Conquering the Arch at the Moses Mabhida Stadium wearing the Standard diving dress of the early 1900 divers weighing 70 kgs
I immigrated to Durban, South Africa 7 years ago to live with my South African wife who I met in Durban, Joe Kools – 15 years ago whilst serving in the British Royal Navy.
I started my career in the Royal Navy as a Gunner and then became a Mine Clearance Diver.
I proposed to my wife in December 2008, and we started planning our wedding….. However, we could not agree on a venue. By chance while returning from an offshore diving job I saw the “Elephant whisperer” book by Lawrence Anthony in the Airport lounge. I initially hesitated to purchase this book and then felt a strong urge to buy it – in fact it turned out to be one of the best things I ever did – it has changed our lives for the better.
I read the book on a flight from work from Johannesburg and throughout that weekend.
I then planned a few days to Thula Thula Game reserve in Zululand thinking it would be a great break and also a good opportunity to check it out as a wedding venue.
My wife and I were not disappointed. Francoise and her staff gave us a five star welcome and we were treated like royalty.
There was something very unique and special about Thula Thula game reserve. After that weekend we decided to set the wedding venue at Thula Thula game reserve. By far the best decision we ever made.
After leaving Thula Thula, we drove away with something we had not expected to leave with…nothing in the boot of the car but something in our hearts and in our souls had been touched by the South African bush, the scents, the sounds and of course the Elephants and Rhinos that inhabited this magical place.
Having read this book and experiencing Thula Thula, I decided to do more to help raise funds and awareness for our endangered wildlife here in South Africa.
So from there I decided the best thing for me was to use my ability to do endurance events to raise funds for the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation. (www.earthorganization.org)
Last year, I ran along the beach from Durban Harbour to “Beach Bums” in Tongaat – 46 kms taking 6 hours. The funds raised were used for educational material – distributed around the rural settlements outside the game reserves. This leaflet assisted in the education of the local communities about the natural wealth and heritage that belongs to us all and how we must protect it.
Last year I spoke to Francoise about their initiative to build the first and only Rhino Rehabilitation centre here in KZN, South Africa and their need for funds.
I walked away wondering how can I help? What unique fundraising event could I do to help this worthy cause?
So I came up with the idea to walk over the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa – wearing the Standard diving dress of the early 1900’s diver’s weighing 70 kgs.
Breakdown of weight per item:
Siebi Gorman diving helmet, circa 1900’s – 21 kgs
Replica Siebi Gorman diving suit – 5 kgs
Chest and back weights -22 kgs (11 kgs each)
Siebi Gorman Knife & Sheath circa 1950’s – 1 kg
Siebi Gorman Torch circa 1950’s – 1kg
Lead soled diving boots – 20kgs a pair (10kgs each)
Total = 70 kgs
This event will be mentally and physically demanding and shall take me around 3-4 hours to complete.
I shall start to walk around the outside of the stadium from the Sky Cart to the base of the arch where I shall walk up the 106m high arch and the 500 steps to the top of the stadium.
Then take a few minutes to enjoy the 360º scenery of Durban on the viewing platform and then finally down the Sky cart to finish the challenge.
It sounds hard work and it will be hard work. But if you feel in your heart strongly enough about something then you will get through anything.
I have started on a very different training routine than I normally do, to build up my leg muscles and shoulders.
My training routine of 2-3hrs per day entails skipping, walking up and down stairs with 70kgs on my back, squats, press ups, swimming for cardio vascular and breathing techniques.
My reasons for doing this is so that I can raise funds towards The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization to help build the first Rhino Rehabilitation centre in Zululand, KZN, South Africa.
Along with much needed awareness in the plight of our Rhino’s and Elephants in South Africa and the wildlife trafficking that is affecting the whole of the African continent.
Sometimes you have to do something a little different to get people’s attention. To get them excited and talking about the event and what it is for and give them the opportunity to dream and see that anything is possible.
You can follow my efforts via Facebook “Tusks and Horns” and I invite you to please Share my event to all your friends and together we can make the difference that is needed to help those that need it most and become part of something special.
