and with the 1049 series QANTAS became the first airline in the world to provide a round-the-world service.
And that is where I started off in life as a teenager - being trained as an aircraft mechanic by SAA and working on the SAA and QANTAS 749 series Constellations and their enormously powerful but temperamental Wright R3350 engines.
Connie was originally built for the United States Air Force, serial number 54-0157 and was delivered on October 6th 1955 when she was allocated to the 1608th Military Air Transport Wing based at Charleston, South Carolina. On the 25th July 1962 she was transferred to the Mississippi Air National Guard and on the 14th of February 1967 she moved on to West Virginia Air National Guard, where she served for the next five years. Connie's last active duty was with the Pennsylvania Air National Guard from mid 1972 until her relegation to storage at Davis Monthan Air Base at Tucson, Arizona in June 1977.
This aircraft was identified as a possible restoration project in 1991 after a thorough survey was taken of the airframe. the survey indicated that the airframe was very sound despite its lamentable condition.
Considered obsolete and of no further use, storage maintenance ceased in 1981 and as a result was designated of scrap value only. In addition most of the engine accessories and instruments had been cannibalised. Failure to re-seal the aircraft after an inspection permitted access to legions of birds to nest and foul the interior over many years. This in turn - fortunately for us - discouraged the scrap metal merchants from bidding on the aircraft due to the massive quantity of guano and the subsequent imperfections that it would cause in the smelting of the aluminium.
The project earned the 1977 Grand Master's Australian Medal of the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators.
(Editor's note: you might need to visit the SAW site (www.saw.co.za) to read the large version if it does not show up in your mail programme).
I still wonder how we did it - 16,000 man hours were expended on the project (all volunteered), some $800,000 in cash was raised, approximately $1.2M was raised in sponsorship services, 47 team trips were mounted, each averaging 14 days and 38 hours of crew training was accomplished before the delivery flight.
And one thing I learned - the Australian way to beg. It's very effective. You never ask for money.
What you ask for is what a sponsor provides as their main business and can give you at little or no real cash cost - with the opportunity to make a profit to boot by charging the retail value of the service against tax.
One of the weird things about life is the unexpected connections that appear from nowhere. I was named after a British pilot - Glen Kidston - who was killed trying to fly the Drakensberg some years before I was born in Ladysmith. My father was on the search for the crash site.
It turns out that there was only one Lockheed Vega ever registered in Australia. It had previously had a South African connection as follows:
Type: DL-1A Vega Special
30 Built by Detroit-Lockheed, with a metal fuselage and Pratt and Whitney Wasp SC1 engine. It was later registered NC372E.
30SEP30 Registered as G-ABFE to Lieutenant Commander Glen Kidston of London. Kidston intended to build Vegas under licence in the U.K.
JAN31 Shipped to the U.K.
03JAN31 Re-registered G-ABGK at the request of the owner to incorporate his initials.
17JAN31 British CofA No V45 issued.
31JAN31 Test-flown by Kidston from Croydon Aerodrome, London.
14FEB31 A local training flight was made from Croydon by Kidston and his partner Lieutenant Owen Cathcart-Jones along with two other crew.
20FEB31 Another local training flight was made from Croydon.
21FEB31 Flown from Croydon to le Bourget, Paris in the record time of 1 hour 12 minutes. The aircraft returned to Croydon two days later.
19MAR31 Test-flown at Croydon after installation of long range tanks.
28MAR31 The Vega was positioned from Croydon to Netheravon.
31MAR31 Kidston and Cathcart-Jones departed Netheravon on an attempt to break the Capetown record. Routing was Naples, Malta, Cairo, Kosti, Malakal, Kisumu, Salisbury, Bulawayo and Pretoria. A wireless operator, T.A. Vallette on loan from the Marconi Company, joined the flight as far as Cairo. At Cairo his place was taken by an engineer, G.W. Hills.
05APR31 Forced landing at Lichtenburg, Pretoria due engine trouble. The propeller was damaged when the Vega ran through wire fences. The aircraft later departed for Capetown.
06APR31 Arrived Capetown in the record time of 6 days 9 hours at an average speed of 134 mph.
05MAY31 Lt Cdr Kidston and Capt T.A. Gladstone were killed in the crash of Puss Moth ZS-ACC in the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa.
05DEC31 The Vega was test-flown at Hamble, U.K. having been shipped back from South Africa. The aeroplane was flown to Hanworth by Cathcart-Jones the same day. The Vega was administered by a trust set up by the Kidston family.
12APR32 Cathcart-Jones flew the Vega during Sir Alan Cobham's National Aviation Day Display at Hanworth and later toured various air pageants throughout the U.K.
28MAY32 The Vega attended the Guild of Air Pilots Civil Air Day.
19JUN32 The Vega was demonstrated at the Royal Aeronautical Society's Garden Party.
