Clarens News Polar Bear jpg

Contents: Polar Bears get ready; Report back: Awesome Autumn Braai Challenge for Charity; Report back: Cluny Golf Day; The Twitcher; The Sunnyside Sunday Braai; Bowling; Clarens Village Nature Reserve; CVC Report Back April 2014; CVC Environmental Impact Study; Sungazers – Our gorgeous Free State Dragons; Paballos Nursing Sisters; Restaurant Specials; Coming Events; Making Clarens News work for you; Last Thought.

Polar Bears get ready:

Pictured above is Shifty – our Clarens News Polar Bear.   As you can see she doesn’t mind the cold in the least, and she’s ready to do her bit for The Cluny Animal Trust on 28th June.

Yes, It’s that time of year again, when the mad, brave and thermally irresponsible jump into near freezing water and swim float or splash desperately about for 50 metres in a dam amongst reeds and mud, all in the name of “doing it for charity”.

This year it is going to be a little different. There will be 2 distances: 50 metres, and about 100 meters (depending on how low or high the dam is). Also there will be a few “floating trophies”, or spot prizes attached to buoys that the swimmers can grab on their way past. The third addition is that there will be a dog category. This will, however, be only for dogs that truly enjoy swimming for the love of cold water. There will be no throwing of dogs into the water, and only minimal encouragement allowed. The owner may swim with the dog at theIr own risk, or throw a floating toy for the dog to retrieve.  Dry towels are essential for drying the dogs afterwards, and before and after the swim they MUST be under full control on leads, as there are resident dogs and other livestock on the farm.   Please contact Jan Sander or Katherine Barker for sponsorship forms, or if you are not going to brave the water, how about sponsoring someone who is?  Phone:  0782462553.   

Report back: Awesome Autumn Braai Challenge for Charity 

The “Awesome Autumn” 2nd Clarens Community Braai Challenge for Charity was held on Sunday 25 May on the beautiful Clarens Square. Six teams entered and nominated a charity of choice to whom they would donate their winnings in the event that they did indeed win!

1.    Clarens Village Conservancy (their charity was themselves) 2.       Sector Police Forum (their charity was themselves) 3.       Sandstone Vets (their charity was Cluny Animal Trust) 4.       Clarens Brewery (their charity was Thusanang Care Centre) 5.       Clarens News (their charity was Centre Ballet) 6.       Tsamahanste Tavern (who didn’t indicate who they were playing for)

The total takings on team entries, plates of food sold and cash donations came to R4550!   Generous cash donations were received by Mont d’Or Hotel and “Team Wildcard 2’ consisting of Bruce & Debbie Marx and Sjoerd & Anne de Boer. Therefore, the winners of the best chop (SPF), best pap en sous (Clarens Brewery) and best side dish (Sandstone Vets) split this money in three and will donate it to their charities. Therefore, the SPF, Thusanang Care Centre and Cluny Animal Trust each get R1516.  Well done!

Great prizes were donated by local business; thanks very much to them:

Post House Bon Appetit Old Stone  Bottle Store Highland Coffee Roastery Protea Hotel Courtyard Cafe Clarens Xtreme Clarens Brewery Homing Instincts

These were awarded to best overall team (Brewery), best spirit (SPF), first to serve (CVC), best looking table (Brewery), last team to serve (Tsamahanste), the smokiest fire (SPF – really!) and the best overall dish (Brewery).  Most of these were donated right back to charity to give those people an opportunity to enjoy the great prizes.

Thanks to everyone who participated, supported, donated and enjoyed the day

Report back: Cluny Golf Day

Clarens News Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day

Jan Sander reports:  We couldn’t have hoped for better weather on Saturday in Clarens on our golf day. The sun was brilliant, hardly a cloud in the sky, and although the wind came up occasionally, it was not enough to ruffle any feathers.   


The Twitcher


woody_and_doris-1Birds?  Did that last time, if you remember, and quite satisfying it was too.  But time for something new, methinks, to satisfy the inner man, or should that be woman; perhaps even person?  That’s the problem with gender.  Just when you think it’s all buttoned up (or should that be unbuttoned?) it turns out there is yet another group of activists determined to advance their take on what I always thought was pretty straightforward.  But maybe straight isn’t a politically-correct word either! If you think I make light of the issue, bear in mind we areliving in a world of person-hole covers, door-persons, chair-persons and even tea-persons.   I feel sure there are more, but I will not tax you, dear reader, with my over-fertile imagination.  Writing documents, particularly for the development world, isn’t what it used to be, either.  For example, acronyms now cover the first 42 pages and incorporate abbreviations for types of person (?), acts, attitudes and unguents which stretch the boundaries of credulity.  But they are taken mightily seriously and seem to require the daily rewriting of the Shortened Oxford Dictionary.  Nice though that everyone now gets a shout at redefining their gender, what they elect to do with it and who gets a sniff at it too.  One of the reasons, perhaps, why we all live in this little sheltered nest, high in the mountains of the Eastern Free State.  A much-loved resident of Clarens, now sadly deceased, once defined the village as a refugee centre for eccentrics; certainly that was a large part of the reason why Mrs Twitcher and I settled here.  What you see is what you get, so to speak, although there are a few residents about whom you might wish to know less.  Read more  

The Sunnyside Sunday Braai:  A tradition dating back to 1932!

