At a gala event held in the Hermanus Auditorium on Thursday evening 4 October 2018, Overstrand honoured those achievers who selflessly devote their expertise, time and energy to making a difference in the lives of others.
Members of the public had the opportunity to nominate achievers for the prestigious Mayoral Award in one of seven categories, while an eighth category, Lifetime Achievement, was also introduced for the first time this year.
In his address, Overstrand Executive Mayor Ald DudleyCoetzee quoted former president Nelson Mandela who once remarked, “There are so many men and women who hold no distinctive posi¬tions, but whose contribution towards the development of society has been enormous.”
“In my opinion,” Coetzee said, “those words resonate completely with an awards ceremony of this nature and the reason why we are here to celebrate and honour these ordinary, yet special men and women.
“These exceptional peoplehave managed to draw themselves away from incredibly busy lives to do extraordinary deeds of kindness and, through these unselfish efforts, have done much to uplift and empower the members of their respective communities.
“The presentations we will witness here this evening will give us but a glimps into these amazing individuals who have shared their passion and remarkable skills in various ways: From the conservation of the environment to the establishment of early childhood development programmes, to the imparting of sport and associated life skills, and also the implementing of youth and senior citizen empowerment programmes.
“Added to this is the development of skills and job creation programmes, the promotion of healthier and more informed interaction between people and marine life, and moreover the elevation of and empowerment of women, to name but a few.
“We are humbled, but also inspired, by the dedication and unfailing commitment of these very special people who constantly put the needs of their communities ahead of themselves.
“Each one of these achievers is a beacon of hope, and have each become role models in their own unique way, being shining examples of what can be done when even just one person steps up and asks those all important questions: ‘What can I do to help? How can I possibly make a difference?’
“Honouring these achievers is just our humble way of saying ‘thank you’ and to acknowledge the tremendous contributions they have made to society.
“I am especially honoured to extend my heartiest congratulations to the first-ever recipients of the newly instituted Lifetime Achievement Mayoral Award - a couple that not only continue to inspire, but who have been a constant source of encourage¬ment to so many across the Overstrand over the course of their remarkable journey.
“Henri and Garnie Kuiper are 93-and-a-half and 94 years young respectively and have been married for 70-plus years. “A former advocate, Henri on retiring found the Enlighten Education Trust that has become a much-needed and vital platform for the development and upliftment of our youth and the community at large.
“Garnie, on the other hand, has been one of the hackers who for many years helped to keep the mountains of Hermanus clear of alien vegetation.
“Henri and Garnie, Overstrand Municipality and all who have had the distinct pleasure of engaging with you are deeply thankful for your enthusiasm and incredible unselfish efforts. It is our sincere wish that you will remain such a tremendous beacon of encouragement to those who will hopefully follow your sterling example for many years to come,” the Mayor said.
Absent is Dr Dianne Jean Marais, recipient of the Mayoral Award for Environmental Conservation, who unfortunately could not attend the event. Also recognised for their contributions towards environ¬mental conservation were Frank Woodvine, PriscillaDrewe, Belle Barker and Lee Burman who were re¬warded with the title “Honorary Field Ranger”.