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Forest Hill community grateful for local man’s selflessness

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Garth De Reuck has been cleaning up the streets of Forest Hill in his own time without expecting anything in return.  Photo:supplied
Garth De Reuck has been cleaning up the streets of Forest Hill in his own time without expecting anything in return. Photo:supplied

ONE man’s “inability to sit still” has led to the community of Forest Hill gaining a guardian angel in the form of a middle-aged resident who single-handedly goes around the area and cleans up the streets without expecting anything in return.

The community now wants to thank 68-year-old Garth de Reuck for his selflessness and ensuring that the streets are free of litter and grass is neatly cut and trimmed.

According to the chairperson of the neighbourhood watch in the area, Ian Bezuidenhout, De Reuck is doing wonders, especially in Blackthorn Avenue and Orange Grove.

“You know, the streets have never been this clean, I’m being honest with you. He is really putting his time and effort into cleaning the neighbourhood. It looks like this because of his blood, sweat and tears,” Bezuidenhout said.

“I take off my hat to him because he is really doing a good job. He is doing it because he is trying to keep busy and as the chairperson of the neighbourhood watch, I would just like to say thank you very much to Mr De Reuck for everything that he is putting into this.

“If we can get more people in the community to get involved, Forest Hill will be such a better place,” he added.

According to Bezuidenhout, De Reuck does the verges, driveways and edging around the parks and takes out the weeds in the street.

“He basically does what the municipality is supposed to do. He picks up litter and bags it and also cleans the sidewalks. He is doing a lot.”

He added that this means so much to the community because the streets are usually dirty and unkempt with weeds growing everywhere.

“It is very seldom that you see someone from the municipality doing this and [De Reuck] has been doing it for the last two to three months. He doesn’t work on a Saturday but other days when the weather permits, he’s working,” Bezuidenhout said.

De Reuck’s selflessness has also touched the hearts of those at the Protea Place of Safety in this area since he went there to clean up as well.

“Myself and one of the guys that work there, Anton van der Merwe, recently made potjiekos for the kids and we invited the uncle over because they too, appreciate what he does, especially since he cleaned up there too.

“It means a lot to the community because the streets are now at least clean, respectable and presentable when you drive around here.

When asked what motivates him to do this for the community, De Reuck said that he is incapable of doing nothing and has to keep busy at all times.

“I’m always at home and I can’t sit at home the whole time. I have to keep busy. I can’t sit still and watch TV for instance, otherwise I’d just pick up the YOU (magazine) and do the crossword puzzles,” De Reuck said.

“I just can’t sit still and I am glad to hear that the community appreciates what I do.”

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