B.B. King dead; 'King of the Blues' was 89

Sunday, 17 May 2015

B.B. King, whose wailing guitar and warm but weathered voice brought Mississippi blues to the world in classics like "The Thrill Is Gone" and "My Lucille," died late Thursday in his Las Vegas home. He was 89.
King died peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 p.m. PDT, according to his website. Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg and King's physician, Dr. Darin Brimhall, confirmed the death to The Associated Press, adding that he died of a series of small strokes.

King had long suffered from diabetes, even becoming a spokesman for a blood sugar monitoring device in recent years. However, in the past year his health declined, and he collapsed onstage during a Chicago concert last year from exhaustion and dehydration. On May 1, King's website announced that he was in hospice care at his home and thanked fans for their prayers.

Top Fire Fighter Dies in Cape Town

Monday, 9 March 2015

CAPE TOWN - One of the country's top helicopter rescue pilots has died while on duty fighting fires at Cape Point in the Western Cape.
The pilot - who has been identified as Bees Marais - was forced into a hard landing at Cape Point earlier on Sunday.
He was flying a Bell 212 'Working On Fire' helicopter.

The pilot who died in a helicopter crash while dousing fire at Cape Point this morning has been identified as Willem Hendrik “Bees” Marais, City Press reports.
Marais attempted a forced landing with his Bell 212 Huey near Olifantsbos in the Table Mountain National Park at 11:30 when he crashed.
As a freelance flyer for poverty relief programme Working On Fire, Marais worked tirelessly this week battling the blaze that erupted last Sunday, scooping water and dropping it on flames with a 1000 litre bambi-bucket attached to his chopper.
Marais, a former South African Air Force (SAAF) pilot, leaves behind his wife, Jacqui, and their children.
A friend of his from his SAAF days, Mariette Hopley, described him as always having a smile on his face.
“Very calm and friendly, always a smile and time for colleagues and people around him. He was loved by all,” Hopley told City Press.
“He excelled as an aviator and taught and shared his knowledge and expertise with many other pilots. He was a special soul and mentor.”

Goodbye Joan Rivers Queen of Comedy

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Goodbye Joan Rivers Queen of Comedy:
Joan Alexandra Molinsky, born June 8th 1933. She was better known as Joan Rivers. An actress, comedienne, writer, producer, and television host. She was known for her stand-up comedy, her red carpet interviews and especially for her co-hosting show the Fashion Police on E!. She knew the ins and outs when it came to fashion and she definitely knew how to describe an outfit, be it a bust or a success. She had a successful 50 years career on stage and on TV. She was a feisty, out-spoken with no-hold-barred approach kind of women. She was an inspiration to many comedians, be it female or other, she was inspiring.
Joan first made her appearance on TV in 1965 as a guest on The Tonight Show hosted by Johny Carson where he said “You're going to be a star," and he was right. In 1986 she launched a late night talk show by the name of, The Late Show with Joan Rivers. She was the first women to host her own late night show on network television. She later went on to host a successful daytime show, The Joan Rivers Show from 1989 to 1993. In 2010 she began co-hosting the Fashion Police alongside Guiliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos. She also authored 12 best-selling memoir and humor books.
She was an advocate to several organisations such as The American foundation of Suicide Prevention, Wounded Warriors, God’s Love we Deliver, Guide Dogs for the blind and GLAAD. Rivers devoted much of her time to philanthropy, including supporting and promoting HIV/AIDS activism.
On August 28, 2014, Rivers experienced serious complications and stopped breathing during a routine surgical procedure on her vocal cords at a clinic in Yorkville, Manhattan. She was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where she was put into a medically induced coma after reportedly suffering cardiac arrest. On August 30, she was put on life support.
On September 1, 2014, Rivers' physicians had reportedly begun trying to bring her out of the coma, and she was moved to a private room on September 3, still without a prognosis. The following day, September 4, Rivers died at 1:17 pm EDT. The exact cause of death was still undetermined after two days, while more tests had been ordered.

Her funeral took place on September 7, 2014 at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan. The private ceremony was attended by numerous public figures, talk show host Howard Stern delivered the eulogy. Stern described Rivers as "brassy in public [and] classy in private ... a troublemaker, trail blazer, pioneer for comics everywhere, ... [who] fought the stereotypes that women can't be funny." (Source http://en.wikipedia.org/)

Transporting the deceased and burial rituals:

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Transporting the deceased and burial rituals:
Each culture/religion has their own way of transporting the bodies of the deceased. Some cultures prefer to ride along with their loved ones to the morgue or funeral home, while others send the bodies to the morgue/ funeral home and only see their loved one again at the funeral. There are many methods for transporting the deceased back home. 1) It can be by air but not many airlines permits it 2) can be by see 3) or by vehicle.  Every culture varies in their methods of transporting the deceased and even their funerals differ.

