A special women’s month celebration in Hibberdene

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The Ugu Cluster Women’s Network hosted a Women’s Month commemoration function on Friday, 12 August. It was a beautiful, sunny day and The Mercury Hibberdene Children’s Holiday Home, situated close to the beach away from noisy traffic, was the perfect venue for the event. The UGU Cluster Women’s Network Champion, Lieutenant Colonel Theresa Pillay and her team had secured the venue and arranged the catering and social activities for the day for the more than eighty women who attended from the various police stations within the UGU Cluster.

The day’s activities began with an invigorating Zumba workout session with licensed  Zumba instructor, Ms Shereen Paul. Shereen never seemed to tire and did not hesitate to get back on the grounds when the women requested a second session which everybody thoroughly enjoyed. This was followed by a number of team building exercises directed by Mr. Sherlock Sithole, popularly known as “Uncle Sher” to the children who visit the home. Sherlock took the women through the games, explaining their relevance to the challenges and difficulties we face in our everyday lives and at the workplace. The games helped broaden the women’s outlook towards life and to appreciate other people’s viewpoints as well. All the games and activities helped build camaraderie among all who attended.

Formalities commenced thereafter with Lieutenant Colonel Theresa Pillay formally welcoming everyone and explaining the purpose and importance of the function. She also doubled as programme director and at regular intervals, read out motivational and inspirational quotations by great and famous leaders. The keynote address was by the UGU Cluster Commander, Major General Agnes Nxamagele who gave a very insightful and motivational talk on how she rose from humble beginnings, studied and worked up the ranks in the South African Police Service to the rank of Major General. She stressed on the importance of studying and acquiring skills and knowledge necessary for climbing up the corporate ladder. She joined the police in 1986 and set a goal that she has achieved. She reflected on the 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings 60 years ago in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women and paid tribute to them. She advised the women present to be as determined, courageous and committed as they were and to follow their dreams and listen to the inner voice within themselves. She asked them not to sit back in their comfort zones and wither away but rather to strive for progress.

Major General Agnes Nxamagele delivering the keynote address

Major General Nxamagele lit a candle of hope in memory of those who have fallen and shared that light with every other woman in the venue while sharing a moment in prayer. The function, which was an astounding success, ended with all the women enjoying a sumptuous lunch and socializing thereafter. The Mercury Hibberdene Children’s Home administrator, Ms Charmaine Barnwell, celebrated her birthday  on the day of the function and together with the General, cut the 60th Anniversary cake. Chairmaine was responsible for the catering and décor. She also, out of the goodness of her heart, handed each woman a gift bag of goodies. Lieutenant Colonel Pillay extended her gratitude and appreciation to all who made the function possible.

A special moment: Major General Agnes Nxamagele with her candle from which all the other candles were lit…

 

Captain Shakila Singh lights her candle from that of Warrant Officer Pam Moonsamy.

 

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