28 December 2010

Les and Sal Powrie Family Gazette - Christmas 2010

The family gathered for the naming and blessing of Hannah Elizabeth Herbert, July 2010. Andrew P, Cindy, Sally, Leslie, Richard, Shelly & Hannah, Andrew H & Joshua, Rohan, Colleen.

Greetings to all our dear family and friends for Christmas 2010

Hmm! Here we are again – everyone wondering what to get for Christmas gifts, and wondering what on earth happened to yet another year! Every year we all say to each other: “How did the year go so fast?” And then we turn around – and find we’re saying it again at the end of yet another year.
So much for philosophising – What has 2010 been like for you? I hope you’ll share something of your life with us. In the meanwhile, in our family’s time-honoured fashion, we’d like to share a little of our year with you.
Of course, 2010 was THE year. It seemed that we could go nowhere without sign of the countdown – If soccer fever were a symptom of an illness, SA was sure to die as the World Cup hit. And yet – and yet – it was by no means a fatal event. In fact, despite my prior cynical attitude about the much-vaunted event, there was in fact some magic in the excitement in the country. While none of us attended any of the games, we did get into the centre of Cape Town and the Waterfront during some of the major events, and we were all thrilled at the exhilarating buzz. And you know what was best about it all – there was no sense of ugly behaviour. There is only one major niggle that I personally have – VUVUZELA’s. Someone please tie a knot in all of them.
Now, let’s get down to our family.
First of all, Shelly, Andrew and Joshua welcomed little Hannah into their family on 17 May. Shelly continues to be a source of joy as we watch her gentleness as a mother with these two little ones. Joshua accepted his new baby sister sweetly, despite having to give up his position of being the only child. But then his wise parents carefully give a good balance of time to both children, and involved our curly-topped little grandson in his little sister’s care. Shelly was obviously off on maternity leave, and then when she went back to UCT, she completed the application and interview process, and was offered a permanent position instead of her previous contract position. Andrew has continued to be a constant and steady influence in his home, and in October he was called as Bishop in our ward at Church. This puts a heavy responsibility on him – caring for the members of our ward, as well as his own family. He has also recently been promoted at work to Cape Town Branch Manager. In addition to this, he is still studying. We love and appreciate this fine man who married our sweet daughter.
Colleen and Rohan have had the excitement of buying their first home this year. There is nothing quite so exciting, or so nerve-racking. They didn’t really want to leave the Meadowridge area where they were extremely happy, especially at Church, having Rohan’s family, and good friends, and being happy in their callings. Unfortunately, the cost of houses is just so much higher there that they ended up looking over our side (as well as everywhere else), and then they found a really lovely 3-bedroomed house quite close to us, which was more affordable – and it’s on a nice size property – so there’s lots of potential. Colleen is really happy teaching at SACS, which means she still has a long way to go to work each day, but Rohan works just up on the side of Tygerberg Hill, so he’s really close to work. He’s happy in his job as well, and hopes that all goes well for it to continue in the long term. Of course, the most exciting news followed their move (September) – their first baby is on its way.  That is due to be early in June 2011. How exciting is that? We get Colleen and Rohan living close by and then find they are going to give us another grandbaby. We are so blessed! Thank you, you two wonderful young people. You are a joy to us. Rohan’s parents unfortunately have them living further away, but I know they are over the moon about the baby. This will be their first grandbaby.
Our Andrew in his 22nd year has continued working at Federal Clearing, which has provided him with a good job since he left school, and he has proved his worth. Something he and some of his friends have been doing this year is Mixed Martial Arts, with classes he goes to twice a week. He’s been getting pretty fit – and he sometimes comes home quite black and blue – a hazard of the sport, I guess. He recently had his first grading and got his yellow belt. He quickly realized that this is a time when he absolutely has to wear his contact lenses, which he doesn’t do all the time. But he is really very keen to have corrective surgery on his eyes, mainly because his greatest desire for quite a long time has been to become a pilot. He has been working out a way for the finances to hopefully make it possible for him to have the op early next year. This is the time of his life to have it done. His eyes have settled and he can get maximum benefit time, so we really hope it all works out. He has also been doing some extra promotion work of computer games for Bryan Banfield during the year. Now at the end of the year – in fact, 2 days after Christmas, he is moving out to a house that he will be sharing with 3 friends. As this is in Table View, he will need his own transportation for getting to work (no longer being able to go with Andrew H). So he has just bought himself a scooter. And so our next fledgling flies the nest. Oh dear, before we know it we will have a completely empty nest. I am proud of him for deciding that he needs to get out and be independent when many young people simply stay in their parents’ homes for comfort and convenience and cost-savings. But I’m going to miss having him at home.