Traditional Christian Funeral:
Traditional Christian funeral are where Christians pray for the deceased soul, as well as to comfort and support the bereaved. The typical Christian funerals include:
1. Opening statements lead by the priest or minister. Depending on the religion it may be either a prayer, a statement that shows support to the bereaved, or a combination of both.
2. Prayers and hymns are read and sung throughout the funeral. Guests are often encouraged to read or sing along at appropriate times.
3. Scripture readings are a common part of most services. Similar to prayer and hymns, the specific readings and their placement in the ceremony differ by religion.
4. A remembrance given by a close friend or family member honors the life and gifts of the deceased.
5. The service ends with closing words given by the minister. He states that the service is over and leads the procession to the cemetery.
6. Graveside services also differ by religion, but all services have some form of words of committal in which the minister reads a prayer, praises Jesus and prays for the soul of the deceased.
Traditional African burial rites:
In African religions, life does not end with death, but continues in another realm. Many African religions believe that death does not alter nor change one’s life or their personality it only changes their conditions. This is expressed in the concept of “ancestor”, people who have died but “live” on in the community and communicate with their families.
Some Africans have a custom of removing a dead body through a hole created in the wall of the house rather than through the door. Though, the hole in the wall is closed immediately as the dead person is removed through it. They believe that by passing the dead through the hole, it will be impossible for the dead person to remember the way back to the living since the hole in the wall has been closed. (Source http://blackethics.com/)
Reincarnation which is referred to the soul of a dead person being reborn in another body is a common believe among Africans. Whenever a child is born into a family, the father of the child makes enquiries from the elders of the family to know the departed parent or ancestor that have reincarnated. They believed that the dead returns to their communities. Sometimes, reincarnates of the dead bears the dead person’s name when he/she was alive. There could be as many as possible reincarnates of a particular dead soul in a family. These reincarnates most time have similar characters and physical appearance in terms of body size, complexion, facial look and mode of movement with the dead person. In the Yoruba and Ibo ethnic groups of Nigeria, names like Babatunde (“Reincarnated father”), Yetunde or Iyabo (“Reincarnated mother”), Nnanna (“Reincarnated Grandfather”) and Nnenna (“Reincarnated Grandmother”) are used for Reincarnates of their departed parents or ancestors. (Source http://blackethics.com/)
Traditionally the period of strict mourning is a week or can even last a year after the burial of the deceased. During this time the bereaved stays home and do not socialize.
Common Death Rituals:
1) Throwing A Handful of Dirt on the Casket
It is common in many cultures for mourners to toss a handful of dirt on the casket before leaving the cemetery. Rarely do mourners stay to watch the entire casket being buried by the cemetery workers. Throwing the dirt on the grave may symbolize that mourners understand that our bodies return to the earth.
2) Mourning
Mourning is a common ritual when someone dies. The process of mourning and even the amount of crying or wailing differs among cultures. Latin cultures for example, generally cry or wail more emphatically than others. Women cry more than men, possibly due to cultural views that crying might show weakness.

3) The Wake
The wake is a death ritual practiced in many cultures. During the wake, friends or family of the deceased sit with the corpse for several days and nights to watch and mourn. Part of the wake is usually conducted with prayer and scripture.

4) Dressing In Black
Dressing in black for an entire year after the death of a spouse or close family member was common practice for hundreds of years. It is still fairly common and acceptable to wear black or darker colors to the funeral.

5) Funeral Procession
Before the advent of vehicles, mourners walked by foot to follow the pallbearers who were carrying the casket. Today the funeral procession is done by vehicle. The hearse carrying the casket is in front, usually following a police escort.

In many cases a loved one is first transported to a local, or the nearest morgue/ funeral home and then subsequently transported to another city for the memorial ceremonies and/ or burial. If this is the case then it is best to have a local funeral home and one in the final destination city.
When it comes to transporting a loved one it is best to ensure a save and trust worthy method to transport them back home. There will be red tape involved but most funeral homes help with these documentations and arrangements.
At Tough Times Transport we deliver your loved one via our vehicles. Our quality 5-star fleet of Toyota Quantum vehicles will ensure a safe journey to any destination in South Africa and Southern Africa (including Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland).
"We commit ourselves to the utmost professional and respectful treatment of the deceased, the families and our customers."
Take comfort in knowing that you and your loved ones are in the right hands...
 i.     We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, throughout the year.
ii.     We guarantee the transport of the deceased to their final resting place within 24 hours.
iii.     We can assist in taking care of all the legal documentation (required by law) to make the necessary funeral arrangements such as the death certificate etc.
iv.     Our quality 5-star fleet of vehicles consists of Toyota Quantum's, which have been specially converted to accommodate:

A. Full air-conditioning throughout the vehicle.
B. Tinted windows for privacy.
C. Four seats for family members to accompany their loved ones (who have passed on).
D. Four separate compartments that cater for the transport of the deceased.
E. Tracker system for safety of the passengers.