Clarens News Sunnyside braai

Tradition.  Tradition. Tradition.  Every Sunday, weather permitting, a Sunday braai is served at Sunnyside.  This is not the usual DIY affair, so you need to be there at 1 pm sharp, as this is when lunch is served.  (And you need to book beforehand:  Phone Ann Boland: 058 256 1099.) Ann told us that this has been the tradition at Sunnyside since 1932. The braai takes place in a beautiful setting, next to a little river:  George’s Spruit (named after George Mousley) where children can spend hours catching crabs (using home-made “fishing rods”).  If you’re into those traditional values where children run free, dogs can just be dogs, and you enjoy good wholesome food then this is where you should be lazing away your Sunday afternoons.  The cost of a lunch is R80 for adults and R50 for children.  Sunnyside is not licenced, so you need to BYO.



Clarens News Bowling at Sunnyside Clarens News caught up with the Sunnyside Bowling Group last Tuesday.  This is an informal group (no need to dress up in the usual bowling attire) and anyone is welcome to join.  If you would like to join be sure to be there by 9.00 am on Tuesdays.  And don’t be put off if you don’t have a set of bowls – phone Millie on 058 2561312 who has a spare set you could borrow.  It looks like great fun.


Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve:

Clarens Village Nature Reserve Disa versicolor Disa versicolor Article and photography by Damien Coulson with input from Wim Wybenga Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-monthly Plant of Interest”. This time we’ve decided to focus on a specimen from the Orchidaceae (Orchid) family. Disa versicolor (Apple-blossum Orchard in English), is a robust orchid of between 300 & 600 mm tall usually found in damp grassland at altitudes up to 2400 m A.S.L. It’s widespread throughout S.A. and also occurs in Mozambique and Angola.It is interesting to note that unlike most plants which grow from seed alone, D. versicolor also spreads via an underground rootstock or sucker-system. The exact origin of the word Disa is unknown; however some have postulated that it stems from dis meaning “double” which refers to the 2 large “wings” on the flower style. Alternatively Disa may mean “rich” or “plush”, referring to the spectacular display of the original specimen recorded for the genus. The direction in which the spurs point is a useful means of spp. identification. Versicolor means “variably coloured” referring to the changing of colour of the florets through the flowering season. This specimen was photographed on the Scilla Walk.   Read more

 CVC Report-back April 2014

Clarens Village Conservancy REPORT BACK APRIL  4     Damien Coulson’s Report-back for April 2014  makes interesting reading: not only have the rangers been involved in the removal of  Alien and Invasive plants, but they’ve continued with the on-going battle of protecting the reserve (including the removal of cattle from the reserve,) trail maintenance, and the never-ending clearing away of rubbish.  (We find it extremely odd that people who visit this pristine area – presumably because they enjoy it – then not only find it necessary to leave their rubbish behind but to also damage or remove the trail markers.)     Cick here to read the full report. You can also lend your support and keep all their hard work going by becoming a member of the Clarens Village Conservancy.  Click here to find out more.


The Clarens Village Conservancy – Environmental Impact

Upgrading of Clarens Water Treatment Works:

Clarens Village Conservancy Environmental Impact Study I’m sure that most Clarenites are totally unaware of the work carried out by the Clarens Village Conservancy in looking after the Clarens environment in general.   Committee members not only keep an eye on the Clarens Village Nature Reserve, and the Clarens Village Recycling Centre, as well as the Working on Fire team, but also keep an eye on developments and planned developments in our area.   Earlier last week committee members Louw van Biljon and Toni B Walters met with Paul Scherzer of  E & D Consulting Services to discuss what environmental and visual impact of the proposed upgrade of the  Clarens Water Treatment works. would have on Clarens.   Click here to learn more about the proposed upgrade of the Clarens Water Treatment upgrade.  Please note that should you wish to participate in this process you need register and comment before the 9th June, 2013.


