Jacaranda trees (Jacaranda mimosifolia D. Don) are native to South America and first came to Pretoria in 1888. A travelling nurseryman called Tempelman sold two jacaranda seedlings to Jacob Daniël (Japie) Celliers, who resided at Myrtle Lodge, 146 Celliers Street, Sunnyside.
In 1939 these trees were fenced in as a protection measure. A plaque was also placed at the site to commemorate the event. This was unveiled by the Mayor of Pretoria, Ben Swart, on 8 November 1939. This indeed indicates that jacaranda trees were seen as important to the city. It is said that many of the jacaranda trees in the city originated from these two so-called ”parent trees”.
In 1898 Celliers secured a concession from the government to plant trees in Groenkloof. He ordered the seeds, which included jacaranda seeds, through a Pretoria businessman, James D Clark. Clark also donated 200 jacaranda trees for the 51st anniversary of the founding of Pretoria on 16 November 1906. This was the start of the planting of jacaranda trees along the streets in Pretoria. The first of these were along Koch Street (now Bosman Street) and in Arcadia Park. They were mostly planted by school children. The two trees on the corner of Koch and Boom Street were planted by the Mayor (JJ Kirkness) and his wife. Many of these trees died, but Clark had them replaced.
For his contribution, Clark was nicknamed “Jacaranda Jim”. There is little known about Clark. He came to Pretoria from Grahamstown in 1879 and started a business as florist, nurseryman and seedsman in Church Street, Pretoria. He later on was known as a successful businessman, serving on the boards of various financial institutions and welfare societies. He died on 2 January 1956 at the age of 92 and is buried under a jacaranda tree in the Heroes’ Acre in Pretoria. His nickname, “Jacaranda Jim” is inscribed on his headstone.
There was however a second person with this nickname, namely Frank Walter Jameson. He is the person most famous for his contribution to the planting of jacaranda trees in Pretoria and received the nickname “Jacaranda Jim” as a result of his influence in the planting of these trees in the town. He was not only the person responsible for planting the most jacaranda trees in Pretoria, but also planted them in Kimberley and Nairobi.
His link to Pretoria started in 1905 when he was seconded and appointed technical commissioner by the governor of Transvaal to inquire into the Pretoria Sewage Scheme and a threatened interdict in this regard. In 1909, he was appointed town engineer of Pretoria where he remained until 1920. He also established a nursery for the propagation of jacarandas and other trees. For many years this nursery provided trees for the city’s streets. Mrs Celliers indicated that Jameson told her that it was after he saw the beautiful trees in their garden that he decided more jacaranda trees should be planted. Jameson indicated that one of the reasons why he decided on jacaranda trees, was their adaptability to local conditions, especially the cold winter months. This leads to natural pruning, resulting in less effort needed from the city’s parks department to keep the trees in shape.
Jameson planted 40 miles of jacarandas in the city in 1911. During this time the City Council even donated two jacaranda trees to all residents who allowed them to remove large trees with roots that became a threat to the sewage system in the town. When he left Pretoria, no fewer than 6 000 jacarandas had been planted here. The policy of the City Council to plant jacarandas however remained and encouraged by Jameson, the numbers had risen to 17 000 by 1939. In 1957 this number had increased to 25 000. Jameson, who resided at Ellensgate in Arcadia, died on 16 February 1956 and was laid to rest in the Rebecca Street cemetery in Pretoria West, which hosts a large number of jacaranda trees. Although Jameson wished to be buried underneath a jacaranda, his grave is underneath a stinkwood tree.
Pretoria became famous for the purple flowering trees and received the nickname, the “Jacaranda City”. As a result of Jameson’s influence, the popularity of jacarandas as a street tree took off and they now line many kilometres of streets throughout Pretoria. It is estimated that the town is host to about 37 000 of these trees along its streets. It is also estimated that the figure may be as high as 65 000, but that would include trees in the outlying areas of the city.
I have lived in the mid-century modern Round House (which has architectural significance referencing the later work of the American architect Frank LLoyd Wright) on the Meintjeskop Ridge since 1976. This area where there are only four residences, if one excludes the Falcons complex houses which were built about 25 years ago, is very special and close to my heart.