Cindy began her year getting her matric results from the end of last year. She did so well – 6 A’s! We certainly couldn’t ask for more. And so then it was into the big world of university for which she had been feeling ready for so long. It was with the greatest of ease that she settled straight into ‘Varsity life, and before we knew it, as usual, Cindy had her plate overloaded. She is studying a BA, with the intention of teaching English. She loves studying English, and Linguistics (we get continual lectures over dinner), and German (totally loves the language – studying it from scratch this year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit into her schedule next year, so she can’t continue it), and Film and Media Studies. Next year she is planning to take Maths, possibly as her third major. She was very blessed to get an excellent bursary from the education department, for which she will of course have to work to pay back at the end. In addition to her course materials, she was invited to sing in the College of Music Choir. As you may imagine, for our songbird this was a bit of heaven. It added extra hours, and on Mondays and Thursdays, Les would patiently work late at Kirstenbosch, so as to be able to fetch her late, and the two of them would get home at about 7pm. In addition to this, JoMarie, who had been her singing teacher at the College of Music while Cindy was still at school, and was the leader of the choir, continued to give Cindy private singing lessons. Add working part-time in the Department of Accounting at UCT, serving as secretary in the Primary organisation, and weekly Institute classes, and you see why I say that her plate was quickly overloaded. Fortunately, a joyful load. But a bonus – she has been given a Faculty Scholarship for 2011, awarded for academic excellence. Now for a well-earned vacation. But that doesn’t mean she will stop for a moment.
Richard – oh my goodness, he has just turned 17. He can’t wait to get his Learner’s License. I can’t believe our 5th child is old enough to start learning to drive. Stop the world, I want to get off! Simply because it’s going so fast. Not because I think he won’t be able to do it – I’m sure he’ll do great. His siblings have all done well, so there is no reason why he shouldn’t. He’s at the end of Grade 10. The last two years of school ahead of him. He has had a really busy year, most especially the 1st half of the year. His matric subjects are: English, Afrikaans, Maths, Science, Accounting, Drama, Life Orientation, AdMaths and Information Technology. Drama as a matric subject is a very demanding subject. Richard is Stage Manager, as well as having to do the actual drama in class etc. He was not too surprisingly excellent at the whole Backstage thing, considering his handiness (absolutely his dad’s son in that. Backstage was something that Andrew really loved being part of when he was at school too). I think the aspect of leadership has been excellent for him. And then, Grandpa Simon’s acting talent seems to have found more of a home in Richard than I think he had anticipated. The school play, which was written by the students, guided by the teachers, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Edgemead High School, was incredibly demanding of time, effort and talent. And the result was amazing. I couldn’t get over what these youth put on. Richard was as proud as punch to be a part of it – and utterly exhausted. In the midst of all this, which went on for months, normal school work had to happen. Information Technology is in the evenings and AdMaths is after school. He had done Karate, but sadly, something had to give.
It’s interesting how much the performing arts – music, acting, singing and dancing – have come out in this generation. A great heritage from both Les’s and my parents and families.
Les seems to have been continually busy, and exhausted all year. He has been on a few field trips, most recently in the Southern Cape and up into the Little Karoo. He works too hard, and yet still gives more of himself if ever called on, and often without being called on. He is still ward clerk at Church. He really loves this calling, as I have probably mentioned before and is incredibly diligent in his calling. Les sadly said goodbye to his budgies this year. After having the aviary for a number of years, the point was reached where it was becoming more of a burden then a blessing. He had had a great deal of pleasure out of the birds over the years, breeding them, watching them grow, and caring for them. But this year he advertised on Gumtree, and got a response from a family in Richwood, to whom we gave the aviary and birds. We also had our old cat, Oscar (well, Shelly’s cat really) put down in March. He was just really old and battling terribly with his arthritis, and his quality of life was not good. We reckon he was about 14 years old. So now we’re down to only two cats left in the house. It seems quite strange after the menagerie we’ve had in the past.
I (Sal) have had endless cause to be grateful for the husband that I have. These last five years have been an unusual challenge, not only for me, but also for Les, and I think that we have grown together. I do feel like saying “It’s enough now, I think we’ve grown enough haven’t we?” But when I say things like that – guess what, a new dimension gets added to the challenge, one that we hadn’t imagined yet. So, I think I’ll quietly wait and see what happens at this stage. Perhaps there are aspects of the last five years which we will really only discover years down the line, but I have a feeling that those are going to be positive ones. What we have found up till now has been the positive growth of our family. The strength and support that my family – my husband, my children, my mother, my brothers and sisters and /in-laws – have given me has been more than I could ever have expected or deserved. Our Church family has also been incredible – I’m not going to name anyone for fear of leaving out special people accidentally.
Something wonderful happened for our family this year, and that was having Ron and Pamela get married and move down here. I felt an immediate kinship with Pamela, and having this sister here is great.
And so has passed another year. In terms of the birthday song sung by our Primary (our Church children’s organization): “One year older and wiser, too” – hmm? Well, the year older is inevitable. The wiser, too? Ja well no fine.
With that profound thought for the year ahead – it must surely be something to aim for next year – We send you our warmest greetings and love for a blessed Christmas this 2010, and a peace-filled 2011.
Les, Sally, Andrew, Cindy and Richard
Andrew and Shelly, Joshua and little Hannah Herbert
Colleen and Rohan Schwartz     

