On Thursday evening, 3 October, Mayor Dudley Coetzee hosted the Overstrand’s annual Mayoral Awards ceremony to honour those special men and women of the community who, despite leading very busy lives, perform extraordinary deeds of kindness. Through these actions they have done much to uplift and empower the residents of their respective communities.
“We are inspired by the dedication and unfailing commitment of these individuals who unselfishly place the needs of their communities ahead of their own,” said Mayor Coetzee in his address. “Each one of you is a beacon of hope, and you have become role models in your own unique way. You are all shining examples of what can be done when one person steps up to say: ‘What can I do to help? How can I possibly make a difference?’”
Special recognition was given to all nominees for their contribution in the spheres of arts, culture, sport, business and welfare, or for simply inspiring the people of Overstrand to keep on striving for excellence in everything they do.
This year, the coveted Achiever of Excellence Lifetime Award went to Dr Robin Lee and his wife Dr Anina Lee. This award is presented to people who have made a positive and lasting impression in the Overstrand over many years. The couple have both contributed enormously to the rich tapestry of the Overstrand – Anina through her commitment to conserving our natural environment with Whale Coast Conservation and the Cliff Path Management Group, and Robin through establishing and continuing to work with the University of the Third Age (U3A) and the Hermanus History Society.
The joint winners of the Achiever of Excellence Award were Jorika Rabie of Purple Angels and Natasha Bruiners of the Catapult Foundation. At the time of the devastating fires in Betty’s Bay at the beginning of the year, Jorika put her life on hold to assist her community when they needed it most. In addition, she is driving at least three initiatives that benefit the Overstrand area. Natasha Bruiners started the Catapult Foundation, an after-school music programme that has improved the lives, academic performance and future prospects of more than 700 learners. (The Hawston Secondary Band that performed at the awards ceremony is comprised of some of the musicians trained by the Catapult Foundation.)
The Mayoral Trophy for Woman of the Year went to Jami Kastner of the Butterfly Centre, for establishing this specialised learning centre for children who do not fit into the mainstream educational environment. Jami has written a book, created her own blog and raised considerable funding for the Butterfly Centre, dedicating her life to spreading a message of hope, acceptance and inclusion.
This year’s Environmental Conservation Award went to Sean Privett of the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy. One of Sean’s first projects was to initiate the most detailed, continuous, long-term vegetation study ever undertaken on a private reserve in South Africa. Under his leadership, the conservancy has been formally recognised as a Protected Environment and has achieved many successes, including the clearing of 7 000 hectares of alien vegetation.
The Entrepreneurial Achievement Award went to Di Rattle of the Hermanus Brewing Company, whose Old Harbour Beer was a double gold trophy winner in both 2017 and 2018. The brewery produces up to 20 000 litres of craft beer every month, which is distributed to more than 150 outlets in the Overberg area and increases local restaurant and bar turnover by more than R1 million per month. Old Harbour Beer has given locals something to be truly proud of!
The Tourism Development Award went to Peter Kastner of Stanford Hills Estate, who is well known and respected in the area for his entrepreneurial spirit, hard work and willingness to take risks. The farm, which provides self-catering accommodation for up to 22 people, in addition to 25 luxury tents known as Africamps, now permanently employs 50 people from the community, benefitting not just them but their extended families. Stanford and the greater Overstrand area benefit in multiple ways from the numerous visitors that Stanford Hills attracts.
The winner of the Junior Achiever Award was Izaan Newman of Gansbaai Academia. This winner is the head of the Matric Council and leads the assembly on Mondays, delivering motivational messages by using that platform to speak directly about several issues that the youth struggle with. As a youth pastor, he inspires many young people through his motivational sermons at different churches in the Overstrand and counsels youth involved in drug abuse. He cares for the under privileged and collaborates with a senior pastor to provide them with food. A natural leader, Izaan is an inspiration to all those he comes into contact with.
The Village NEWS congratulates all those recognised for their invaluable contributions and is proud of its association with many of the winners. It is your hard work that creates the good news we report on!