The house that was owned by the late Michael Simpson and the house to the west of Michael’s house were both built in the late 1930's early 1940's by Michael's grandfather, one house belonging to Michael's mother Peggy Simpson nee MacKintosh and the other to his uncle, Peggy's brother. Michael’s grandfather owned the now defunct hardware store near Lion Bridge.
1 Tom Jenkins Drive was built I believe in the mid to late 1950's by Johnny Jacobs. It was originally a pretty, white Spanish style house with a flat roof and typical Spanish style roof tiles, some of which were discarded on the northern perimeter of the property and can still be picked up. Unfortunately, it was badly renovated/remodelled and added onto very insensitively from about 2008 onwards by the previous owners.
This photo of the white, painted Spanish- style house, surrounded by wonderful and colourful bougainvillea bushes, was taken in the mid 1960's when my late husband was developing the grounds of the Round House.
Below is an image, circa 1964, of the completed Round House. Notice how barren and treeless the grounds are surrounding the house.
The Meintjeskop Ridge has issues and problems that are very specific, and I thought it might be useful to pass on information and contact details.
1. All four houses border on open veld area and by law all owners are compelled to make fire breaks on their northern perimeters. They can be reported if they fail to do so and put their neighbours' properties, as well as their own, in danger. My property also has to be cleared of undergrowth on the eastern side. The owner of 1 Tom Jenkins Drive has an obligation to keep his southern and eastern boundary clear of undergrowth as well as his northern perimeter. All four properties must allow access to the fire brigade if necessary. If they are connected to a security firm such as Quatro or ADT then these entities must be able to access the properties in case of fire.
I would like to remind the property owners that a veld fire occurred earlier this year in the very overgrown area to the south of 1 Tom Jenkins Drive. I was able to call the fire brigade as well as my security company as my gardener noticed the smoke and the fire could be extinguished before it spread to neighbouring properties. The fire was allegedly started by a squatter and got out of hand.
The dry grass in the old SAPS radio station as well as along the borders of the cement road portion of Tom Jenkins Drive is cut every winter. The area to the north of the road is state land and falls under the direction of the Department of Public Works, while the area to the south of the road is municipal land. However, the cutting of the dry grass in the municipal area is always seconded to the DPW. It is important to remind the DPW to cut the grass at the beginning of winter as there is a tender process that takes time.
The contact person is Marie Bester, the Chief Horticulturist (email@example.com) and/or Louis Nel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If any of the houses on the Meintjeskop Ridge have gates that open onto the northern perimeter of the properties and the keys are missing, contact AH Martin Locksmiths on 082 416 9484 or one's own preferred locksmith so that speedy removal of undergrowth can be done.
2. The properties on the Meintjeskop Ridge (excluding the Falcons complex), as well as a section of Eastwood Street north of Government Avenue and Lisdogan Avenue, are on a different electricity and water line to the rest of the Arcadia area. The water line was originally connected to the Klapperkop reservoir but was removed from this line a few years ago and connected to the Wonderboom reservoir. We do not experience water outages when the rest of the area has a water problem.
3. Every few years the trees below the property at 1 Tom Jenkins Drive on the southern perimeter must be pruned so that the above ground electricity cables do not get tangled and cause a short circuit. It is quite a process to restore power and an outage can last for days if this happens as several teams are involved. The power must first be switched off at the green junction box on the corner of Eastwood Street and Government Avenue, then the damage inspected. Another team of people has to repair any damage and yet another team has to prune the trees. The first team then has to switch on the power again.
The contact person for pruning the trees is Madeleen van Loggerenberg, Principal Urban Forester, Urban Forestry (Tel: 012 358 1744, email@example.com).
4. The City Council waste removal department has not cleaned Tom Jenkins Drive for many years despite numerous requests. I send my gardener, Joseph Mashamba, every week to clean the street outside and opposite my property at 3 Tom Jenkins Drive as well as outside the property at 1 Tom Jenkins Drive. He cleans the length of the cement road from my house to Russell Street in Riviera every two weeks.
