NEWS CLIPS - June 2011

The new guard house is scheduled for completion this week but with all the rain completion will now only be achieved towards the end of the month. This is most disappointing as the original target date for completion was 11 June. Nonetheless the LIRA committee is satisfied with the standard of construction and that the finished product will meet the objectives originally set. These were recorded in our last issue of providing a comfortable and effective working environment, protective of our equipment, with decent ablutions and facilities for the guards enabling them to prepare beverages with microwave and wash up facilities.

It will be recalled that at a Special Meeting of Members held on 5 April comprehensive details covering background, design, cost estimates and the architectural, construction and LIRA management teams were provided, many questions answered and an overwhelming mandate to proceed with the project was obtained.
The LIRA committee is also satisfied with the estimated final cost as detailed below:

Building contract including deduction to cover sale price of old hut127560
Joinery, fittings and cupboards 20000
Disbursements, municipal costs and re-connection of cameras4000
Furniture and appliances 7500

In expressing complete satisfaction with the costing the LIRA committee refers members to the following:
  • The decision to build a timber frame hut was not made on the basis of cost - in fact these structures are normally slightly more expensive than traditional brick structures. It was made on the basis of speed of construction (regrettably not achieved) and the desired aesthetics – similar to the Small Boat Harbour club house.
  • A comparative quote from a reputable builder operating at the time on Leisure Isle was considerably higher. Another reputable builder who attended the general meeting ,that approved the proposal, expressed the view that the price was competitive and he felt that the builder was reputable.
  • Architect Andrew King confirmed that the building contract costs are in line with general building costs.
  • Actual hut costs per square metre are R8000. It must be emphasised that a rate per square metre comparison of a small 16 sqm structure against current house construction costs is a misleading exercise. The hut cost includes virtually the same number of high value cost items such as plumbing points, electrical DB/points, cupboards/granite worktops, aluminium doors and windows and external paving that would be included in the costs of a small house of say 100 sqm. This obviously serves to distort the R/sqm cost of the hut. If the calculation is based on covered roof area (i.e. including the patio) the cost per square metre is R5600.
The LIRA committee records its confidence in, and thanks to Paul Kotze, assisted by Johan De Bruyn and Mike St Quinton, for their sterling services during the construction process.


Although formally closed at R248483 the Appeal Fund will probably reach R250000. This is the amount approved at the Special General Meeting held on April 2011 for the security hut construction and the upgrading of the surrounding area. R159060 of this amount is absorbed by the security hut leaving the balance of R91000 for upgrade of the surrounds. Details regarding the latter are provided in the next article.
Entrance Refurbishment
A conceptual plan for the upgrading of the area surrounding the new Guard Hut has been approved by both the LIRA committee and the aesthetics committee of Knysna Municipality and will be implemented in August. The plan was developed by Architect Susan Kotze following agreement with her on the following brief:
  • Upgrade the entrance to Leisure Isle (modernise/update) and thereby improve the “first impression” (marketing) of the Island for all visitors and residents.
  • Maintain the character of the Island, which can be described as - organic/relaxed/informal/almost rural/nature reserve/natural/ understated.
  • Integrate the new security hut into the context of the Island, whilst maintaining optimum functionality and visibility for the guards.
  • Demarcate the positions/functions of all who use this area, including newspaper distribution, “labour” hitch hikers, advertising, joggers and day visitors/parking etc, buses and Allsound vehicles.
  • Upgrade/tidy-up the numerous poles, such as signs (stops/street), lights, cameras, road signs and the Island advertising map.
  • Control and maximize the use of signage in order to regulate the use of the Island by visitors
The general layout plan and elevation sketches are on view at the Leisure Isle Library in Cearn Hall whilst the elevation sketches are featured below. Broadly speaking the plan provides for a low curved stone wall in front of the guard hut, with the facility to hang white notice boards:

And another matching wall on the other side of the road with LEISURE ISLE signage in bold..

Signage and “poles” will be rationalised, minimised and the large map upgraded, lay-bye and parking areas will be more clearly and neatly demarcated and covered with stone chip and the gardened areas upgraded.

Costings still need to be finalised against the wish list and it is anticipated that the programme will be implemented within available funding of approx. R90000. Supervision will be undertaken by Paul Kotze, assisted by Johan De Bruyn and Mike St Quinton, all members of the LIRA committee.

Current Priorities of LIRA Committee
Your committee continues to meet on the first Tuesday of the month and you are encouraged to bring to its attention any matters of concern. Click here to send us your views.

In addition to the Security Hut and Entrance upgrade, current priorities of the Committee include:
  • the excessive rates burden borne by Leisure Isle,
  • assumption of the LIRA treasury function by James Botha,
  • encouraging all members to show the LIRA membership sign prominently outside their homes (new issue now available),
  • discussions with Michelle Wasserman (Ward 9 councilor and Deputy Mayor) and Esme Edge (Chair of Finance Com.) on infrastructure problems (particularly on-going maintenance plan for the sea wall and our roads). Michelle will now join the Steenbok Nature Reserve Management Committee.
  • rationalization of the camera system to improve functionality and reduce the number of poles,
  • enforcement of Municipal bye-laws and associated signage,
  • increasing environmental awareness and understanding of fishing and bait regulations,
  • upgrades at the east and west ends of Steenbok Nature Reserve,
  • persuading non-members to join LIRA,
  • ongoing liaison with Knysna Municipality re the upkeep of Leisure Isle.

Island Personalities
Our Leisure Isle website has a new feature called Island Personalities. In this section we will introduce some of the long-time residents of Leisure Isle, and they will share some of their life experiences and memories of life on the Island. We aim to feature a new resident each month, and invite suggestions about anyone who should be included. All articles will be archived to provide a repository of information about our varied and interesting Islanders.

Lucy Cooke is the first Islander to feature in our new series. Lucy first settled on Leisure Isle in 1972 and over the years her cheerful personality has become well known to many of us. She was our first local Estate Agent, and has lived in eight houses on the Island. Wherever she has gone she has created beautiful gardens. She has a great love for the Island, and has seen many changes.

Lucy’s story can be found by clicking here.

Website Gallery and Photo Competition
The response to our competition was encouraging and we thank all who submitted photographs to be used on our website and to be considered in the LIRA competition. We are delighted with the enthusiastic response to this initiative, as we are with the standard of all images submitted, whether selected for display or not.

Congratulations to Shelley Godsell who was selected as the overall winner. Here Shelley is seen receiving from Margaret Richards (co-ordinator) her award of a magnificent A2 (60 cm x 40 cm) Pearl Print enlargement kindly sponsored by FOTO FIRST. Four runners-up were chosen and these five together with another 21 Photos now appear on the Gallery Page of the website.

As space on the website gallery is limited, we unfortunately had to select a subset of those submitted for display. The selection was done “blind” as the names of the photographers were not included with the images submitted to the selector. Final judging of the best on view was performed by Bev and Rob Wood of the Knysna Photographic Club.

Click here to view Gallery.

Has the Drought Been Broken?
Judge yourself from the following statistics recorded from actual rainfall recorded on Leisure Isle. The table plots annual rainfall, and average over the past 10 years, during the periods June to May.

It will be seen that rainfall in the two years to June 2010 was 21% and 37% below average whilst rainfall in the past twelve months was 14 % above. To make matters even better we have recorded rainfall in the first two weeks of June at over 100 mm.

Back Issues of LIRA News Clips
Click below for previous issues in 2011:

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