Saturday, July 31, 2010

Art in the Park

In August last year I did a post on Art in the Park that takes place in St Georges Park every first Sunday of the month. Gavin Tonks, the founder of Art in the Park, commented on the post and gave some information on how it started. Seeing that this weekend has the first Sunday of the month and that Art in the Park will be taking place, I thought I would post Gavin's comment.

Gavin Tonks said ...
"I actually started Art in The Park in 1977 with the Autum festival which ran for one week and it was only under the old St Georges Cricket stand pavilion, it proved popular and we did it again the following year.

I had to get special permission to trade on a Sunday and we put it under the auspices of the EPFSA Eastern province Fine Art Society and the then treasure Jerry Boulton.

I managed to get permission to run it on the First Sunday of the month which was my slogan , as it was too complicated to put up dates.

I started it with 5 crafters, pebble people, a macrame person [think it was Mrs Shepard], a potter Mrs Zeelie,Mrs Deysel who crocheted spanish dolls and a toy maker renet Bray I think was her name plus the art and craft stuff I brought along, and my accountant Edna Williams who did the books and made sure everyone was paid.

It grew over the years and many people earned a living from the Park and gave up full time employment as they only needed the one sale day to generate sufficient income, [between the 80s to the 90s]

There was much controversy the traders who came later had as much right to sell as it came down to what people bought as no sales, the person did not come back so the very people of PE made the park what it is or was.

The popularity made the council spend money from the bequeathed estate [name eludes me but I think they put up a plaque] to upgrade the paths and fix up the flower beds and the old band stand

There was a City Councilor at the time and the City Parks director and Clayton Halliday who supported me on the venture and assisted me to get the permits and stuff to trade,I was 18 at the time and enjoyed wonderful support from the Editor of the Herald and the other Old Newspapers the Weekend Post and the Evening Post and the Afrikaans daily as well.His name also eludes me but they all got behind me to make it happen.

It took almost 3 years to get the project up and running and another 2 years before it became entrenched as a Sunday outing where half of PE would come and see what was going on.

Many people had an affordable way to sell their goods I think the first months I charged R10.00 a day for the stall, and all the money went to the EPFSA plus I instituted a bursary scheme from the profits as part of the deal with them., I do not know how many students have benefited from it, as I left the association and the Park because I actually never made a cent out of my creation."

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wading at Maitlands

Chaos Boy wading through the lagoon at the Maitlands River Mouth just west of Port Elizabeth

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Anton Momberg sculpture at sunrise

The Donkin Reserve is currently undergoing a major revamping project. Part of the project is a number of art pieces that will be added to the Donkin. The first of these pieces to have gone up was a sculpture by local artist Anton Momberg.
Visit Skywatch for more pictures featuring the sky.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Campanile view

The observation deck at the top of the Campanile allows one magnificent views towards all directions. Looking over the harbour you get to see all the cars waiting to be loading onto car ships for export. The only downside, or in this case literally the upside, to reaching this view is climbing up the 204 steps to get to the top.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Boma entertainment

Traditional dancers at Kwantu Game Reserve outside Port Elizabeth entertaining guests before dinner. This kind of entertainment usually includes dances from different South African cultures as well as story telling.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beach walkway

I popped down to the beachfront the other day and drove along the paved path (also known as Lovers Lane) in front of the Marine Hotel. I stopped at one of the walkways to the beach and got this shot back towards Hobie Beach.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

St Georges Park Fig Tree

One of the old Wild Fig Trees in St Georges Park. The Wild Figs around St Georges are over 100 years old and with their wide branches and big trunks you just want to look around and search for fantasy characters lurking in its shadows. I was very interested to read this week that the municipality has plans to develop St Georges Park along with Settlers Park and Victoria Park into botanical gardens. It is something that is long overdue and I really think it would enhance these parks and bring more people into them.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Grey Institute

