NEIGH­BOURLY NOTES

Talk of the Town - - News -

FROM Sleepy Hol­low to a hive of ac­tiv­ity, the area around Port Al­fred and Bathurst has seen a mas­sive in­flux of visi­tors over the Easter pe­riod thanks to the Royal St An­drews Ho­tel (RSAH) Amanzi Fes­ti­val that be­gan last Fri­day and will con­tinue through to this Sun­day, along with the Bathurst Agri­cul­tural Show to take place at the Bathurst Show­grounds this week­end. RSAH Amanzi Fes­ti­val has been a great suc­cess this year, and aims to be­come the pre­mier wa­ter-sport fes­ti­val in the coun­try. From the en­thu­si­asm shown by com­peti­tors, this is highly likely in the next few years. The fes­ti­val con­tin­ues un­til Sun­day with in­ter­na­tional surf­ing tak­ing place on Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day. Plus, there are lots of things to do at West Beach and Kid­dies Beach to keep the en­tire fam­ily en­ter­tained this week­end. THE Bathurst Agri­cul­tural Show, now in its 110th year, is on this week­end and, with new and ex­cit­ing events to look for­ward to, will prob­a­bly be the best yet. The show com­mit­tee has done an out­stand­ing job of or­gan­is­ing the event and, this year, and de­spite the VAT in­crease, the price of ad­mis­sion re­mains the same. From cat­tle auc­tions where some of the best an­i­mals in the coun­try will be up for grabs, to a horse derby, from flo­ral art ex­hi­bi­tions to the lat­est farm ma­chin­ery; from the singing cow­boy to po­lice dis­plays, the Bathurst Agri­cul­tural Show has it all. Added to this there are plenty of food stalls, beer (and other al­co­holic drinks) tents, all pro­vid­ing their own brand of en­ter­tain­ment, the Bathurst Agri­cul­tural Show is an­other of those “places to be” this week­end. There are also a num­ber of other ac­tiv­i­ties tak­ing place this week­end, so read our Diarise This sec­tion be­low for more in­for­ma­tion. THE Nd­lambe coun­cil meet­ing last Thurs­day was an­other marathon af­fair – as though, know­ing they would be on hol­i­day over the long week­end, the coun­cil­lors felt it only fit­ting to ex­tend the meet­ing un­til after 3pm. It was at this meet­ing that mayor Phindile Faxi ex­pressed ex­cep­tion to an ar­ti­cle I wrote on Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity not aptly sup­port­ing a tourism ca­pac­ity-plan­ning meet­ing last month, call­ing the re­port “tabloid jour­nal­ism”. He was mak­ing a point of sto­ries be­ing sen­sa­tion­alised to en­tice more read­ers. He also com­plained that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had not had the op­por­tu­nity to re­spond. How­ever, Talk of the town is al­ways will­ing to pub­lish any rea­son­able re­sponse to any of the ar­ti­cles we write. But the prob­lem is far more se­ri­ous than just up­set­ting the mayor. Tourism is one of only two in­dus­tries in this area. We do not have car man­u­fac­tur­ing plants as do our two clos­est metropoli­tan mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, or an ex­ist­ing fish­ing in­dus­try (this is a sore point with many of the vic­tims of the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture, forests and fish­erieswith­draw­ing com­mer­cial fish­ing li­cences). We rely on farm­ing and tourism as the two sta­ples in our com­mu­nity and there­fore any ac­tiv­ity that will help im­prove tourism and cre­ate more jobs MAY

Pic­ture: LOUISE KNOWLES

SWIM­MING CLUB: Port Al­fred swim­ming team, from left at the back, Saf­fron Tweedie, Kate Tin­ley and Emily Beatt, and front row, Scar­lett Tweedie and Wil­liam Beatt at the Ma­rina Mile last Fri­day

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