It was beautiful to note all the happenings around our beloved community over the past weekend, seeing the holiday spirit outshining the fog of 2020. There was a plethora of options for Newcastillians to take advantage of—such as those found at the various Christmas markets across the town.
When digging into the festive goings-on over the past few days, Saturday, 28 September 2020 saw the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation hosting its annual Christmas Market, a well-supported fixture on the Newcastle social calendar, which for many, signifies the beginning of the Christmas season.
With a wide variety of stalls available on the day, people had the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping, while enjoying a selection of foods with friends and family.
Other festive markets on Saturday which added to the Christmassy vibe throughout the community were found at the Amajuba Lodge and Fairleigh Community Hall. These markets also offered people the opportunity to support local while enjoying each other’s company, a rarity in 2020.
Offering a change to the norm, the Newcastle Diecast Group met on Sunday, 29 November 2020, at the Pint and Pig Out.
Gerhard Roodt says the event was an opportunity for members to interact with each other, while swopping collectable cars such as Hot Wheels.
With the market for collectables exploding many years back, this hobby moved from the unusual to the usual, “Once the bug has bitten you, it is over. I have approximately 1 500 cars, and I absolutely love the detail which can be found in each and every single car. In fact, when you order a car and it arrives, you feel like a child when it reaches you, you get to sit in front of the box and open it. I reckon a man will always remain a child at heart when it comes to his passion,” says Gerhard.
And in light of positive movement this Festive Season regarding the grotesque amount of abuse currently engulfing South Africans’ homes and lives—on Monday morning, 30 November 2020, meeting outside Newcastle High School, a group of community members united as one to raise awareness regarding Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and drugs.
Commencing at NHS, the group marched from the school to the Newcastle Town Hall, where the event evolved into a full-on community awareness initiative. This involved a candle-lighting ceremony, and a discussion involving an array of organisations such as LifeLine and SANCA.
Despite immense focus around women and children suffering at the hands of abusers, the initiative also stressed the importance of breaking the silence and addressing the stigma around cases where men are victims of abuse.
Looking at the impact GBV has on communities, and the importance of the event, Nomasonto Sokhela of the I-Matter Foundation emphasises, “It is important for us to get our voices heard. Gender-Based Violence is on the rise, and no drastic measures are being put into place to address it.” Moreover, she stresses it is essential for the community to work alongside community-based organisations and authorities to get to the root cause of GBV. “We need to establish why this form of violence is on the increase, so we can address it.”
With a ton of activity taking place over the past weekend, what good news can you share with us?
Tell us in the comment sections below-ho-ho-ho!
Authors: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer
Edited: Calvin Swemmer