Hobbiton Jubilee Newsletter, 29th October 2019

Our focus in this edition of the Hobbiton Jubilee Newsletter is to pay tribute to staff members, especially Josh Paton; and an invitation to enter for the Hobbiton Fund-raising cycle race on Saturday 14 December 2019. To download this newsletter in PDF format, click here

Staff Tributes: The end of an era – Joshua Fergus Paton

We pay tribute to two decades of committed leadership of Hobbiton by Josh Paton. He has decided to take up a post overseas, so ends a
special and significant age for Hobbiton. It has been an age of pioneering, growth and transformation, and of continuing the vision of a ‘holiday in heaven’ for those who can’t afford holidays. He was a major part of the significance of a Hobbiton holiday camp. Hobbiton will always be a part of Josh and his family; and they will always be a part of Hobbiton.

Josh came to Hobbiton in 1998 from being Deputy Principal of Davidson School in Alice. His visionary spirit ensured the development of the new system of Group Dynamics which he presented at the world annual Association for Challenge Course Technology conference in Europe in 2004. He was pivotal in developing the Fairewood entre.

The staff thanks him for all which they learnt from him and wishes him all the best with his and his family’s new adventure.

Dedicated Staff: Maintenance Manager – Andile John Madondile

In 1982 John joined his father who had been at Hobbiton for 10 years. In 1986 he started with maintenance tasks. During Outward Bound’s term with Hobbiton he was sent to Lesotho for Instructor training. On returning he decided to do maintenance work.

He has trained the staff and ensured that they understand the mission of Hobbiton and the need for the centre always to be at its best. During the last 33 years he has learnt and maintained various crucial maintenance tasks which include plumbing, welding, alien invasive clearing, electrical, car maintenance, building maintenance and generally ensuring that everything works and that the grounds are always well maintained.

We are privileged to have such committed, hardworking staff as part of our crew.

Alicia Williams – Senior Instructor

After two years of pursuing other avenues Alicia returned to Hobbiton in 2003. She worked herself up to the role of Senior Instructor and therefore was responsible for training and assisting with the volunteer Instructors.

She was also pivotal in the establishment of the Bright Light Project which sponsored one day of the Under Privileged Children’s Camp and focused on self-employment skills, environmental challenges and solutions. We wish her all the best for the future.

Advertisement for the Post of COO

The Board will be advertising the position of COO of the Hobbiton Association as from January 2020. All interested candidates should check for the advertisement on the Hobbiton webpage. We look forward to professional, energetic applicants who are committed to continue the impressive legacy of Hobbiton. Applications in writing should be sent to the Chairman of the Board by 18 November 2019.

Board News

Fairewood Owner Len Kruiskamp – Board Member and Chairman

Hobbiton branched out to our Makhanda (Grahamstown) Centre, Fairewood, in 2006. As Len had a lease on the land and wanted to be involved in Hobbiton he joined the Board. His love for the African bushveld inspired him to include a variety of game on Fairewood and therefore enabled the children to see eland, springbok and zebra up close.

The Hobbiton Association Board pays tribute to his service on the Board where he was Chairman and Treasurer. He served the Association for over a decade. He has now decided to devote his time to the Fairewood Adventure camp.

Milanda Coetzer, another Board member and Vice-chairman this year, has also decided to end her period on the Board. We thank these two sincere members for their contribution.

We congratulate Andrew Stevens on becoming the new Chairman of the Board.