The Grey Institute across the road from the Donkin Reserve was built in 1859 with the clock tower being added in 1875. The land on which it stands was made available by the then governor of the Cape Colony, Sir George Grey, for a school to be built on. Grey School got too big for the old building and moved to its present site in Mill Park in the early 1900's after which the old building was used by a number of different schools and businesses over the years. It was sold to the Mediterranean Shipping Company a couple of years ago and restored to its former glory.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wall of Bones

The Addo Elephant National Park has recently launched its new Interpretive Centre at the main rest camp. Unfortunately the day we were there it wasn't open yet, so I didn't get any inside pictures. On one of the outside walls visitors will find the Wall of Bones. The wall contains the bones and horns of a number of animals that are found in the Greater Addo Park. With the completion of this centre, a webcam has been added overlooking the camp's waterhole. The web cam image can be seen along with three other SANParks webcams.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summers winter weather

Over the last week or so we have had absolutely stunning summers weather right in the middle of winter. Perfect for walks on the beach.

Want to see more pictures featuring the sky, visit Skywatch.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Old Railway Museum

At the bottom of Market Street in Uitenhage railway enthusiasts will find the Old Railway Museum. The museum is housed in what is reputed to be one of the oldest railway stations in the country. The museum is quite quaint and has two vintage locomotives, a variety of coaches and lots of period furniture and equipment. Now if only the guy in his run down blue bakkie would leave while I wanted to take the photo, but he just sat there.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wildlife photographers

Port Elizabeth and its environs offer numerous wildlife photography opportunities for a wide variety of animals. The best place to photograph elephants in their natural environment around here must be the Addo Elephant National Park and I have many elephant photos from there. But nothing could prepare me for a visit a while ago to Addo Elephant Back Safaris situated in the Zuurberg mountains. Although the main activity there is riding elephants, my favorite part was walking with these gentle giants and getting the opportunity to photograph them really up close. In this pic I wanted to show how close we could get by taking a photograph of two of my fellow photographers doing their thing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Algoa Bay Yacht Club

The Algoa Bay Yacht Club in the Port Elizabeth Harbor is a club with a proud history. Established in 1959, the club organises regular organised regattas and informal sailing events on top of being home to most of Port Elizabeth's yachting fraternity. I am sure Alan will pop into the comments section and add a few tit bits more.

Footnote: Alan did pop by and here follows his few tit bits:

mmmmm how many more titbits can you stand from the loquacious one!!

ABYC has hosted many International, National, Provincial and Local Regattas.

In the last five years ABYC has hosted two World Champs:
1. The Mirror Dinghy World Champs which saw an all female team win the Pre-World AND the World Championships for the first time ever.
2. The Hobie 16 World Championships.

The feedback from international sailors is that our Algoa Bay presents absolutely ideal sailing conditions with a perfect mix of weather.

As an example during the Mirror Worlds the sailors experienced conditions that saw the wind from all points of the compass, seas that were flat, with large uniform waves or troubled and wind from mild to strong.

Algoa Bay never fails to present ideal conditions to ensure that a worthy champion is selected over the period of a regatta.

Of course the setting is great, refreshments at club prices, visitors welcome and food on the deck a treat.

During our official organised sailing season, which starts in September we have Wednesday evening Sundowner Sailing - anyone interested in sailing can pop down at 5:00 p.m. and beg a ride.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blue Wildebeest

A couple of Blue Wildebeest (also known as black tailed Gnu) at one of the game reserve just outside Port Elizabeth. People always say that wildebeest are the ugliest animals around and put together from all the left overs from when the animals were created. The horns of a buffalo, the mane of a lion, the body of a cow, the legs of an antelope, the tail of a horse and the nose of a ... lets not insult anybody.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wagon Jungle Gym

*mumble mumble* years ago when I was still in primary school, my mom used to have a stall at Art in the Park at St Georges Park every first Sunday of the month. I remember us playing all over the park, exploring the gardens, running down the paths and climbing on the jungle gyms. The ox wagon play structure has been there forever. When we went to Art in the Park the other day I was glad to see that it got a new coat of paint before the World Cup and brought back memories while the kids were climbing on it.