17JUL32 Cathcart-Jones flew the Vega to Stoke and return.
08AUG32 The Vega was flown from Hanworth to Belfast.
22AUG32 The Vega returned from Belfast to Hanworth via Dublin.
05OCT32 The Vega visited Dublin.
25OCT32 Cathcart-Jones demonstrated the Vega to His Highness the Maharajah of Jodhpur and to Sir Frank Spickwell of Imperial Chemical Industries with a view to selling the aeroplane, but no sale was concluded.
24MAR33 Cathcart-Jones flew the Vega from Hanworth to Liverpool and return after which the aeroplane was hangared at Hanworth awaiting sale.
15AUG34 Test-flown at Hanworth by Capt James Woods on behalf of the new owner, Australian Horrie Miller who intended to enter the Vega in the Centenary Air Race from England to Australia.
16AUG34 Woods flew the Vega from Hanworth to Heston and Rotterdam where the engine was to be overhauled and a new propeller fitted by KLM at Waalhaven.
14SEP34 The Vega returned to Heston.
20OCT34 The Vega positioned from Heston to Mildenhall to join the Centenary Air Race. It departed Mildenhall at 0639 crewed by Jimmy Woods and Don Bennett and carrying the race number 36. (Australian D.C.T. Bennett later founded the famed "Pathfinder Force" and eventually rose to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal.) The Vega was named "Puck" in honour of the late Hugh "Puck" Grosvenor, Aide-de-Camp to the South Australian Governor and a personal friend of Horrie Miller. The Vega flew from Mildenhall to Marseilles, Rome and Athens where it overnighted.
21OCT34 Departed Athens for Aleppo, Syria where the Vega landed heavily collapsing the undercarriage and overturning. Although injured, both pilots walked away from the wreck. With no hope of completing the race, Bennett returned to the U.K. and Woods stayed with the aircraft pending receipt of funds to ship it to Australia.
JAN35 The Vega arrived at Fremantle, W.A. and was trucked to the MacRobertson Miller Aviation Company's workshops at Maylands Aerodrome in Perth for repairs which lasted eight months.
And then there is the connection to the WW2 Pathfinders…..
For an Australian it's a small world - especially in aviation.
Just a postscript as I realise that I did not make it clear. All our aircraft - including Connie - are restored to full Certificates of Airworthiness and fly to earn their living - at airshows, for films, for charter etc.
Connie is the only airworthy Super Constellation flying in the world. Another one is being restored by KLM. We are consulting and training their personnel.
It's an absorbing and highly skilled hobby at all levels.
No queries received for this week.
Nobody needing help this week.
If you are looking for a lost friend... if you would like old friends to contact you... If you want to find old school friends... if you just want people who used to know you to find you again for a chat...
Send in your info, the info of anyone you are looking for and let’s see if we can find them for you!
I would like to contact Ingrid Fricke who was at Grey's in Maritzburg with me in Group 4/70. She was from Mooi River where her parents farmed. My e-mail address is: email@example.com.
Rita Schroeder nee Barton.
USA – New York
To All in YeboLand!!!
Finally...YeboLand is proud to announce the launch of the United States-South Africa Corporate Council. This council have a 100% SA Culture in NY Approval for Individuals and Businesses to join with emphasis on diversity and true South African and United States representation to promote South African interest and partnerships with other establishments in the US and creating an avenue for us to help those back home under the banner of our own.
Join Today...we are going to!!!!!!!
SA Culture Team
South African Culture in New York Social Group
Promoting the Cultural Diversity of SA
To All in YeboLand!
For those who don't know...every Friday I do the "Yebo Friday Session" at SARFM Radio between 9pm and 12..as Da Luv Dj.
Send an event, dedication and song to family and friends in SA, here or anywhere in the world... by emailing me by Thursday night....you can call the show on Friday... but requested songs can not be guaranteed.
Best Regards & Care
Deon " DaLuvDj"de Jongh
Requests to: firstname.lastname@example.org
SARFM Radio in partnership with
South African Culture in New York Social Group
Promoting the Cultural Diversity of SA
www.sacultureinny.org or www.sarfmradio.com
Starfish UK invites you to its Annual Gala Function: 'A Celebration of Africa'
It's that time of year again when we encourage Starfish party-goers across the UK to join us to celebrate a fantastic year of achievement. This year's party aims to unite nations and make a real impact on the lives of the thousands of children supported by the Starfish Greathearts Foundation across Southern Africa.
When: Saturday 29th October 2005, 19h30 til 1am
Where: The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SD
What: Drinks reception, three course South African themed dinner followed by music and dancing from Jazzbomb.
Auction prizes include:
authentic African experience for two at Mosetlha Bushcamp, Madikwe;
annual polo membership for two at the Guards Polo, Windsor.
Tickets: £80 per head / £800 per table
To reserve your tickets email email@example.com.
