Bargain Books celebrated its 20th birthday countrywide a week or two back and as a birthday gift to its customers it offered a 20% discount. Bargain Books Port Alfred was no exception and many residents and visitors took advantage of the offer to stock up on good reads.
Local muso (which in this case doubles/triples up as museum lover/curator and music lover/amateur musician) Sue Gordon took the opportunity to make a generous donation of colourful early-learning books to Auntie Evelyn’s aftercare in Nieu Bethesda.
In 2000, Auntie Evelyn, a lifetime resident of Nieu Bethesda, was inspired by a religious experience to start a soup kitchen and restaurant in the coloured residential area on the edge of the little Karoo town. She consulted the locals, who were very enthusiastic about the idea. Nieu Bethesda’s coloured population numbers about 1000, and most are descendants of the Bushmen who lived in the area centuries ago.
As with all good ideas converted into business plans, the road was anything but smooth, but today Auntie Evelyn’s restaurant is a popular tourist spot and her soup kitchen feeds between 60 and 80 hungry tummies every month. She also provides lunch packs for school children – only if they can prove that they are attending school and not playing truant. Her strict policy on providing school lunch packs is carried through to the soup kitchen, in that she expects every person who benefits from her charity and hard work to do their bit in making sure that the restaurant and its facilities stay clean, tidy and in good repair.
She and her two daughters recently started providing an aftercare and homework space for children who would otherwise be home alone in the afternoons, and it was this that drew her attention to the fact that many of the learners reach matric not being able to read their mother tongue – Afrikaans. She started appealing for Afrikaans foundation-phase books, in particular, for children who spend their afternoons with her. (Needless to say, the town library has long since closed down.)
A big thank you to Sue Gordon and The Announcer for supporting this worthwhile venture and happy birthday to Bargain Books, who helped to stretch our budget.
Bargain Books has been supplying the people of Port Alfred with quality affordable books for about ten years, ever since Rosehill Mall opened its doors. Their hours are 09h00 – 17h30 Monday to Friday, 09h00 – 16h00 on Saturday and 09h00 – 13h00 on Sunday.