Come along and watch this mad Englishman shuffling along at a snail’s pace…while you eat at one of the many restaurants at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
I thank you for your support in my endeavours and I shall keep you all posted during the build up to the day.
Please give your support by donating via the website links below and enter the reference “Diver” on the drop down button.
You can also go on to the Thula Thula website and Donate there, also using the “Diver” reference option.
TEO nonprofit registration 2004/026715/08
Public Beneficiary Organization (PBO) 930033558
TAPAS OYSTER BOX STYLE
With nobody travelling internationally at the moment The Oyster Box’s Executive Chef, Kevin Joseph and his culinary Team, decided to take guests to exotic places through their food instead. So the Flavour-cation concept was born. Through a variety of food experiences ‘flavour vacations’ are put together to showcase exciting new tastes… literally on our doorstep.
With the Tapas menu (Spanish word for small savoury dishes), each item, has a main ingredient and everything else on the plate contributes to the overall taste sensation. “We looked at what is popular with diners,” says Chef Joseph, “such as oysters, prawns, sharing platters etc. and then added our own taste profile and flair to each dish, to give it an Oyster Box twist. The babotie spring rolls are an example; our steamed buns are baked in-house; the Oysters harvested from our own beds and the pear chutney and hummus cooked from scratch.” The menu also offers ample choice for Vegetarians.
Tapas will be on offer in The Lighthouse and Oyster Bars until the end of November, with new and exciting dishes being added to the menu on an ongoing basis, so that our guests always have something new to look forward to.
Alongside the menu, a wide selection of wine, beer, Champagne and sparkling wine is on offer. A special mention should be made of the House Wine Selection, from our internationally-acclaimed sister winery, Bouchard Finlayson in the Hemel en Aarde Valley in Hermanus. Known for producing exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and renowned Pinot Noirs.
The TAPAS Menu is served in The Lighthouse and Oyster Bars from 12:00-19:30 daily.
Booking is essential on 031 514 5000 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
HIGH DAYS & HOLIDAYS AT THE OYSTER BOX
Plan ahead for the winter holidays in South Africa’s warmest province and celebrate the festive season early at The Oyster Box.
There’s something for everyone this July.
– There’s no doubt that Christmas 2020 was a fairly low-key event compared to the usual festivities The Oyster Box is known for. To make up for it, their food and beverage team is promising more fun and festivity during the month of July, than we’ve seen for a while…AND it includes a Christmas celebration…Yes, in July!
They are also going ‘glam’ in true Oyster Box style, for one of the country’s most prestigious horse-racing events, The Vodacom Durban July.
So, get your hat on and don’t miss the chance to join us in this ‘sport of kings’ event on Saturday 3 July.
Treat yourself to our legendary Crayfish and Prawn Cocktail and a complimentary glass of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel from Monday to Sunday, 12h00-19h00 in The Oyster Bar at R390.00 per person.
Celebrate the Vodacom Durban July at The Oyster Box – 3 July 2021
Let Executive Chef Kevin Joseph bring the Vodacom Durban July to you this year, with all the elegance and style you’d expect on the big day! Dress to the theme, get to know more about the jockeys and their mounts and stand a chance to win a variety of prizes during the course of the day.
Pick the most Winners and stand a chance to win a night’s stay at The Oyster Box. Drinks and luxury canapes on arrival in the Durban July Room from 11h00, followed by a traditional braai and accompaniments on the Lighthouse Bar Terrace from 13h00. A bottomless gin bar will be available with a DJ keeping the punters’ spirit’s up.
From Monday to Sunday 5-31 July, The Oyster Box Christmas in July Ski Lodge is back in the Lighthouse Bar, from 12h00-19h00 daily. With Live music on a Saturday and Sunday at lunchtime with Rob Warren performing Christmas and contemporary rock , the nostalgic atmosphere of a mountain ski-lodge is brought to you Durban-style. Choose between one of our three gourmet Christmas Subs (Gammon, Turkey or Roast Beef), served with a Ciroc Christmas cocktail at R250 per person.