25 October 2010

A very brief summary of meeting with bishop H. David Burton and elder Jeffrey R. Holland

The following is a very brief summary of what was presented in the talks yesterday in the extraordinary stake conference meeting. Present were bishop David Burton, presiding bishop, and elder Jeffrey R Holland, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The meeting was held at the Bellville chapel in the Cape Town South Africa stake.

Pres. Mervyn Giddey, stake president, spoke about his impressions following the meetings yesterday about rescuing the one. There should be no animosity toward any, and cited the example of Joseph who was sold into Egypt and how he was loving and charitable towards his brothers who had sold him into Egypt. The worth of souls is great – and we need to value each soul.

Four members were called upon to speak extemporaneously.
Angie Spires bore testimony of the rewards of faithful endurance despite challenges.
Alex Giddey told how he had received his testimony after repeated pleading.
Tracy Armstrong told of being challenged to study the Book of Mormon together with studying Preach My Gospel
Kaylianne Zokufa told that if we walk faithfully we will be able to walk in these difficult challenges of the world. Set an example and your light will shine where it is needed.

Elder Jackson Mkhabela – learn what we should learn, do what we should do, become what we should become, or what we have been given will be taken away from us.

Sister Burton – She told of how she has thought in a sacrament meeting how similar meetings are occurring all over the world, bringing home the reality of this being a truly worldwide Church. She encouraged children to obey their parents. She believes that parents would give their lives for their children and related a story of a bird that had apparently given its life trying to get to its children to feed them after construction work made the nest inaccessible.

Bishop Burton – Read from John chapter 4 and asked what we must accomplish to receive the living water. He told how he, as a 13 year old had reluctantly accompanied his father to administer to a sick ward member, and he had gone to sit on the front steps to think of the ball game that he was missing because of this visit. Then pres. David O Mackay came and sat next to him and chatted. He told of the time that he, as a 13 year old, was joined by pres. John Taylor, and how brother Taylor pulled up his sleeve and showed young David McKay the wounds that he has received when in Carthage jail at the time of Joseph Smith’s martyrdom. Here was young David being told by an older David of his experiences as a young David.

