Environment News

Stop stealing the plants!

Michele du Plessis

Cathy Rees is a very keen and knowledgeable gardener.  “Last Spring we decided that our legacy to Sabie would be to rejuvenate the Town’s market square gardens and to that end, Cathy has dedicated her personal time and funds to try to make them more beautiful.  She continues to do so on an on-going basis as time and funds allow and she is looking forward to Spring when she can really resume planting in earnest,” Captain Gwilym Rees said.

“I was really looking forward to Spring. In the meantime, I have recently also started working on the garden below the “Lollypop” sign at the entrance to Mount Anderson because this is the first “welcome” that many of our visitors see.  My only motivation is to make Sabie a more beautiful place for our tourists and residents alike,” Cathy Rees said.

“However, she is devastated because on or about the night of June 27th, someone stole plants that she put in the ground below the “Lollypop” sign only the week before.  Whoever did this should be ashamed of themselves.  Not only have they stolen from Cathy and denigrated her hard work, but they have stolen from Sabie – a town that we have a great passion for,” Captain Rees said.

Shortly after GPS News spoke to Gwilym and Cathy Rees, the plant thieves went back on two more occasions to steal more plants. “We cannot believe it!  People have been back to the “Lollypop Garden” twice more and have stolen even more plants.  So, that’s three times in all.  They have even broken some of the rocks on the curb (probably because they simply leaned out of the vehicle door to pull the plants out so as not to be caught?).  Cathy is way beyond being devastated.  We do this for our love of Sabie and this is what we get in return? I cannot believe that some people in Sabie are so insensitive.  We put up a poster at Spar, expressing our disappointment.  This surely has to be someone from Mt Anderson who drives past the garden each day,” Captain Rees stated.

“On top of that, Thelma Hawkes (just turned 93; the widow of the late Jeff Hawkes who did so much for Sabie and those in the Townships, both in his own right and also through the Chamber) told Cathy last Friday that she would like to dedicate the “Lollypop Garden” to Jeff – she drives past it every day.  In my mind, that means that those who steal from it are desecrating it, apart from stealing from us and from Sabie.  How low can one go?” Cathy retorted.

“We work so hard to make Sabie a better place and it is absolutely shameful that someone should harm those efforts by stealing the plants.  We appeal to whoever did this to refrain from the theft of our plants.  If your conscience dictates and you want to put them back, please just place them back at the garden and send me an anonymous message on 082 652 5400.  I will then go and re-plant them. For those who want plants without stealing, you can go to Sinus on the road towards Klipkraal and get plants from him at a very reasonable price,” Cathy concluded.

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