Newsletter June 2012

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Friday, 1st June 2012

Blue Crane Tourism was taken to the Kirkwood Wildsfees; by LTO chairperson Alan Hobson, Tourism officer Ros Turner, and Catharina de Lange of Kuzuko Lodge. The banners, promotional video presentations, brochures, and Biltong Festival programmes drew a lot of interest, and serious inroads are being made on the fact that some people in the Eastern Cape still don't know where Somerset East is!

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Alan Hobson's fly-casting demonstrations attracted many enthusiastic males, of all ages, to try their luck and their casting skill in attempts to hit the target as easily as Alan is able to do it. There is no doubt that fly-fishing is becoming one of the main tourism draw cards for our area, and Alan's passion for the sport is resulting in a lot of converts.

The Walter Battiss Art Museum again displays the full Battiss collection which was donated by Battiss in 1981. After being on loan, since January, to Sanlam for the Suidooosterfees and a special exhibition in the Sanlam Gallery, the 33 borrowed works were returned earlier this month, having been restored, cleaned and serviced by Sanlam's professional restorers. The generosity and expertise of Sanlam curator, Stefan Hundt's input has been greatly appreciated. This iconic exhibition, housed in the old Officer's Mess once run by Battiss's family as a private hotel when Battiss was a small boy, attracts a lot of art lovers who visit the area specially to see this interesting collection put together by Battiss himself.

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Auditions were held this month for local talent to perform at the Biltong Festival. The performers aged 18 and over who were chosen at the auditions will perform on Friday 13th July on the Castle GigRig, and those under 18 will get their chance to perform and impress at the BokJol on Saturday 14th July. A performance worth seeing will be that of Songezo Ratyana's Siyakhula Gumboot Group; the young man in the red gumboots (Songezo's son) gives a performance of such verve and energy, one hardly notices the other performers!

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