Residents hailed for community spirit


Mitchell’s Plain residents who contribute toward creating a better society were recognised by Sub-council 12, at the council chamber in Lentegeur on Thursday March 10.

Sub-council chaiperson Eddie Andrews said: “The sub-council seeks to show appreciation and to say thank you for the wonderful support to those in need.”

Eight residents from wards 78, 79 and 81 were honoured, as well as one organisation which received the special award for outstanding community development. From Ward 78, which includes parts of Beacon Valley, Mitchell’s Plain CBD, Portland, Rocklands, Westgate and Westridge:

* Keith Meyer received the award for outstanding work in sports development. Mr Meyer is the Portland Indoor Centre manager and the founder of the Making an Impact Through Sports programme.

* Collette Theys was honoured for outstanding work in sports development. Ms Theys coached the Westridge Netball Club while caring for her mother who has subsequently passed away.

* Erica Slinger received an award for community policing and parental mentoring.

She is a member of the Portland Neighbourhood Watch and executive member of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Policing Forum.

* Irma Cotton was awarded for extraordinary contribution to teaching good values and self-worth as well as improving parental roles. She heads up the Westridge Girl Guides.

* Veronica Sickle received an award for outstanding work in the educational field. As the principal of 3 Bears Educare Centre in Portland, Ms Sickle is recognised for her outstanding contribution to educating young children in their formative years.

* In Ward 79, which is made up of sections of Beacon Valley, Eastridge, Mitchell’s Plain CBD and Portland, Carol Mentor received an award for outstanding community work.

Two people from Ward 81, which is made up of sections of Portland, Rocklands and Westridge, were also honoured.

* Gladys Bullock was awarded for excellence in the arts.

Ms Bullock hails from Bonteheuwel and is the founder of artistic dance in Mitchell’s Plain, director and choreographer of the South African Circle of Dance, and a professional dance teacher in ballroom and Latin American dance since 1980, having trained through the South African Dance Teachers’ Association and the World Dance Council. She started her teaching in Mitchell’s Plain in 1984 with two family members at the Gladys Social Dance Club.

By 1994, the club changed its name to Glads Dance Sport, with a membership of more than 80 dancers.

She has expanded to include physically disabled dancers and extended her training to not only youth within the community of Mitchell’s Plain, but to neighbouring communities such as Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Langa.

* Eddie Marshall received an award for excellence in the sport of boxing. Mr Marshall is an international boxing referee and has acquired many accolades for his contribution to the boxing sport.

The Mitchell’s Plain Network Opposing Abuse received an award for empowering women and children.

It is a non-profit organisation aimed at eradicating violence against women by informing them about their rights and responsibilities so that they can make informed choices. A posthumous award went to Bertram Pitts, who was honoured for outstanding community development. Mr Pitts, a disabled volunteer worker from 1998 to the time of his death in 2007, sacrificed family time for community development by mentoring community leaders. Mr Pitts was a former employee of the Department of Social Development, based in Mitchell’s Plain. He continued working in the community after his retirement and even when he became disabled.