“MHC Christmas Party”
Mark and Mary’s farm, ‘Chiarella’, Karkloof
3 December 2006
Report by: Irene Wisdom

Like the past few years the Christmas party was held at this stunning venue - Mark and Mary’s farm, ‘Chiarella’ in the Karkloof area, and like the previous years the weather was beautiful. Hildegard and myself arrived late morning and the braai fires were already burning. People sat about chatting, enjoying the lovely view of the dam while others had a refreshing swim in the dam.

On arrival we were given labels for our orienteering team and a number for lucky draws and Christmas presents. We enjoyed our leisurely braai lunch then arranged ourselves into three teams for the orienteering competition. Some members had set the game up earlier and sat out. There was a different colour pen at each mark we had to find and we had to prove we’d found it by marking our paper with the pen. Each team elected a leader and were given instructions to take so many paces south, west, etc to find the marks. It’s a big help in this game if you know south from north etc. – not my strong point! – luckily our leader, Margaret Usher, was a star at this. We came in second, not too far behind the winning team. The third team though seemed to have gone AWOL – search parties were sent out, but they turned up none the worse about half an hour later – some wrong turning taken along the way which gave them a bit of a longer walk than the rest of us. The heat was taking it’s toll and we were ready for a well earned swim, and a few refreshments.
Father Christmas and the Christmas fairy were due to arrive next to give out the Christmas presents. Members had brought a small gift for ±R15 with them and they all went into a sack. When your number was called you could choose a gift and after opening it if you prefered someone else’s gift you could swop and give them yours. There was much hilarity with this game as present’s did their rounds.

Next was prize givings and lucky draws. The winning orienteering team won a bottle of champagne. There were various prizes - Alison and Moira received prizes for their write ups, Dave Scandlers won both first and second prize for best photo – (bit dodgy sounding? – but judged by outside photo shop!). Next there were lucky draw prizes, don’t remember them all but Lyn won a MHC golf shirt and Tony and myself were very lucky to win free tickets for Karkloof canopy rides.
Afternoon tea/coffee followed with selection of goodies brought by members to share. Some of us had another swim or a go on the foofy slide. Grethe had first go and did her trapeze act right to the other side of the dam with much applause.

A few others had a go dropping off for a swim in the dam. Gradually people were leaving, and it was time for goodbyes after a very enjoyable day. Thanks to Mark and Mary for the use of their beautiful venue once again, and to Keith and Margaret and everyone else who helped set things up.