Sister Patricia Holland – she said that nothing, not even the beautiful Cape, is as beautiful as the testimony and spirit in this stake meeting.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland – he had loved every second of the meeting so far. He asked the choir to once again sing ‘Beautiful Saviour’. He told how he had borne witness of the savior since the time that he was in Primary, but that the witness that he bears now is that of a Witness. He said that his presence in Cape Town today was a witness of the restoration of the Gospel, that God lives, Jesus Christ lives, that they have visited the Earth in these last days. He was sent to us as a witness that this is true. He told of the apostles of old who, after less than 36 months of training, under the tutelage of Jesus Christ, were suddenly left alone. They had been prepared, but they failed to grasp the preparation telling them that Christ would be going away from them. There was probably depression, confusion, certainly chaos. They had decided to go fishing again – the one thing that they knew how to do. Things had not been easy for them at the first, or the last, nor any time in between. While fishing they were hailed by a man on the shore who had a fire burning with food for them which would be very welcome as they had caught nothing during the night. This stranger asked how the fishing had been, and then told them to cast the net on the other side of the boat. They questioned, but did anyway, and the result was then a catch that was too vast for them to bring in easily. They then recognized that it was the Saviour who had spoken to them and Peter, impetuous as ever, jumped into the water to swim ashore. The Saviour then asked Peter three times ‘lovest thou me more than these?’ Peter was grieved when asked the third time (he was becoming sensitive about threes after denying three times at the palace at the time of the trial). It was important for Peter to affirm his love three times, and to receive the instructions three times to feed the Saviour’s lambs and sheep. Elder Holland stressed to us – do we love Him? We need to have the same changing and renewed matured commitment that Peter and the other apostles needed, and we need to love Him, and feed His sheep. He said that we are apostles with a lower case A. He stressed that there is no vindictiveness in the father – He is not out to condemn us – but we need to answer the question ‘do you love me’? What are we going to do to show our love for Him? Elder Holland then gave an apostolic blessing, stressing that it was to each individual, as though we had his hands placed personally on each of our heads. He blessed the fathers, the mothers, the young and old, and sent us out to witness.

Following the meeting there was no rush for members to leave because the heavens opened with a heavy downpour. We had no rain at home just about 7km away. But the fellowshipping was enhanced by members staying and chatting rather than going out in the rain.

12 September 2010

A splendid spring garden - Kirstenbosch in September

I was at a meeting in Newlands yesterday morning and took the opportunity to go for a walk in Kirstenbosch. The garden was full! The car parks were full. The weather was splendid. The flowers were amazing in their colourful splash. Well worth the time spent to recreate myself.
See the panorama - nearly 180° of daisies through to brilliant vygies.
Some of the many colours of the delightfully brilliant Bokbaaivygies
Matthew's Rockery with its mass of vygies of various colours
Children enjoying the stream as our children have done on so many occasions.
And masses of daisies of various colours
And then the variety of colours in the protea section given by leaves and flower heads - Protea, Leucospermum, Leucadendron, Diastella, Faurea, etc. - and birds - interspersed with flowers from other families. Not just in the developed garden, but right up on the slopes of Table Mountain you see the yellow bracts of Leucadendron giving Fynbos one of its distinctive characters.
And then lots and lots of people enjoying Heavenly Father's creation in 'this little bit of the Garden of Eden that has remained intact' (to quote Dad Ken Powrie).
A walk in the forest
And all this so close to civilisation, yet so removed - truly rejuvenating.

05 September 2010

A challenge to the social network on the internet

Yesterday at 07:24 as the sun was rising on Sutherland, Northern Cape, South Africa, I took a photo of two guys  who wanted me to let them have the photo. I was not able to give it to them at the time as we were going in opposite directions, them heading out of town and me toward town and rushing to get on my way back to Cape Town, about 364 km away.
Let us see how quickly someone can put a comment below this blog saying that they have given the photo to Nolan and/or Moses (shown in the photo) who work at the dam at Sutherland. That should be easy for us who live in the Global Village.

