A glace at 2017

2017-12-19 06:00

As the year draws to a close, we look at the year that has been.

As always, being involved in the community and being allowed to share your stories gives me so much joy. As a journalist I’m taken on an emotional roller coaster every day through the stories that I cover. A day can start with a heartwarming story but end with a heartbreaking one. But no matter how my day ends, I would like to thank you, our readers, for allowing me into your space and letting me share your stories.

For many, 2017 has been a long, tough and draining year, especially as we continue to plunge deeper into water restrictions with no signs of enough rainfall. All we can do is hope that next year will be better. As we move into the holiday season, with this being our last edition for the year, we take a look back at the thousands of words penned for your reading pleasure. There are some articles that really stand out.

This year we had a number of young people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds winning the hearts of many through their touching stories.

One of these was Kelly Thompson (17) from Retreat who said she felt like she had been given another chance to bat in life by playing softball. The soft-spoken teenager believed she had been to hell and back, as life had dealt her a bad hand, but that did not pull her down. She used to be involved in gangs and had a mother who was addicted to drugs. She was going down the same road, but through softball she managed to change her life around (“Big hit for ex-addict”, People’s Post, 18 April).

Also making Retreat proud was a 22 year old who was crowned the national men’s surfing champion. Brandon Benjamin said he was grateful for this achievement and it went to show that anyone can achieve anything, no matter what your background is and where you come from, as long as you put your mind to it (“Local surf champ”, People’s Post, 5 September).

A swimming club in Retreat missed out on a number of practice days as the swimming pool was not working. The pool’s water heating system had a problem, leading to many people not coming to the pool (“Cold keeps kids away”, People’s Post, 1 August).

The community of Lavender Hill will never forget the death of a 13-year-old girl from their community. Rene Tracy Roman was raped and murdered, and her body was found wrapped in a carpet not far from where she lived. Although her death was truly tragic, many positive things have been happening in her name, including the Rene Roman Search Group, which helps look for missing children. Next year, Levana Primary School will be building a library that will be named after her in her ­memory.

It has been a difficult year for Stenvilla residents who have been in and out of court after being evicted by Sohco. The residents said they didn’t know what to do anymore as they had followed all the right channels of communication, but still some of the residents were evicted from their homes.

Lavender Hill has come alive over the past few months with several programmes and sporting activities organised by the Guardians of the National Treasure, a non-profit organisation in Lavender Hill. The Blode Street sports field, which had been known as a battlefield, became a meeting place and a sports field with different tournaments taking place there over weekends.

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