Adversity, it is said, often brings out the best in people and nowhere has this been better exemplified than at the Sardinia Bay Golf & Wildlife Estate during the coronavirus lockdown.
Resident Jane Robertson says they are fortunate to be part of an estate where there is such a strong sense of community, especially while facing the challenges of Covid-19.
This spirit is epitomised by Gill Tustin’s approach during lockdown, she says.
“Gill put out a challenge on the estate for everyone to paint a rock and put it at one of the trees on the golf course that we have named Sunset Tree.
“The idea is to create community awareness and positivity during this period. Many of the residents have taken up the challenge and report that the project has lifted their spirits.”
She says there were many other examples of community service among the estate dwellers.
“One of our residents mows not only his lawn, but those of two of his physically disabled neighbours as well.”
Apart from supporting each other, people on the estate have pulled together to look after the wellbeing of members of the greater Port Elizabeth community.
“We are blessed to be living among neighbours who are caring and kind,” says Jane. “Many care for older folk off the estate by doing their weekly shopping or taking them to the doctor, while others played their part by making donations to the Covid relief funds of churches and NGOs.”
One resident, Rita Wiseman, has made a huge number of face masks for use at hospitals as well as twiddle muffs for the stimulation of Alzheimer’s patients’ restless hands.
Kim Broedelet and Corliet Conradie set up a system of generating food parcels and donations for the Covid Food Relief Group, which is run by the Westering Methodist Church.
Others are donating food, which is arranged into parcels by Sue Hoffman and delivered weekly to charity organisations Walmer Angels and Help a Fellow.
In addition, Robertson says their hard-working gate guards were given food and treats by the residents, while the refuse collection employees received tins of food.
There is also Donna Watson who collects food for Animal Welfare and Vanessa Dunbar who gathers old clothes for the needy.
In an incident that reinforces the ethos of the estate’s residents to live in harmony with the wildlife in their midst, Michelle Hughes was the catalyst for restoring to better health a monkey covered in paint.
She noticed the animal in her garden and called Monkey Matters, who helped capture the animal. Samson, as he was named, was taken to the vet for a deep cleanse under sedation.
After receiving a clean bill of health, he was returned to his troop.