So the challenge is out! Let us see how the message gets around, via what people, homes, workplaces, towns, cities, continents. It should be fun, and certainly is doable! It is now 21:23 on Sunday 5 September 2010 - and counting...
Les and Sal Powrie family
Cape Town, South Africa
http://SallyPowrie.blogspot.comPublish Post

23 June 2010

Our excursion into FIFA spirit world

Today Sally, Richard and I took an excursion into Cape Town to see the FIFA Fan Fest, the Fan Walk, and the sights of how Cape Town is hyped up over the soccer. The FIFA Fan Fest is located on the Grand Parade in front of the Castle. It was astonishing to see that they have copied bushman paintings on the barriers surrounding the area. So from this we can see that South Africa was destined to host the Soccer World Cup because the ancients foresaw it aeons ago. See, they have vuvuzelas! And they are kicking a soccer ball - or is it a coconut?! Richard is not so sure of their authenticity. Should I say 'doubtful'?

So, having established our credentials, who can complain about us having the event here now in 2010?
The Cape Town Station has been revamped quite extensively. It is looking quite modern and comparable with many stations that we have seen elsewhere in the world. Quite impressive, really.

Here is a guy berobed in two flags - one draped in the front and the other at the back. He was followed by another guy wearing a flag like a flowing superhero cape.

They have done extensive clearing outside the Station - unfortunately it seems that a lot of the landscaping went with the stalls.
See - Zibi is still around! Zapp it in a Zibi - haven't heard that for many years. It used to be a frequent TV advert for trying to educate our citizens to avoid littering. He is now also encouraging recycling.
This is the Fan Fest with the City Hall and other city landmarks behind.

Now to move some distance away to the stadium area.

Right near to the entrance to the stadium is a bridge constructed with scaffolding - it takes pedestrians over a circle in the road and is quite solid.
Sally did not want to risk walking on the bridge, so she and Richard walked on the solid earth of the pavement and were captured in this photo.
There were police all around - a presence like I do not recall seeing before. There were dozens at the Fan Fest and at the entrance to the stadium.

This is a plan of the stadium precinct. It is located right next to the Somerset Hospital. 
New hospital - so we have called it - but...
We refer to the New Somerset Hospital - but the yellow building is referred to as the New Somerset Hospital as the first hospital, the oldest in South Africa, was built 190 years ago (around 1818-1822) located in Chiappini Street, to be replaced in about 1860 by the New  Somerset Hospital. Then the New West Wing of the New Somerset Hospital was erected about 1973. So there you have it - 'New' can be a term used for more than a century and a half!
It is always amusing to see mistakes in language - does it happen more in the New South Africa than anywhere else in the world? Sound is right, spelling is wrong.

The Jabulani ball used first time in a World Cup in 2010 (although used in local matches for about a year) - it was designed especially for FIFA WC 2010.
Richard did not get the plaque below this gun - but there are a few guns attached to different national flags, a commitment by those countries to stop violence. This is the South African knot.
There was a musical group playing at the Waterfront - they were playing 'I just can't help falling in love with you' - very good! They are clearly Bafana Bafana supporters.
The entrance to the Stadium area right in what used to be the parking area of the Somerset Hospital. These photos show the view from the bridge mentioned earlier.

Here is the giant Vuvuzela on the flyover that never got finished as long ago as before I can remember anything from my early visits to Cape Town! Now the bridge has a purpose!
'Nuff said! Yeah for Cape Town!
The buses are decorated with Soccer spirit.
And here is the stadium - affectionately referred to as a giant bed pan, but it is an imposing spectacle.
One of the happy visitors to the Mother City - well, anyway we guessed he is a visitor
This Land Cruiser with Namibian registration got around - we saw it all over! It is flying the flag of the Netherlands, and there was a French sounding song pumping from its sound system.

Then there is the Wheel of Excellence near to the entrance from the City to the Waterfront.
And the gulls are the same as ever. I asked this one if he (she/it? - I could not tell from its voice which gender it is) has any feelings about the World Cup - and it said 'chaaar chaar chaarrrr' which roughly translated is 'what is that?' So there you have it - the humans are all excited about the World Cup - yes, I also enjoyed watching some of our Bafana Bafana matches - but the gulls just get excited about crumbs. Genuine!

I shall not do much blogging with photos because haauw! it takes time!