tree-men­dous

The Herald (South Africa) - - Front Page - Siyabonga Se­sant [email protected]­soblack­star.co.za

LIGHT TOWER: At the turn­ing on of a gi­ant Christ­mas tree at Bay­world are, from left, Mavis Sin­gata, and Jus­tine and Pooven Reddy, with lit­tle Tay­tum Reddy, 2.

The el­derly from the Buf­fels­fontein Re­tire­ment Vil­lage in Walmer and dozens of young­sters from the Eastern Prov­ince Child and Youth Care Cen­tre were the first to wit­ness the un­veil­ing of a gi­ant Christ­mas tree at Bay­world on Wed­nes­day night.

The tree will stand tall through­out the fes­tive sea­son.

The oc­ca­sion, spon­sored by SPAR, in­cluded gift packs for the spe­cial guests while Christ­mas mu­sic filled the air.

Bolekwa Mda, of the Eastern Prov­ince Child and Youth Care Cen­tre, said the chil­dren had been look­ing for­ward to the event.

“This group is stay­ing be­hind [at the cen­tre] for the hol­i­days while the other chil­dren went home to their fam­i­lies, so for them to be here is a great thing,” Mda said.

“They did not get time to go out much dur­ing the year so now this was a great op­por­tu­nity to make them feel good.”

Claire Venn, who en­ter­tained the crowd, said: “It’s great to be here.

“It’s great to give back at Christ­mas time.”

SPAR ad­ver­tis­ing man­ager Roseann Shadrach, said the ex­pe­ri­ence was also spe­cial to them.

“It is very spe­cial be­cause we haven’t had an event like this in PE.

“The heart of our busi­ness is com­mu­nity and there’s been so much doom and gloom go­ing around of late – most re­cently load­shed­ding.

“So we’re just here to spread some Christ­mas cheer and part of our mis­sion for the past two years has been to choose lo­cal, so the tree ac­tu­ally en­com­passes that cam­paign very much.

“It’s a tree that was lo­cally man­u­fac­tured [in KwaZulu-Natal] and all of the parts that have been used to make it have been lo­cally sourced and made,” she said.

The tree, which is about 13m high and seven me­tres wide, was as­sem­bled by a team from Dur­ban and has been placed in the Bay­world park­ing area.

It will dom­i­nate the city’s beach­front area un­til Jan­uary 3.

“It was in Dur­ban two years ago, in Nel­spruit last year and this year it’s Port El­iz­abeth’s turn,” SPAR Eastern Cape spon­sor­ships and events man­ager Alan Sta­ple­ton said.

“It’s a mas­sive con­struc­tion which took 4,148 hours to make and con­tains more than 74,000 LED light bulbs.

“It re­quired 2,000m of cable and 110 cans of gold paint to com­plete the con­struc­tion.”

Vis­i­tors who would like to see the tree will not be dis­ap­pointed should load­shed­ding hit.

“We’ve got a gen­er­a­tor so if load­shed­ding hap­pens, let it hap­pen, but noth­ing is go­ing to stop us from spread­ing some Christ­mas cheer,” Shadrach said.

Pic­ture: FREDLIN ADRI­AAN

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