 v.     Our rates are charged on a per quotation basis or at a rate of R5* per kilometer (negotiable).
vi.     An industrial coffin will be supplied, should the coffin not be ready.
vii.     We cover any destination within South Africa as well as select countries in Southern Africa (including Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland).
viii.     Also for a minimum monthly fee per policy holder, our service can be added to any existing insurance product. (* Excluding VAT)
What do we offer?
Repatriation: (Further than 150km)
1. Fleet of Toyota Quantum vehicles.
2. Refrigerated.
3. Separate compartment seating for up to four family members.
4. Allowing for a short prayer within a radius of 50km.
5. Representation throughout South Africa.
6. Cross border Repatriation to all SADEC countries.
7. 24 Hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year availability.
8. After hour pickups.
9. Live satellite tracking.
10.         R5 million third party insurance.
11.         International repatriations on quotation basis.
 I.     Registration of death.
II.     Assistance with any other relative documentation.
III.     Interaction with Consulates and Dept. of Health for Cross Borders.
IV.     Embalmment in case of cross borders.
 V.     Cold Storage if needed.
VI.     Availability of a range of coffins at a much more reasonable price

Repatriation of Mortal Remains:

Repatriation of Mortal Remains:
When we travel we never think about accidents or even deaths occurring during our travels. When we lose a love one in another country we never know what to do or what procedures to follow to return them back home.

The Department, in collaboration with its Representatives abroad provides logistical assistance and advice to the next of kin next of kin in the event of the death of a South African citizen abroad.
With the help of the department, you will be assisted with obtaining a permit for importing mortal remains from the Department of health. They will assist you with getting into contact with a reputable undertakers and obtaining quotes for the transportation of the mortal remains and/or cremation and/or local burial, if so requested by the next of kin. The Department will also assist with providing information on local conditions and procedures affecting the deceased.
Importing of mortal remains to South Africa:
Strict laws and regulations govern the transportation of moral remains between countries. The requirements:
1.      Non-infectious mortal remains:
a.      The body must be embalmed. This must take place within 24 hours. Not all countries have embalming facilities;
b.      The body must be sealed in an airtight container and placed in a sturdy non-transparent coffin;
c.       The import permit must be obtained prior to transportation.
2.      Infectious mortal remains:
a)      The body must be placed in two a polythene bags;
b)      The body must then be sealed in an airtight container and placed in a sturdy non-transparent coffin;
c)      The coffin must stay sealed at all times;
d)      Along with a together with the death certificate a written statement from the medical practitioner stating that the body will not constitute a danger to public health and that the body is screened off according to regulation o R2438 of 30 October 1987, paragraphs 9 and 10 must accompany the body at all times;
e)      The import permit must be obtained prior to transportation. The South African Representative must provide the following documentation to the Department of Health before an import permit can be issued:
f)       A letter containing:
                                i.            name of the deceased,
                              ii.            date of death, country of death,
                            iii.            cause of death, place of burial,
                             iv.            Telephone and area code.
g)      Embalming certificate
h)      Letter from attending pathologist or medical doctor to state that the deceased did not suffer from an infectious disease at the time of death; OR
i)        If the deceased did suffer from an infectious disease, a letter from the medical practitioner indicating that the transportation will not constitute a danger to public health.
j)        All documents not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.
Only when all the requirements are met will the Department of Health issue an Import Permit.
No permit is required to import ashes of a cremated body. The National Department of Health requires two working days to issue the importation permit. The following documents are essential for importing (transporting):
1.      A Death Certificate clearly stating the cause of death. A permit will not be issued if the cause of death is unknown. An autopsy report is required in the case of an infectious disease.
2.      ID document / Passport
3.      Embalming Certificate clearly stating in the case of:
·         Non-Infectious: That the remains were embalmed, sealed in an airtight container and placed in a sturdy non-transparent coffin.
·         Infectious: That the remains were embalmed, placed in two polythene bags, sealed in an airtight container and placed in a sturdy non-transparent coffin.
4.      If embalming cannot be done due to religious reasons, a statement of the alternative solution ensuring the safe transport of the remains needs to be included.
5.      A written statement from a medical practitioner that the remains will not constitute a danger to public health.
6.      A non-infectious disease certificate.
7.      Letter from the family member requesting importation.
8.      If the documents are not in English, a certified translation must be attached.
9.      A covering letter from the South African Representative that includes:
Ø  Name of deceased
Ø  Date of death
Ø  Cause of death
Ø  Country of death
Ø  Place of burial
Ø  Full contact numbers including dialing codes
Exporting of mortal remains to South Africa:
This task has been delegated to the Provincial Departments of Health. It also includes the exhumation and exportation of mortal remains.
During times of need it is important to have the support and guidance of close friends and family. There is always a helping hand out there in your time of need, just reach out and grab hold. For more information or a helping hand feel free to visit our website at http://www.toughtimestransport.co.za/and we will gladly assist you.