Footnote: For those who follow The Firefly Photo Files as well, this is where this pic was supposed to come. Its just that when I did the Random theme... Ox Wagons the other day I realised that it would also fit in very nicely there.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hospital peacocks

The peacocks at the St Georges Hospital is become an institution over the years. I'm not sure where they originally came from, but they are always found in the hospital's gardens. Sometimes they venture down towards Settlers Park, but the safe bet for them is sticking around the hospital with its security guards. Its a common sight seeing the males show off their tail feathers during breeding season, but on the day I was there nobody wanted to oblige.

Footnote: Traci gave me the following info on FB: "Years ago one of the lawyers from a local law firm tried to have them turfed from the park, but then the former MD from VW's wife and mother in law started a save the peacock campaign. It was quite a thing ... Amazing what some people have time to fight about? Needless to say the VW camp won, the peacocks remained with St George's Hospital as a very strong contender to keep them... hence why the hospital used the peacock as its icon "

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Baakens Valley sunrise

I was heading down to the beachfront the other morning to get some sunrise shots, but got going way too late. I ended up looking down the Baakens River Valley towards the harbour from the top of Valley Road as the sun was rising. It may not have been the beachfront, but any sunrise, doesn't matter where, is worth the effort.
Visit Skywatch for more sky related pictures.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

King Edward Hotel

The King Edward Hotel in Central is one of Port Elizabeth's landmark hotels and was built in 1903. It was taken over by a Dubai group a couple of years ago and is busy going through an extensive renovation process. The Grand Hotel across Western Road has also started a renovation process while the Donkin Reserve in front of the hotel is in the mids of a major upgrade as well. All of this bodes well for Port Elizabeth, and in particular the Central area. This picture was taken just after the hotel was taken over and I will post another when the renovation is done.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Forest Hill Heroes' Acre

I don't really need to say it as regular readers of specially my other blog will know, but I have a thing for cemeteries. Specially old ones. This is to such an extend that I have had a couple of people ask me to track down headstones of their ancestors for them. Anyway, Port Elizabeth has several cemeteries with military connections and/or sections. The Forest Hill Cemetery had a 'Heroes' Acre' laid out in 1980. This was in the Apartheid years and it was initially intended for whites who died in action in Namibia. This was obviously changed after democracy came to South Africa. The monument reads: "Those who rest here died in the service of the RSA. Their names liveth for evermore."

Monday, July 12, 2010

PAG Memorial

After a month of 2010 FIFA World Cup themed photos the big event is now something of the past and I can return posting "generic" pictures of Port Elizabeth and its surrounds. One of my favorite memorials in Port Elizabeth is the Prince Alfred Guard Memorial in St Georges Park. The memorial was erected in remembrance of men from the regiment that died in four different wars, one of them the Anglo Boer War. The memorial stands on Port Elizabeth's second oldest water reservoir. There used to be a fountain with water all around the memorial, but these days its been filled and contain flowers. The fountain must have pushed up daisies.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Last day of the World Cup

The 2010 FIFA World Cup is over. Actually, as I post this the final between Holland and Spain still needs to be played, but by the time most people read this it will have been something of the past. Before the World Cup the doom profits predicted that the event would be an absolute failure, that overseas supporters shouldn't come to South Africa cause they will be robbed and murdered and that the stadiums would be empty. How all of them have been proven wrong. Yes, there were a few incidents that will be pointed out by these folk to try and prove their earlier statements, but the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa was a resounding success. South Africa proved to the world that we don't have to stand back for anybody when it comes to hosting big events. Black and white stood together cheering for Bafana Bafana, and after their exit from the tournament adopted other countries to support without abandoning the event. Before the start of the World Cup the international media was looking for anything bad they could find to report on, but during it they realised how great this country is and gave it the kind of exposure it deserves, with publicity that money can't buy. We have received new stadia, new infrastructure and a renewed sense of togetherness and nation building. SOUTH AFRICA ROCKS and the legacy lives on!!!