5. The municipal rubbish removal vehicle does not drive up Tom Jenkins Drive. The owners of 1 and 3 Tom Jenkins Drive have to wheel their bins down to the open tarred area where Eastwood Street and Tom Jenkins Drive meet early every Tuesday morning and collect again later. As I recycle and compost, I very seldom have to put out my bin. The Falcons complex residents also put out their bins in this area. Unfortunately, people rooting around in the black bins for recyclable material leave a lot of discarded litter. Contact the groundsman at the Falcons so that the grounds staff can clean the area. Joe Pretorius 082 495 6211.
I have not yet been able to persuade the Falcons groundsman to dedicate specific litter bins to paper, clean glass containers, tins and clean plastic containers so that the gathering of recyclables does not cause such a mess in a public area.
6. I have noticed with great dismay that a large number of beautiful indigenous evergreen wild olive trees, with silver grey/green leaves, which are endemic to the Meintjeskop area, have been culled near my property. It is a great pity that this is happening. They are water wise trees with a non-invasive root system and take 60 years to reach maturity. I have a magnificent specimen in the veld on my northern boundary.
The indigenous celtis or witstinkhout tree also grows on the Meintjeskop Ridge. It seeds very easily, grows very tall and you might find one growing on your property. It has a very invasive root system which can knock down a poorly built wall and lift paving. One should inspect regularly and get rid of small celtis trees and seedlings that have spontaneously taken root in one's property. Cut down the tree, make a cross with a saw across the trunk and liberally paint on a mixture of diesel and Garlon. Diesel on its own will also work. The trees lose their leaves during winter and are a favourite tree for finches when building their nests during spring and summer.
7. No septic tanks are allowed on the lower sections of the properties on the Meintjeskop Ridge as toilets installed on these levels cannot be connected to the sewerage system at a higher level. The effluent from septic tanks will affect the groundwater adversely and any construction of these tanks will be reported and the area inspected by the relevant department at the City Council.
For any advice regarding heritage houses contact Adrian de Villiers of the Heritage Advisory Service firstname.lastname@example.org
Leanne de Jager, email@example.com, is the DA Regional Campaign Coordinator Gauteng if all else fails.
If you are uncertain whether a water or electricity outage affects only your property or is a neighbourhood issue, phone your neighbours to check. I always contact the Meintjeskop Guesthouse in Eastwood Street, tel: 012342 0738. A Meintjeskop WhatsApp group might be a good idea.
Margaret van Heerden
3 Tom Jenkins Drive
Tel: 012 430 2466/083 489 7010
In July 2021, Lorna Elizabeth de Kock died at her home in Government Avenue, Arcadia, at the age of 93.
Lorna and her husband, Brigadier General D.B “Peter” de Kock, bought their house on the corner of Government Avenue and Eastwood Street in 1975 after returning from a 4-year diplomatic assignment in Rome, Italy. As a result of their stay in Rome, their new home was furnished and decorated with artifacts from Italy, giving it a Mediterranean feel, especially the back patio. The cottagey house has great character with broad yellowwood floors and Burmese teak doors and shutters. The story goes that when the residence of the President was being built, excess yellowwood and teak from the building operation was used in the building of the house.
Lorna was born in the old Roberts Heights into a military family and went to the local dual-medium school and was later a border with her sister at Loreto Convent.
She worked full-time for many years at the property development firm of Joosub Ibrahim and only stopped working to accompany her husband on his assignment to Rome.
She loved to entertain and was a talented seamstress and knitter. She was a member of Jean Napier’s Creative Knitting Guild that exhibited at Gilles Botbyl for several years. She was very much a people person and especially loved children. On more than one occasion she acted as granny to children of friends and was dearly loved by them. She loved walking and for many years walked around the grounds of St Alban’s College to stay fit.
Lorna is survived by her daughter Cynthia, her son Selwyn, 4 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
After the devastating 3rd wave of Covid had abated in October, ARRA decided it was time for the community to get together at the Scout Hall. Toni’s Pizzas came onboard, and we arranged a Pizza Picnic. It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for sitting outside under the trees and enjoying delicious pizzas, wine and craft beer.
A big thank you to Toni’s Pizzas for donating a percentage of their sales to ARRA.
The annual Halloween Trick or Treat is a much anticipated event for all little Arcadians. On Saturday 30 October children and parents in colourful costumes gathered at the Scout Hall. We set off in 2 groups and before long, buckets and containers were overflowing. Thank you to all the residents who generously donated sweets and treats.
