A fundraising ceilidh to be held next month will be in aid of the Anna Mthala Trust.
It will take place from 7.30pm til late on Friday, September 2, within the marquee at Raemoir House Hotel.
Banchory photographer Logan Sangster and his wife, Julie, first met Anna on a holiday to Cape Town, South Africa, two years ago. Anna lives in the township of Khayelitsha, just outside Cape Town, and works hard for her two sons. She served Logan and Julie in the Blues restaurant in Camps Bay.
After building up a friendship with Anna, and following many letters and e-mails back and forth, Anna eventually made the trip to stay with the Sangsters in Banchory in 2010, where she fell in love with Royal Deeside.
“With our help, and lots of help from our friends in Banchory, Anna’s life has become easier,” said Logan. “She lives in a proper house and the boys - Brian and Washington - both attend a better school. Anna, a Christian, has asked us for nothing since we met, but she has made a huge impact on our lives and we can honestly say she is the nicest person we have ever met.
“Whilst Anna stayed with us in Banchory, she made many friends who still keep in touch with her. She visited the Banchory Christian Fellowship Church and celebrated her birthday in Banchory, with a small party at our home.
“Anna had never been out of South Africa and was delighted to have seen some of Scotland’s sights. We took her to St Andrews and Edinburgh Castle. She was also delighted to see her first pipe band play at Crathes Castle. Balmoral and Castle Fraser were also on the agenda and Anna got a personal tour of Drumtochty Castle, through a friend of ours. She loved Ballater and had many photographs taken at the Royal Station exhibition and also on top of the Cairn O’ Mount.
“Dunnottar Castle, in Stonehaven, was also visited by Anna - she said he never seen anything like it. One of her boys, Brian, has just started a new school and part of the curriculum is cricket. Thanks to local women, Carol Murphy and Debbie Dickenson, we managed to acquire all that is needed for the young cricket player from donations of some second-hand cricket gear, which arrived safely in South Africa this week. “Local charity shop manager, Helen Coutts, also provided some top-of-the-range clothes for Anna’s children, so we did need an extra suitcase when Anna headed home!”
Last year, Anna managed to achieve her driving instructor’s course, and passed with flying colours. The couple want to assist her in eventually buying a small car to start her up in her first business in Cape Town.
The ceilidh in the marquee will feature ceilidh band with a twist ‘Bahookie’ and the Sangster’s son, Harris, will follow on with his disco, ‘Oblivion’.
There will be a small raffle and a three-course supper with a Scottish theme - dress code is a touch of Tartan.
Tickets (tables of ten) are £30 per head, and are available from 16 Bridge Street, Banchory, or on (01330) 824300, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As tables have already been pre-asked for, these will be limited.