The SA Navy visits Knysna

Article and photos by CPO J.G. Grant

The Knysna parade over the weekend of 14 to 16 July 2017 had special significance for Parade Commander, Lieutenant Commander M. Ranaka. She is a local who started out as a Cadet and consequently joined the Navy, so, it was a proud moment for her and the people of Knysna as she led the parade into town for the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.

Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies during the inspection

Friday 14 July started on a misty note. This, however, did not deter the crowds who viewed the Freedom of Entry Parade. The Mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies, who inspected the parade, thanked the crowds and participants and spoke fondly of the bond between the town and the Navy. “Over the last 20 years, at least 50 people had passed through the local Cadet Unit and went on to serve in the Navy”, she said.

AB Mtsewu and AB September adding the final touches

Captain Louw enjoying the final Navy Band concert

Rear Admiral (Junior Grade) J.T. Dlamini expressed appreciation for the involvement and assistance of other SA National Defence Force Arms of Service, particularly the SA Air Force. He invited the public to visit the SA Navy’s Riverine Patrol Boat, which was berthed at the Waterfront and manned by the Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) contingent.

Dorothy Broster Child and Youth Care Centre members receiving their donation

LS Mgijima and AB Leballo painting and listening to music


Lt Cdr Renaka leading the march past

PO Aucamp and LS Bezuidenhout showing off the RPB

Members from the MRS also visited a crèche in a local township called Bongani where they revamped, repaired and painted the building of the Bongani Pre School. Officer Commanding MRS, Captain S.M. Louw and his entourage also handed over sanitary towels to the Dorothy Broster Child and Youth Care Centre.

The Knysna Oyster Festival ended on a high note on Sunday 16 July in spite of the stormy conditions. The renowned Navy Band in conjunction with the Cadets performed a soul warming concert.

WO 2 Tsolo leading by example

WO 2 Magubane entertaining the crowd

During a rendition of Brenda Fassie’s Weekend Special, the audience could not contain themselves and took to the stage to express their exuberance.

The Navy’s continued presence at the festival not only serves to attract visitors who contribute to the economic growth of the town but also gave a little bit of hope in the face of the recent devastating fires.

Cadets at the final concert