By PETER ROSE
St Cyprian’s Church at Highlands is kicking off celebrations for its 130th anniversary at its Country Fair – the first since the Covid pandemic – on 11 September 2022. Celebrations will climax at next year’s Country Fair, held on the festival of the church’s Patron Saint, St Cyprian.
The Fair starts at 11.30 am, immediately after the annual Patronal Eucharist Service at 10 am. A special event is taking place at the service this year. The Bishop of Grahamstown will dedicate a beautifully crafted Cedar Cross to the church’s founders. They had renovated an old stone building used by the Cape Railway while constructing the line from Alicedale in the 1870s. The congregation, who had been meeting for years in the Highlands Station Waiting Room, moved to the new building in 1893. A Cedar tree planted in front of the church building around this time had to be removed last year as it was dying and threatened the church building. Wood from the old tree was used to make a three-metre Cedar Cross, and this has been hung on the rear wall of the Church.
The St Cyprian’s Fair has become a popular event in country life around Makhanda and has been much missed by the community over the last two years. Although the Fair is an excellent day in the country for children, with lots to do and valuable downtime for minders, adults can enjoy superb lunches and teas, a pub, fresh produce, books and farm produce. The animal touch farm is open to everyone, with feeding lambs, Jumbo and Rhubarb, the friendly St Cyps donkeys, a treasure hunt, face painting, candy floss, pancakes, and a tombola.
An exciting array of items – including, for example, geese, guinea fowls, wine, a game drive, and a hunt on a game farm – will be auctioned at around 1 pm. Funds raised at the Fair support the Holy Cross School at the old Monastery, providing primary education for families living along Highlands Road and Makhanda.
The Fair is a day of fun and relaxation in the countryside. To get there from Makhanda, preferably use the Alicedale Road turn off from the N2 and follow the signs. The direct Highlands gravel road might have been graded by then, but it is not in good condition just now. For full details, visit the website.