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Dickie Fritz Shellhole hosts annual fete

“We need the support of the community and former service members; there is always a need for new Moths.”

Community members are invited to a day of community fun and remembrance as Dickie Fritz Shellhole hosts its annual fete and remembrance parade.

Set to be held at the shellhole on November 4, the fete will start at 09:00 and the parade at 10:30 for 11:00.

The parade will remember and honour those who fought in North Africa during World War Two, specifically the Battle of Sidi Rezegh in Libya.

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The Old Bill of the shellhole, Glenn Guthbertson, said the event will be held to raise funds for the Memorable Order of Tin Hats (Moths) Ex-Servicemen Cottages Association.

Veterans formed the order after World War One to keep veterans together and allow them to look after and support one another after the great war.

Glenn said the Moths needed the community to support them to raise funds and keep its doors open to continue caring for veterans and those under its care.

“We have the facility that we have to run, however, we do not get government subsidies or any help from government at all. Everything done at the Dickie Fritz facility is on a volunteer basis.”

Glenn said although he knows the economic situation is tough for everyone at the moment, it has been increasingly difficult for the shellhole and the cottage association.

With the rising cost of utilities, he said the association needs to find money to pay for all its bills. He said a lack of funding will lead to the closure of the facility.

“We need the support of the community and former service members; there is always a need for new Moths,” said Glenn.

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He said many of the men looking after the facilty are Moths, who have the welfare of the residents of the cottages in mind.

The facility comprises veterans who are Moths, members of the Moths Woman’s Auxiliary Association (Mothwa) as well as civilians.

The shellhole also has several former Rhodesian organisations such as the Rhodesian Light Infantry, the Selous Scouts, the Rhodesian Airforce, Sappers and the British South African Police.

He said on November 12 a Rhodesian All Forces parade will be held to commemorate Rhodesia’s declaration as an independent state on November 11, 1965.

Glenn explained if there are not enough Moths to fill the cottages, civilians may reside in them.

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“Essentially, it is an old age home. It does not have frail care facilities because of the associated expenses.”

Glenn said the objective of the cottage complex is to provide residents with a safe and dignified accommodation.
“The association has to make it happen,” emphasised Glenn.

He said each year the shellhole hosts the fête and parade to raise funds. Space for vendors, at this year’s fête is still available.

To raise additional funds, the shellhole is also showing screenings of the rugby and cricket world cups. Beverages will be on sale at the bar.

Every Wednesday, it hosts darts evenings from 17:30 onwards and braai days are held on Friday afternoons. He invited the community to attend both events.

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“The shellhole is not just for ex-servicemen, it is a place where community members can socialise,” explained Glenn.

He said facilities can be hired for birthdays, weddings, wakes and large functions.

Contact Val at 068 283 8588 or Jorge at 083 226 647 to book a stall or for more information about the fete.

Alternatively, visit Dickie Fritz Shellhole Facebook Page for more information.

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