The Guide Dogs Association of South Africa and the Blind Society of South Africa approached the Arcadia CID to ask for an opportunity for puppy guide dogs in training to socialise in an urban setting using public transport. The City of Tshwane, through its Road and Transport Division marketing Director, Ruth Mutasa, availed its A Re Yeng bus to assist with this request.
Blind members and the guide dogs made use of the bus to Loftus Versveld Station and were acquainted with the facilities for the disabled at the station. The bus then departed on the new Menlyn route.
There was huge appreciation from the Guide Dog Association and the Blind Society with a request to make this an annual event on the City of Tshwane calendar.
In January 2002, our family arrived in Pretoria and took up residence at 144 Walter Beckett Road. We had travelled up from Pietermaritzburg the previous September to look for a house to buy. The estate agent showed us a few in Lynwood and Brooklyn but nothing really grabbed our fancy. We were getting despondent and decided to take a break from house hunting and drove around Arcadia to show our daughters the Union Buildings and the Presidency. We saw an “On Show” sign, liked the look of the house from the outside, came back the next day, walked in the front door and the rest as they say, is history.
For the first 10 years or so, I was very involved at my daughters’ school, Pretoria High School for Girls, serving on the Governing Body for many years, doing relief teaching from time to time and of course supporting the girls in their various activities. Once they had left school and with more time on my hands, I became active in ARRA. I was elected on to the committee as the Social and Fundraising Convenor and have served in this role ever since. Over the years I have organized many Morning Markets, Dog Shows, Art Exhibitions, Halloween Trick or Treats, End of Year Parties, Mandela Day activities and Community Picnics. It has been a lot of fun and I have certainly got to know the community through all these events. I have seen the babies growing up to become teenagers and adults too. Somewhere along the line I became the editor of The Arcadian and have found that very rewarding too.
What have I enjoyed most about living in Arcadia? That’s hard to say. I have made many wonderful friends and I have kind and caring neighbours. I love how peaceful it is. I love the weather, the jacarandas, being able to walk the dogs, ride my bike. I love how convenient it is. We are so close to everything. I love the home and garden we have created over the years. I love how passionate people are about preserving the heritage of this suburb. That is truly special.
I am certainly very sad to leave this special part of Pretoria. But in life there is a time for everything. And now is the time for my dear husband, who has worked so hard for his family all his adult life, to fulfil his dream of living at the beach. We are building a house in Kommetjie, Cape Town. Peter has a large workshop where he can follow his woodworking passion, he can take the dogs for long walks on the beach and go fishing. As for me, I’m sure I’ll get involved in the community in one way or another.
Thank you to everyone who has touched our lives over the past 20 years. We will always remember our days here with great fondness.
For the first 15 years or so, Penny was the family representative on the ARRA Committee and I participated on the social side, but this all changed when I was nominated for the Service Delivery portfolio, which has been my baby ever since. Although, I must say that our Chairperson, Linda, has fielded far more of the service delivery complaints than I have! But being a member of the ARRA Committee has been very rewarding, if at times frustrating when our city officials have been less than responsive. The effort that everyone puts in to ensure that the residential nature of our neighbourhood is preserved, community spirit is fostered and services are delivered to a generally reasonable standard, is remarkable.
On a more personal note, I can say that I have enjoyed our time in Eastwood more than almost any of the other places we have lived as a family. A combination of the beautiful surroundings, an old house that we have invested a whole lot of TLC in to get it as close to perfect as is reasonably possible, a strong community spirit and an environment where I could be comfortable that my family would be safe and have support in case of need when I travelled, which I did a lot in our early years, all contributed to this.
I look forward to next year lying in bed looking over the sea towards Hout Bay, but there will be much I will miss from our time in Walter Beckett Road, not least the community.
We moved to Arcadia when I was in grade seven. Moving to Pretoria was a bit of a shock after living in Pietermaritzburg for my other primary school years. Life in the big city was very loud and very busy but the neighbourhood provided us with a safe, and considerably calmer, place to call home. I’ve loved living in such an old and beautiful neighbourhood where you know your neighbours and get a friendly wave wherever you go. Community events, from Christmas parties to morning markets, ensured that the neighbourhood stayed involved and connected. I left Pretoria after my undergraduate degree, and, while I enjoyed my new homes in England and Canada, there was no place like home. I always love coming back to visit and proudly show everyone photos of what Jacaranda season looks like in Eastwood.
