On an adventure in Tarkastad

TARKASTAD – Orange Grove Adventures held an advanced junior hunting course for students aged between 10 and 18 recently. The course was facilitated by Patrick Cairns, who has a diploma in nature conservation and is a qualified professional hunter and hunter Dave Hood. The course was well attended by six students from South Africa and three from Australia and covered topics such as conservation, animal identification, tracking, survival skills and safety. The mother of one of the participants wrote the following to the organisers after the event: “Knowing and experiencing the efforts you go to, to ensure not only knowledge transfer, but the opportunity for my boys to really develop a love of South Africa, is invaluable to me.” Orange Grove Adventures generally arranges these courses during school holidays, except the June/July holiday, which is too cold.


Principals of Tarka schools recently bid a fond farewell to retiring circuit manager Nomatshawe Qona
Principals of Tarka schools recently bid a fond farewell to retiring circuit manager Nomatshawe Qona

FIVE Tarkastad school principals bade farewell to Nomatshawe Qona, their much-treasured circuit manager in the Cradock district office of the Eastern Cape department of education, with an intimate dinner at The Story coffee shop in Tarkastad.
Per departmental policy, she is retiring this year at the age of 65, following 43 years and seven months of service to the department.  Starting out as a teacher, she became a school principal and then worked her way up to the district office. For the past six years, she has served as circuit manager of the Tarkastad-Hofmeyr circuit as acting chief education specialist: institutional developmental support and governance.
Collective appreciation by the principals who have worked closely with Qona resulted in the event, principal Colin Lekas of Raymond Mhlaba Senior Secondary School, one of the organisers, stated.  All five schools contributed to hosting the event and a gift presented to her.
Qona, who will retire to Port Elizabeth, expressed her gratitude for her time in the district.
TARKA High School students and teachers embarked on a cleanup of the town and revamp of the Tarkastad sign recently. The day ended with some refreshments at the park next to Sparrows.

Appreciation for the effort from residents of Tarkastad spilled on to social media, where students were praised for their work.  Residents drew comparisons between Tarka High School students, students at universities and the recent municipal strikes, concluding that the students of the school were the kind of leaders we need in our future.

VUYOKAZI Msizi has approached the Tarka Development Group for assistance in making her dream of a fitness centre for the town a reality.  An initial planning session was held on October 1, resulting in the decision to hold a community consultation meeting on October 18 at 6pm in the town hall.  Community members are invited to attend and have their ideas added to the final business plan, which will be formulated and presented to various institutions for assistance.

Through this initiative, Vuyokazi would like to achieve healthy community members with positive self-image, able to cross barriers to friendship and contribute to community well-being.
UYANDA Gxothiwe, a volunteer at Tarka Development Group for the past year, is leaving to pursue his dreams of becoming a record producer.  Jenny van Heerden, treasurer of the organisation, conducted an informative exit interview with him at the end of  September, following which Uyanda was presented with a certificate of appreciation for his contributions to the organisation by the chairperson, Garvin Willemse, as well as a glowing letter of recommendation from David Fourie.

“Your success is our success,” were the parting words from Garvin to Uyanda, and there is no doubt within the organisation that he will be increasingly successful as he immerses himself in his passion.

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