2016 was a year of highs and lows

WHAT a year this has been! I remember approaching 2016 with hope and anticipation, and while it may have delivered its fair share of highs, there have been equal number of lows. For me, 2016 is the year where intolerance, hate and racism dominated headlines. where anger spilled over into violent protests, where education took some real body blows and where corruption, arrogance and entitlement were the ultimate winners.

But 2016 is not lost altogether, there were the highs of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes, in particular those who are valued members of our Berea communities.  If 2016 has shown me anything, it is the fact that the Berea community is made up mostly of people who care. I cannot count the number of stories we have written where our readers have responded with open hearts and contributed not only financial aid, but needed items and precious time to help individuals and organisations in need. It is these acts of kindness that cross all barriers of race, religion and gender, that give me hope that our communities are not as fragmented as newspaper headlines would have us believe.

We have enjoyed growing support from the communities we serve in both our print and online readership. We extend our thanks to each and every one of you for your continued support, your interaction with us on our social media platforms and steady stream of feedback, be it praise or criticism.  We have lost some dear friends this year and while we mourn their passing, we welcome with open arms our new friends. To all our those who regularly contribute to our letters page, we say thank you for your time and your support.

Thanks and appreciation must go to our municipal officials who respond to our never-ending requests for comments on a wide range of issues and to our council representatives who are always so willing to make themselves available for impromptu photo opportunities and last-minute appeals for comment.  And while we are dishing our thanks, let us not forget our policemen and women at our local police stations, our neighbourhood watch and community forums and civic organisation. We extend to them thanks for their time and willingness to keep us informed.

As we enjoy the final few days of 2016, let us all make the most of time spent with friends and families, let us spare a thought for those who find themselves alone or separated from loved ones, the homeless who seek shelter on our streets and parks and the children who will not experience the joy of Christmas and will in all likelihood go to bed hungry.  To our law enforcement officers, medical teams and rescue services, may you all be blessed as you sacrifice your time with your families to keep us safe.

We wish  each and every one of our readers  a blessed Christmas, happy holidays and a safe and joyous New Year.

Wanda Daly

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