After six years of reporting for the Tabletalk, I bid adieu to the paper and the colourful communities it serves.
The West Coast is certainly unique, but, of course, after years of covering its trials, tribulations, pains and pleasures, this opinion is somewhat biased.
I have always found amusing how one day “in the field” of Tabletalk land could take me from a shack in Dunoon to a lavish foyer in Royal Ascot. It simply never got old!
Covering Tabletalk also taught me that sincere people are not an extinct breed. Seeing community leaders such as Colleen Pietersen from TLC Projects and Aziza Nolan from Peace Home pour their blood, sweat and tears into the community without expecting reward or favour has left me in awe time and time again.
From Brooklyn to Melkbosstrand, no matter the neck of hoods, the die-hard spirit of civic organisations was always admirable. Whether it’s pushing for cleaner water or fighting for a cleaner main road, the tenacious spirit with which these groups tackle issues is testament to their love for the area.
I have also had my fair share of losses while working on the paper. Last year, Peter Landsberg a member of the Brooklyn Ysterplaat Neighbourhood Watch, was gunned down in Dunoon. The impact of his murder was particularly difficult for me as I had become accustomed to his voice notes reminding me of meetings and events.
Also last year, one half of Tabletalk’s favourite love birds, Jan Prinsloo, also died, leaving behind Frieda, his wife of more than 50 years and an award-winning photographer. For years, the pair from Parklands submitted colourful pictures of birdlife to Tabletalk. I had the pleasure of interviewing them for Tabletalk’s 30th anniversary. Frieda explained how her husband carried her heavy camera bag during shoots. A picture-perfect romance if ever there was one.
And even though this year is in its infancy, it has already claimed the life of a prominent Tabletalk figure, Alvon Collison. I once had the pleasure of meeting him at his Milnerton home. Shortly after being introduced, he started singing a song out of the blue that referenced “summer”. He turned to me and asked if I knew the song, and I sheepishly admitted to Mr Entertainer himself that I did not.
Thank you to each and every person who has allowed me to cover their aspirations, heartache and wins, and a bigger thank you to the readers who enjoyed my pieces every week. A new chapter begins for me as a page sub-editor in the production department at Independent Media.