Handicapped guest of honour at 1:1 Day Fair

As long as the Lions Club De Grendel has been involved, Albert Glass has convened the 1:1 day Fair.
This project almost missed celebrating its’ 36th annual birthday this year because, until the intervention of the Western Capes’ Helen Zille, whereby she arranged a venue for the event at the Bellville Velodrome, the organisers had not managed to find a venue to host this event which took place on 21 August 2016. Fortunately a looming disaster turned out magnificently in spite of the stormy weather conditions that moved across the Cape Peninsula on that weekend.

The annual 1:1 day affair perhaps demonstrates the warm hearts of Cape Town citizens in the highest degree. Communities across the length and breadth of the greater Cape Town, young and old, rise up and volunteer their help and assistance to this project. Additionally many Firms donate goods and time, and help to provide a day of enjoyment and excitement to the intellectually and physically disabled handicapped guests.

This day is a unique display of collectively doing kindnesses with others. From early morning dozens of buses and other transport types start to arrive at the 1:1 venue and offload their precious cargo. The volunteer hosts befriend the guests and accompany them by leading them or pushing their wheel chairs, visiting all the stalls manned by the participating volunteer organisations. At 1:1 the various religious and service organisations, social, student and school groups unite with their focus directed towards giving the handicapped a special enjoyable day.

The 60+ stalls are set up with a wide variety of fun filled challenges whereby the “guests” are able to earn prizes and gifts, whether they participate successfully or not. At the end of the day they return home with their goody bags filled with gifts, sweets and other delights that they are able to enjoy later on.

Live entertainment with Drummies, Jazz Bands and Disco Music pulsates from the stage urging all to participate in the singing and dancing at the “foot” of the stage. A fond memory of the 2015 event which was staged at the Milnerton Trade Fair Premises was then Western Cape Premier Helen Zille singing four songs accompanied by Karaoke whilst the hosts and guests were dancing enthusiastically below.

This day is free and all costs are covered by the participating organisations. This includes the hiring of the venue and transportation for the handicapped guests from the centres and their living quarters. Albert Glass has organised this massive event successfully for 34 years and deserves a huge “thank you.” This event is directed at the guests, enabling them to interact with normal society, sharing in the fun, and entertainment and is provided with a much needed stimulus.

From a humble beginning in 1981 where 1250 guests were hosted 1:1 now receives over 3500 guests. This project has helped dispel the myth that normal society is not able to interact with the handicapped. It is indeed a wakeup call to observe the special way, the understanding, the levels of tolerance, and appreciation that the handicapped demonstrate. It is a privilege to witness this interaction of all and to see the thanks and gratitude in the smiles of the guests.

One of De Grendel’s Clubs’ budding philosophers chirped that perhaps the convener should change his name to “ALBERT GUPTA” and then the RSA’s armed forces will be queuing up to offer the use of their hangars and storage warehouses as possible future venues. We would be absolutely spoilt for choice. Seriously, this is a problem which was brought about by the leasing of the Cape Town Civic Centre in recent years after having been the host venue in the past. The Lions Club De Grendel would like to thank Premier Helen Zille for her help and interest in this project. We sincerely hope that 1:1 may grow and continue for many years ahead.

Should anyone require more information or provide ideas as to a future location for a possible host venue, please email Albert Glass:  albert.glass@gmail.com

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