Archive for October, 2015

An observation on leave 

Posted: October 13, 2015 in Family

With our holiday over, and back at home, naturally my mind keeps going back to our glorious stay. One thing which keeps playing on my mind, and something Nicole and I both noticed, was the complete lack of appreciation to fellow man we saw.

Initially I viewed this as guests in 5-Star facilities just believing they were superior to those “serving them”. I’m a bit anal when it comes to service, and tend to get annoyed when I don’t receive what I expect, but what we saw really disgusted me.

You see, this wasn’t based on poor service, rather the “no care” attitude and impolite action of guests. At the  Valley of Waves, Erin and I experienced this waiting to go down the awesome tube rides. Erin smiled and said hello to the lifeguard, who was controlling the slide, and she seemed so shocked. She returned a massive smile and said we were the first to greet her. It was 11h00 and the water park was packed. From then , I started to observe the interactions by others, and noticed how the lifeguards, waiters and staff in the water park and other parts of Sun City were completely ignored. No smiles, no hello’s or thanks you’s…it was as if they were not there. And the worst part, most of the culprits were children.

Are we the only ones who teach our daughter to treat others with respect? To greet those helping us? To smile and thank them?  Last week’s observations made it seem like that, but I sincerely hope that’s not the case.

Very disappointing indeed at societies complete disregard for our fellow humans taking their time and effort in making our holiday special.

Anyway, ending off my holiday blog, I can at least say it as fantastic and something we definitely must do again.

 ….from getting lost in the Maze….

……crossing over the swing bridge….

 ….swimming in the wave pool…
 …. exploring the bamboo forests…
 ….zooming around on Segways….
 ….admiring rock art…
…sitting on the bridge as it shakes….

  …. playing golf on hallowed ground…
 We relaxed and had fun together as a family, which I will always cherish

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Golfing at Sun City

Posted: October 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

One of the highlights of our holiday is playing golf at two of the top courses in South Africa.  Gary Player Country Club has been rated in the top 5 golf courses in SA, for many years as number 1, since the early 1980’s.  To play at the home of the Nedbank Golf Challenge (formally known as the Million Dollar Golf Challenge) and affectionally known to South Africans as Africa’s Major, is a very humbling experience.

  
Playing off the immaculate fairways, and fast undulating greens, where the golfing greats have done before, is an awesome feeling. Considering I played well, and shot even par to my handicap, made it all the better. The course is currently being prepared for the 2015 Nedbank Golf Challenge, with the grand stands and VIP tents being set up. 

  Finishing the front 9, a relatively long par 5 with an island green, you get to walk along a “winners walk” from the fairway to the green

  …. From the first champion…
  ….and golfing legends….
  … The 2014 champion (Danny Willet ) plaque was under water due to the watering…
  
… I always dreamed of holding this trophy….

The second course I played was the Lost City Golf Course, a very challenging course, also designed by Gary Player, and truly showing his diversity in his golfing designs.  

  
   …some greenside hazards…

Five star experience 

Posted: October 10, 2015 in Family

Every year we try to go away for some R&R. Last year, we went to the beautiful and tranquil  Seokama Lodge. This year, Erin wanted something different, and so did we. Personally, I wanted a no hassle holiday, so I contacted one of my company’s business partners who arranges my work travel, and obtained an awesome deal. A deal not to be missed, as staying in a 5-Star hotel isn’t an opportunity we have often.


Arriving at the stunning Cascades Hotel at Sun City on Monday, the first of the two 5- Star hotels at the resort, we already started feeling at ease.


…..The friendly staff……

   … complimentary champagne for morning breakfasts while listening to gentle piano play…

 ..  stunning gardens…

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… Enjoying sundowners…

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… while listening to Blues made this holiday an absolute pleasure and well needed break, one we needed desperately, as  Nicole and I have been so stressed, this break allowed the 3 of us  to reconnect as a family.

 

A milestone met

Posted: October 3, 2015 in Masonic

Every very year, at the District Annual General Meeting, the Right Worshipful District Grand Master appoints his District team who will accompany him and assist in the installation ceremonies of the various Lodges in the District of South Africa North, including Botswana, Swaziland and Mauritius. 

Each Masonic Lodge undergoes an Installation Ceremony once a year, on the night it’s consecration, it’s birthday as it were. The evening when I was installed as Master of Orphic Lodge described here… https://carlsstuff.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/king-solomons-chair/….On that evening, the District Grand Officers officiate the ceremony. 

To be eligible for active District rank, a Brother, who is Past Master of his Lodge, must show commitment to both his Lodge and the District, and demonstrate excellent ritual work and understanding in the Craft. 
To be selected and promoted to active District Rank is truly an honour, and one I’ve been waiting for for many years. The phone call I received a few months ago was indeed special, having been selected by the District Grand Master to receive a promotion to the District.
So a few weeks of training in preparation for the ensuing year, today finally arrived, where I received the rank of District Grand Steward.

  
 A rank which offered to Brethren who  show exceptional ability to perform floor workings, and memorise ritual, as it is required we know, by heart, all aspects of an Installation Ceremony. 

My year ahead, well… To put it mildly, is hectic !!!!… With 60 meetings to attend as a District Officer, over and above my usual Masonic commitments, is going to prove to be a very busy year indeed. One I’m seriously looking forward to, and will proudly represent our District. 
Whilst I’m discussing promotions, I must also congratulate my mentor and close friend and Brother, W.Bro Vaughn Williams , in his promotion to District Grand Director of Ceremonies for the Holy Royal Arch, depicted here in his Royal Arch regalia with another good friend and Brother, W.Bro Rory Jones, who received a promotion to District Grand Junior Deacon.