Although my time in Eastwood was a lot shorter than my parents’ (my last three years of school and four years of university) it still holds the magic of home. I remember the moment when we bought our house so clearly. We knew it was the one for us the moment we walked in the door, despite it being way outside of parents’ planned price range! I am so grateful that our family chose Eastwood as it turned out to be a wonderful place to live. It is beautiful, safe and so close to school, university and everything else. Traffic was never a feature in our lives. My fondest memories are walking down to Loftus to watch rugby or walking to Hatfield to watch a movie with my sister. It is quite special that we lived in a place where it was totally safe for us to do those things as teenagers. I traced the streets of Eastwood on foot when I first started running and it was on those hills that I trained for my first 10km race. My trips back to my parents always involve a few runs – although the altitude feels much harder now that I live at sea level! I love Government Avenue with its Jacaranda trees and wide verges. I love the Union Buildings with its wonderful gardens that are used by people from all walks of life. My best memory there was probably attending the 10 years of democracy celebrations. I love the excitement that comes with visiting dignitaries – the whole neighborhood on their verges to wave to the US president. And I love that a real sense of community has formed over the years, something that is often lacking with our high walls and security fears. Whilst it is sad to know that our family home will soon be someone else’s, I am very excited that I will be able to spend a lot more time with my parents.
Eating while on the go, particularly on holidays and road trips, can be FUN and balanced at the same time.
Planning ahead and building healthy habits can help us feeling nourished, satisfied and able to enjoy a journey that lies ahead.
Here are a few questions to start with:
1. How often do I choose to eat?
While we don’t necessarily need to have a snack in order to be healthy, waiting too long in between meals usually ends up in a disaster - for both sleepy drivers and hangry passengers. Starvation often leads to overeating later in the day. For satiety and satisfaction aim for a balanced snack or meal every 3-5 hours.
2. How do we overcome snack-challenges on the road?
Hurdle 1: Leaving in a rush and forgetting to pack a cooler box.
Solution: Packing enough water for the road is a good start. Even if stopping for meals is on the menu, pack some snacks – see examples below.
Hurdle 2: Mindless munching and bottomless supersized bags.
Solution: Buy single units or pack pre-portioned snacks in containers e.g., trail mix, peanuts and raisins or nuts. Fighting boredom and trying to unwind by eating can be prevented by packing games, books or hobbies for the road.
3. Is there a place for junk food?
It is all about choices. If we choose what we really love and enjoy it in moderation, the consequences will be worth it. Plan for balanced meals first. Feeling lighter and more energetic will be the reward. A nutritious holiday can be more fun.
Road Trip Snack Ideas:
Enjoy the journey!
No-Bake Date & Nut Protein Bars
These Protein Bars are easy to make, quick to pack for the road, full of feel-good ingredients and wholesomely delicious.
½ cup dried dates, pitted
1 cup dried apple
1 ½ cup peanuts or nuts (almonds, pecans, cashews or walnuts)
¼ cup plant protein powder
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
¼ cup desiccated coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup water
White office paper with black print
Cardboard Boxes, Cardboard lever arch files, Toilet paper and Hand towel inners.
White/Blue Plastic Bottles (Coke, water etc.)(No Take-away, Fruit or Cake Packaging)
Green Plastic Bottles (Sprite etc.)
Brown Plastic Bottles (Stony etc.)
Plastic Milk/Sources/HD Buckets/Shampoo/5Lt & 20Lt Plastic Cans etc..
Clear Plastic (Bags/Sheeting/ Wrapping etc.)
Mixed Plastic (Colours)(Bags/Sheeting/ Wrapping/Bread Bags etc..)
(PPC) (No 5)
Ice Cream/Butter Tubs/Yoghurt Tubs/Plastic Furniture, Plastic Toys and Buckets etc.
Shrink Wrap/Glad Wrap
Glass (Mixed Cullet) (No Vehicle or Building Glass)
Beverage Cans (All Types)
Tetra Packaging (Milk/Juice Boxes)
Metal (All Types)
Deodorant /Food cans/Spray Cans (all types of cans including Paint etc.)