Sungazers:  Our gorgeous Free State Dragons

Clarens News Sungazer Clarens News received the following letter from Dr Ian Little, Manager, Threatened Grrassland Species Programme, Endangered Wildlife Trust

Hi All  We want to recognise the Sungazer as South Africa’s national lizard! We realise it seems like spam but we really need your vote and it’ll only take 1 minute. Please join us in this ground breaking initiative. You can be one of the key people to make this happen! Please sign the petition and pass it on to all of your contacts, regardless of their background or interests. This is important to all of us.  Thank you

I’ve been led to believe that these wonderful dragons occur in our area (although I confess I haven’t actually seen one yet.) We’ve been surfing the net to find out a bit more.  Click here for more information.   AND if you happen to spot one – please let us know:


Paballo’s Nursing Sisters:  They’ll be back soon!  

Paballo’s Nursing Sisters:  They’ll be back soon!The sisters will be back at worK from  8.45am on Monday 9th June 2014Click here to see more notices on the Community Bulletin Board Click here for more information on Paballo’s Nursing CarePaballo’s Nursing Care @ Clarens has one nursing sister available for a position as live in night companion/nurse, this is due to the sad passing of one of our dear patients. For more details, please contact Dawn Wainwright at 058 256 1037 or 083 635 5881.


Restaurant Specials:

Monday – Friday:  The Posthouse breakfast! Sart the day on the right note.  The Posthouse Breakfast ranges from R22 – R30, and includes tea and coffee. Monday:  Protea Hotel: 17h00 – 19h00:  Soup and Sherry specials (R35) includes assorted breads and and the 1st sherry free.We also have periodic cake specials at R35 for cake and coffee/hot chocolate/cuppachino. Wednesday:  Friends Happy Hour from 20h00 to 21h00.  Live music. Wednesday:  Brambleberry @ The Ash (Old Cranford):  Burger and Pizza Specials Thursday:   Golden Age Day at Bon Appetit Bistro: (Rosemary Centre) Every Thursday (except Public Holidays) is now “Golden Age Day” @ Bon Appetit Bistro. If you are in the Golden Age (over 65 years old), come enjoy Breakfast (served all day), a light lunch, tea, coffee or cake and get 10% discount on your bill.  Open from 9.30am till 4.00pm. Thursday:  Brambleberry:  Happy Hour 17h30 to 18h30 followed by two-course meal special Friday:  Courtyard: Specials at the Cafe every friday from 12 noon, and at the Restaurant every friday evening from 18h00 Friday:  The Highlander: Happy Hour from 17h30 to 18h30. Need to make a booking?   Click here for a list of Restuarant telephone numbers


Coming Events: 12th June, 2014:  Wine Tasting

Clarens News Morgenhof EstateWine Tasting Event



Coming Events: 14 – 16 June, 2014  Tanya Jansen Exhibition and Live Painting

Clarens News Tanja Jansen exhibition     Click here For more information


Coming Events:  26 June 2014 : Brel meets Hardy

Clarens News Supper Theatre Brel meets Hardy

Coming Events:  27 June 2014 :Rocky Horror Party Nite

Clarens News Rocky Horror Party


Coming Events: 2015 Beer Fest:  27 and 28 February 2015

NO – It’s not too early to make a note in your diary!   Clarens Beer Fest 2015 Clarens Brewery : As with this year, we appeal to accommodation owners to try and reserve their accommodation for beer festival goers. It made an huge difference to the festival this year and we are very grateful to them for supporting the festival in such a positive way.


Coming Events: Clarens Country Market – every Saturday

Remember to visit the Clarens Country Market on Saturday.   10am – 3pm, outside Bibliophile, Church Street.


Coming Events: Always something happening in Clarens.

As you can see – we’ve got lots of supper theatre happening this month.  But that’s not all…… Click here:  For more information on what’s  happening in Clarens.



A “must have” for anyone who loves Clarens


Clarens capsNote from Rolf Schlub: I have now made another run of 100 Clarens-Clarens caps.

They are available from either Renel at the grocery shop or from Dean &

Maureen at the Maluti Tours at R 75.- each.

The proceeds will again go to someone local who deserves financial support.

To all Guesthouse owners, please tell your guests about this great souvenir.

Every local resident should have one also.

Springbok rugby

Watch all the action at one of our local Clarens pubs (and if you want to watch it on a big screen go to Artichoke).  The atmosphere is great –   almost like being at the game! Rugby

Municipal Rates:

On a rather sad note:  The Clarens Village Ratepayers Association advise that Clarens July Municipal accounts will show a 6% increase.



The Classifieds page on the website has some very interesting ads.   Need a washing machine, a house to rent, or a carpenter to fix up that old furniture?  Click here to have a look. to place your ad on this page.


Making Clarens News Work for you:

Clarens News is here for you to enjoy, use, and to promote all things Clarens.  Click here to have a look at our new website:  You may notice that we haven’t got all the listings loaded yet, but in the meantime you can get a good idea of what the website is all about. to discuss how to go about getting your business listed.

Last thought:  Today is the  70th Anniversary of D- Day. (June 6 1944)

The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations on 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the Allied invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.


Not on the mailing list?

Click here to sign up