Payment: Bank transfer to Starfish Greathearts Foundation (Barclays)
Account No: 50446564, Sort code: 20-41-41
cheque made payable to 'Starfish' and marked Gala Function,
c/o Exchange House, Primrose Street, London EC2A 2HS.
At Starfish, we believe that all individuals in their various spheres of influence can help to bring life, hope and opportunity to children orphaned or made vulnerable by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Working with established NGOs in over 50 communities in South Africa, Starfish currently supports over 9,000 children and with your help could reach out to so many more… Each and every one of us can make a difference!
Spread the Starfish story and invite your friends... www.starfishcharity.org
This from Alana Bailey
This has been nominated for the best email of 2005.
The following is a telephone exchange between a hotel guest and room-service, at a hotel in Asia, which was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review:
Room Service (RS): "Morrin. Roon sirbees."
Guest (G): "Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service."
RS: "Rye..Roon sirbees..morrin! Jewish to oddor sunteen??"
G: "Uh..yes..I'd like some bacon and eggs."
RS: "Ow July den?"
RS: "Ow July den?...pryed, boyud, poochd?"
G: "Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please."
RS: "Ow July dee baykem? Crease?"
G: "Crisp will be fine."
RS: "Hokay. An Sahn toes?"
RS: "An toes. July Sahn toes?"
G: "I don't think so."
RS: "No? Judo wan sahn toes??"
G: "I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo wan sahn toes' means."
RS: "Toes! toes!...Why jew don juan toes? Ow bow Anglish moppin we bodder?"
G: "English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast.' Fine. Yes, an English muffin will be fine."
RS: "We bodder?"
G: "No...just put the bodder on the side."
G: "I mean butter...just put it on the side."
G: "Excuse me?"
G: "Yes. Coffee, please, and that's all."
RS: "One Minnie. Scramah egg, crease baykem, Anglish moppin we bodder on sigh and copy....rye??"
G: "Whatever you say."
G: "You're very welcome."
Feedback on last week’s recipe with the eggplant...
It turned out very well... I ended up overcooking the eggplant as Captain Ken decided that he wanted brown rice rather than couscous... and the rice took 40 minutes to cook... and I had already started the eggplant cooking... anyway... it was still very tasty!
This week’s recipe is for Applesauce Snack Cake (Fat free!) I make this all the time to take with us to the dam for an early morning breakfast. I also made some and brought it into the office today for my birthday cake.
2 cups flour, unbleached white or other*
1 Tbsp cornstarch/cornflour or arrowroot powder
2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice, slightly rounded
1/4 tsp cloves, pinch dried ginger
1 cup brown sugar
20 ounces plain unsweetened applesauce (2&1/2 cups)**
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Oil any one of the following pans: 9x9-inch square pan, 8x12-inch pan, a round cake pan or heavy oven-proof skillet with a diameter anywhere from 10&1/2 to 12 inches, or for thinner cake bars you can use a 9x13-inch pan.
Combine everything except the brown sugar, applesauce, and raisins in a large mixing bowl, and make a well in the centre. Mix the brown sugar into the applesauce, and add that to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl along with the raisins. Stir just until no trace of flour is left, and then pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the cake just passes the toothpick test. The time will be longer for the smaller pans since the batter is thicker, and shorter for the larger pans.
*Homestyle version: I usually use about 1/2 cup oat bran, 1&1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour, and 3 Tbsp wheat germ for a homey whole grain version. That’s really 1 tsp too much flours in all, so you can remove 1 tsp from any one of those if you like.
**For a richer cake, you may substitute up to 1/2 a cup of oil for an equal amount of the applesauce. So for instance, use 2 cups applesauce with 1/2 cup oil, or 2&1/4 cups applesauce with 1/4 cup oil. This is really a very tasty cake without any oil though! You can now get large jars of unsweetened apple sauce from Pick n Pay.
Monsieur Breyton in a hurry
Springbok wing Breyton Paulse continued to dazzle French rugby at the weekend by scoring the fastest try in the league this season. Paulse, who made his debut last weekend with a spectacular try for Clermont Auvergne, continued where he left off on Saturday with a try after thirty seconds that helped his team defeat Agen 37-24.
Soccer giant Stix Morewa dies
Former South African Football Association leader Solomon "Stix" Morewa died in his sleep at his Johannesburg home early yesterday, his family said. Morewa, 61, had been suffering from complications related to diabetes. "Morewa will be remembered as one of the chief architects of South Africa's bid to host the Fifa World Cup.
SA scores in first A1 GP race
Stephen Simpson, SA's first-ever driver in the brand-new A1 Grand Prix of Nations series, drove the race of his life to finish sixth overall after starting from the back of the grid.
Goosen has Tiger's measure
American golfers reclaimed sole possession of the Presidents Cup, but South Africa's Retief Goosen brought world number one Tiger Woods to his knees with a singles victory here on Sunday.
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