All Types of old Electronics and Appliances re computers, Printers, Screens, Cell Phones, Washing Machines, Chest Freezers, Microwave ovens, Shavers, Hair Dryers etc.
Polystyrene food trays, Dog food bags.
Tin foil, food containers, Chip packets, Cigarette packaging etc.
(e.g.: muffin, cup cake, cake holder and food packaging from local supermarkets).
Non Recyclable Items
When Jeff Bezos, American entrepreneur, former CEO of Amazon and founder of Blue Origin Suborbital Spaceflight Services, took to the skies on a journey into space in July 2021 he sowed a seed for solving the problem of our unmanageable mountains of STUFF that has to be recycled to save the landfills. On his return he said (in an interview with NBC News) that we need to take all heavy industry, all polluting industry, and move it into space and keep Earth as this beautiful gem of a planet that it is. He further added that he wanted to work alongside others to amplify known ways and to explore new ways to fight the devastating impact of climate change on our planet. He added that this global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs – any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world. He added, “We can save Earth. It’s going to take a collective effort from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organizations and individuals.” This implies that we have to modify behaviour by considering our actions, thinking globally but also acting globally.
There are many options for household items that should be recycled; one does not have to separate plastic, tins, glass and paper in one container for Open Sky and JAC’s Recycling whereas for other (free) schemes one has to separate into the various categories. If your household does not yet support our excellent curb-side collectors every second week on Thursday mornings, you can contact one of the following at JAC’s recycling.
Richard Rademeyer: 082 545 2166
Claude Rademeyer: 064 2318 026
Tercia Rademeyer: 061 323 8775
082 545 2166 /079 382 7203 and www.jacrecycling.co.za. LED and batteries have to be put in separate containers in a transparent bag but the other items need not be sorted.
Residents pay for Open Sky. At present, the cost is R145 a month. Recycling is collected every fortnight, on a Thursday. For more information and how to sign up, visit their website www.open-sky.co.za.
The Dutch Reformed Church in Kirkness Street (gates open weekdays from 7h30 to 15h30) is another free option. One can take a bag with everything and ask the guard (plus a tip?) to sort into the appropriate containers.
Residents can now also take items to the Loftus Park shopping centre. Take the Checkers entrance and drive down to the basement area where “Waste Management” is clearly marked. Continue to the end before turning left and park in front of the big door where “Recycling Centre” is posted on the wall.
Then we have the Informal Recyclers (the sidewalk recyclers or trolley men) who have been with us all along. If we support them by separating recyclables from our garbage, they will not make a mess on the pavement while searching though the wheelie bins. They have become major role players in waste management.
Medical waste should be separated from household waste. Take used syringes, medicine that has expired and, in case one has a broken thermometer, save the mercury and take to our Dischem Pharmacy at the Lofuts Centre. All this will be collected and disposed of responsibility.
Hopefully residents supported the quarterly E-Waste collection at the Scout Hall on 4 December and will continue to do so in future.
Think: Landfills Matter!
2 December 2021
As we once again find ourselves at the end of yet another year of COVID restrictions, let us focus on what we can extract from the difficult year we have all experienced.
We were able to host on a few social events and the residents clearly had missed the interaction with neighbours as they turned out in numbers. The Market in March was a success and especially the food was enjoyed by all. In September, we held a very informal Pizza & Vino Picnic at the Scout Hall. This was very relaxing and Toni’s Pizzas were a hit. The atmosphere was indeed festive and everyone was happy to meet again after a rather cold winter.
On the 1 November, we went to the polls to vote for a new Councillor. The municipal elections, contrary to predictions, went smoothly and Cllr. Leanne de Jager retained her seat and was elected for Ward 92. We congratulate her for her success and hard work to-date and we look forward to a positive working relationship with her going forward. We also wish to work with City’s officials so as to have better communication and co-operation in the future. During the restrictions, it has been a real challenge to get answers from some officials as they were also working from home. The darkest time for the ARRA Committee was during the time that the City was under administration, when we could get no answers or information. This illegal take-over of the City of Tshwane caused much damage and must now be rectified at a major cost to residents and ratepayers.