On Wednesday 7 July, the Rebels of Black Elephant Vintners & Co, pair 13 of their wines with a musical soundtrack of their lives. Strong supporting line-up provided by Executive Chef Kevin Joseph and his Kitchen Team, from 18h00-21h00 in the Oyster Bar. Cost is R590.00 per person.
One of Durban’s most respected Cocktail Mixologists, Haroon Haffajee brings his innovative magic to the Wonderful World of Whisky at The Oyster Box on Wednesday 14 July 2021. Drinks in the Oyster Bar on arrival at 18h00, with dinner in The Grill Room from 18h30. The four-course sensory experience will feature whiskies from the Diageo World Class portfolio, paired with Haroon’s inimitable style, at R690.00 per person.
Finally…a chance to celebrate the Festive Season that wasn’t!! Join us for a traditional Christmas in July lunch on Sunday 25 July 2021 on the Ocean Terrace from 12h00-15h00. With live music by Leon, a visit from Santa and entertainment for kiddies, you’re in for a fun time. Adults are R690.00 per person and R350.00 for Kids under 12 years.
The monthly Wine Wednesday food and wine evenings are back, with different South African wine estates hosting the monthly dinner, in conjunction with Executive Chef, Kevin Joseph and his Kitchen Brigade. The evening kicks-off at 18h00 in The Oyster Bar with canapes (first course) and a welcome drink at individual tables. Guests move to The Grill Room at 18h30 for dinner, with an explanation from the Chef about the Menu and comments from the Farm representative on the various pairings, throughout the evening. Wines from the featured estate will be available to order on the evening.
July’s event on Wednesday 28 July features French-style wines from Morgenster Estate and a French-inspired menu courtesy of The Oyster Box. Family-owned and family-run, Morgenster has a long history dating back 300 years. Situated near the foothills of the Helderberg Mountain in Somerset West, the property produces award-winning Bordeaux-styled wines, Italian cultivars and extra virgin olive oil.
EXCEPTIONAL DINING AT THE OYSTER BOX
* High Tea in The Palm Court – Inspired by the hotel’s original architecture and with chandeliers purchased from the Savoy Hotel in London, High Tea at The Oyster Box is a lengthy, leisurely affair. Live piano music provides the perfect backdrop to tea. High Tea is served daily at the following times: Mondays – Fridays from 14h30 – 17h00. Saturdays and Sundays, 12h00-14h00 & 15h00-17h00. Cost is R390.00 per person.
* Legendary Breakfast in the Ocean Terrace – With al fresco tables offering panoramic Indian Ocean sea views and regular sightings of passing whales and dolphins, the generous breakfast buffet which includes fresh Oysters and Sparkling Wine, is the perfect way to start your day. Breakfast is served from 07h00-10h30 daily at R450.00 per person.
*The Curry Buffet in the Ocean Terrace – Continues to attract fans from far and wide. Set in the Mediterranean-inspired Ocean Terrace, with gorgeous views across the Indian Ocean, the impressive curry selection, of at least 11 curries daily, includes meat, fish and vegetarian options. Using delicate blends of spices and fresh herbs…each curry is a masterpiece in itself. The Curry Buffet is open for lunch and dinner from 12h00-20h30 at R390.00 per person.
Versatile muso Leon, provides Live Music from Thursday to Saturday evening and on a Sunday at lunchtime.
Due to current covid protocols, reservations are essential. Dinner bookings are available from 17h00-19h30 and Lunch bookings from 12h00-15h00.
For enquiries and to book for one of the events, contact Restaurants on (031) 514 5000 or by e-mail on email@example.com
Cake & Prosecco Class at Old Town Italy
Join Old Town Italy on the first Saturday of every month for a fun Cake-Decorating class, hosted by renowned bakers at our adored Old Town Italy stores 🎂
Start your morning at 10am, where you will learn a series of cake decorating techniques while sipping on refreshing Prosecco 🥂
This class includes your own cake to decorate and take home, Prosecco and a selection of Old Town High Tea treats.
See upcoming dates below:
5 June – Marble Buttercream
Price: R650 per person
Limited tickets available at each store
Enquire in store or contact us directly to book & find out more info:
firstname.lastname@example.org | 031 566 5008
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