Monday morning the soccer supporters that are still in the country would be packing their newly discovered vuvuzelas, head home and our lives would start to get back to normal. But would it ever be what it was before the tournament? Probably not quite. Let's hope all of those who visited South Africa (and in particular Port Elizabeth) would go back home and spread the word on how awesome a destination this is and to tell their friends and family to come back (home).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Traffic circle decor

During this last month of 2010 FIFA World Cup themed posts I have already done a post featuring the Soccer Ball Light Structures outside the airport and although I don't think they will change the feature much after the event, I thought that I want to post another one just in case they do.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Supporting the games

Can you believe it? The opening game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup between South Africa and Mexico took place four weeks ago and there are only two days left before its all over. People got together at pubs, offices, public viewing areas and homes to watch the big game and that continued throughout the tournament. I have a feeling there are a few folk out there that may just suffer from withdrawal symptoms after the tournament ends.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tree Man and his girlfriend supports soccer

For years now passersby in Walmer has gotten used to the bikini clad tree lady lying next to the road. A few years back she had her boyfriend join her and when I passed there the other day I noticed that they also support the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The ball is a big painted cement ball. Well done to whoever put it there.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wave your flag

Although the official theme song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is Shakira's Waka Waka, the song that have grabbed the imagination of the people is K'naan's Wavin' Flag. The song was chosen by Coca Cola, one of the official global sponsors of the event, to be their theme song for the World Cup. K'naan performed at the FIFA Fan Fest last Friday and drew in thousands of people wanting to hear him sing "the" song. In his own words, "I would never have thought while sitting in a little room in my house and writing this song that it would get so out of control. It's even been translated into Chinese!"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Giant Match

The giant puppets from a project called The Giant Match made a stop at the FIFA Fan Fest straight from their run at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. I was amazed by how well the puppeteers handled the figures and how they interacted with the people around them.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Orange supporters

On Friday Holland played against Brazil in the quarter finals here in Port Elizabeth. The Dutch fans assembled at the FIFA Fan Fest before walking the 5 kilometers to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. It was like an orange invasion with hundreds of Dutch supporters in all kinds of orange outfits getting into the gees (spirit) before the walk. Obviously copious amounts of beer was consumed before they went as it was quite a warm day and nobody wanted to get dehydrated along the way.

Brazil went into an early lead and was 1-0 up at half time before 2 goals in the second half by the Dutch sent their supporters into hysteria. The Dutch now meet Uruguay in the one semi final while Germany and Spain fight it out in the other one. The two losers head back to Port Elizabeth to play in the 3/4 playoff game on Saturday 10 July 2010.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Every FIFA World Cup has its own mascot decided on by the country hosting the event. The mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is a green haired leopard called Zakumi. His names comes from "ZA" which is the international abbreviation for South Africa and the "kumi" which means "10" in several African languages and refer to 2010. On Saturday we visited Greenacres Shopping Centre here in Port Elizabeth and found a Zakumi figure at each entrance. Drama Princess just loves him and I had to get a pic of her with him.

For more info on on Zakumi go to Wikipedia or FIFA.

Saturday, July 3, 2010



My apologies. I know this is a re post of a photo posted earlier in the year (but its sticking to the FIFA World Cup theme), but I am having internet problems at home. I will be back with something new tomorrow.

Friday, July 2, 2010

World Cup thumbs up

A thumbs up and peace sign for a 2010 FIFA World Cup which is going very well so far

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Development soccer

There is a development soccer tournament being run alongside the 2010 FIFA World Cup on the B field at the Port Elizabeth Fan Fest at St Georges Park. The tournament is organised along the same lines as the World Cup with local club and school teams (male and female age group and open teams) representing the countries playing in the tournament. The competition is also into the knockout stages now some have gone to penalty shootouts.