The biggest challenge this year has once again been the lack of action regarding illegal property use. The ARRA portfolio that deals with these issues is really nearly at breaking-point, as we do all the groundwork, send in all the information and then the CoT bureaucracy grinds terribly slowly, or not at all. There are some cases that have been reported continuously for 6 years already, yet the owners just continue illegal operations, unabated. Recently, an illegal security company that had set-up a call-centre business in a residential property tormented neighbours with noise and parties until they finally absconded without paying rates and taxes, and where staff, who had not been paid for 3 months, started protest action outside the property. The residents were now punished again with noise, drums and chanting through the night. We are not without sympathy for the plight of these workers, but if swift action was taken right at the beginning by CoT, a better outcome would have been achieved. If there was ever a case for not allowing businesses to establish illegally in residential neighbourhoods, then this is a classic case-in-point.
Arcadia is such a special peaceful area, with a wonderful diverse group of residents, it would be a pity to see this all fall apart because corrupt and selfish developers and City officials believe they have the right to do as they please. Meanwhile, our right to live our lives as law-abiding residents and ratepayers is shamelessly compromised by these blatant actions.
The crime in the area has been low and contained, so we are grateful for that. A word of thanks has to go to our dedicated Quatro guards who patrol 24/7 and are vigilant at all times, alerting us to anything untoward that they see. Their rapid response rate has been a key factor in preventing more widespread crime.
There is much to be done in 2022 and many challenges to be confronted and grappled with over the coming year. This will require us as a community to stand together and to commit to investing in our future as a community in protecting our lifestyle, by protecting our properties (in terms of security and value), and by defending our heritage and community spirit, which has been hard-earned.
As you head towards your holiday destinations, the ARRA Committee wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable festive break. Please ensure that your property is secured and alarmed, that your pets are safe and looked after, and above all, please take precautions against COVID-19 and return to us safe and well.
Linda Tyrrell - ARRA Chair
As the end of this year comes near, my family and I are busy packing up our house and our belongings to move to Canada. I have lived in Arcadia since 2003, have raised my children here and have enjoyed the comfort of living in a community that is tight-knit and that cares for one another. I had been drawn to the green leafy streets, the well-manicured gardens, the central location and the beautiful houses. Never did I imagine that I would spend over 18 years of my life here. Over the years I have been a member of ARRA, been part of the various community events, and helped to start the first Halloween in Arcadia- always a highlight for my kids when they were young. I was the treasurer of the 10th Arcadia Scouts while my son was a Cub and then a Scout. I have really enjoyed the ability to buy fresh organic veggies grown at the Scout Hall garden… and of course, to be able to buy strawberries and blueberries from a neighbour on Thomas Street. My family and I have had many a fun evening at the End of Year Garden Party. It has been such a pleasure to be part of this community. Even after all of these years, I never tire of walking these beautiful streets, admiring the jacarandas, listening to the birds, and running into neighbours for a quick chat. It has been such a gift to have been able to call Arcadia my home for all this time and I will miss it terribly. A huge thank you to Linda Tyrell for all the work she has done to make our community as great as it is. This place is unique and needs to be treasured.
Erin Tansey, long time resident of Merton Avenue.
A POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT AT THE UNION BUILDINGS
For years we have been highlighting the steady decline at the Union Buildings from crumbling walls to cable theft, stolen lights, fences etc. Whilst many of these issues have not been addressed, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Department of Public Works, in conjunction with the Department of Tourism and SAHRA, has erected a number of information boards which are dotted around the gardens. These boards explain the history and architecture of the Union Buildings, the layout of the gardens, other attractions nearby (Freedom Park, Church Square, Voortrekker Monument), the Nelson Mandela Statue, the Police Memorial and more. I think this is a wonderful initiative as I have often wondered whether the tourists strolling around the gardens know the history and significance of this national treasure.
The gardens are looking magnificent after the wonderful rains. Let’s hope many tourists will visit them during the December break.
This newsletter is a community effort. Please assist with any articles,
photos or letters that can make our newsletter interesting as well as
representative of the broader interests of the residents.
Articles and letters can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please access this site at www.arra.co.za and give us some feedback and ideas.