The calendar year 2019 has flown past us and here we are in a new year and a new decade! Following our very successful wine auction, our projects committee now has the enjoyable task of deciding on how the funds we raised will be spent. First in line for assistance is the Kerith Retreat, a home for people with mental health issues who are unable to work or function in society (above).


Last year, Paarl Rotary was approached by two Rotarians who have adult children living at the centre, in rather shabby prefab buildings. They asked our club to oversee upgrading of the centre in Muldersvlei, as they are based in Strand and Bellville respectively. Rotarian Deon and his projects committee have taken this task on their shoulders, with Rotarian Hannes who will apply his building expertise to tackle the upgrading project. Most of the funding will be provided by the Rupert Education Foundation, with additional funding from Paarl Rotary and Bellville Rotary.

The project has kicked off with repairs to kitchen appliances such as the dishwasher and the stove. This year, the building project will take off with a major upgrade of the kitchen, including a new floor surface, tiling, reconfiguration of the cupboards and storage spaces, new shelving and counter tops, a new dry wall partition between the kitchen and the storage area, and repainting of the entire kitchen area. The renovation of the kitchen will take place over a 14-day period and an area has been set aside to function as a temporary kitchen.

Since the linoleum flooring of the accommodation units is partly worn through, Hannes will prepare a cost estimate to tile the floors of the six female accommodation units, so that a decision can be taken on doing all six at once, or as funds become available. The male units will follow later.

Replacement of faulty appliances like washing machines and driers will be addressed after the kitchen renovation, depending on budget availability. Also in the pipeline, is installation of tanks to catch rainwater.

Ans Jacobs, manager at Kerith Retreat, with Arthur Geldenhuys, electrician, who did repairs to a faulty stove at the centre. The stove is now fully functional.


Another project which is forging ahead successfully is Path onto Prosperity (POP) where the security fence is to be extended, a roof will be added to cover the open quad and a computer classroom is also in the pipeline (thanks to our global grant). MCM has received funding for their December sports day, as did Young Warriors rugby club, for their annual prizegiving trophies.

Rusoord received a number of new wheelchairs to accommodate residents who are no longer mobile. We assisted Paarl Youth Initiative with funding for career counselling for Interactors, and helped fund the Christmas party for young disabled people organized by Tommy Goliath. Fifty Eduboxes will be presented to Valcare for distribution to their 10 preschool centres once the schools reopen for the new schoolyear.

December also signalled the end of an era: we enjoyed our last Christmas braai at Donkerhoek, as the farm has been sold by the Koch family. Thank you to Elsabé for once again making it a memorable occasion.

This month we are focusing on making the annual Paarl Cycle Tour a success at its scenic new venue, Fairview. It will be “all hands on deck” on 2 February to man the registration tables and marshalling points. A big thank you to our cycling committee members who have put in a lot of hard work to date. We trust all our Rotarians and partners will be out in full force on race day.

We look forward to further success in 2020 and wish all our members a great year!