Mark Wiley, DA chief whip, provincial legislature, Fish Hoek
I have been a public representative for some time and I get to interact with a variety of organisations and personalities on a regular basis.
Recently, on social media in particular, there has been some negative comment regarding the Galley restaurant and the owner Herbie Eichel.
Personally I find these comments misplaced at best and malicious at worst.
Over the years I have come to know both Mr and Ms Eichel as being extremely supportive of the community – both financially and in kind.
The Empowerment through Education project has changed the lives of many children who normally would never have had the benefit of a good education. The local lifesaving club has been a regular benefactor – even getting a rescue craft sponsored. More recently the Fish Hoek 100 anniversary project was almost solely sponsored by the Eichels. These are just some of the many projects they quietly sustain, without fanfare.
In the restaurant itself they turned what was a seedy establishment into a thriving place where locals and visitors want to visit. They have spent millions on fixing the place up because the landlord, the City, has been loathe to spend money on it. This despite the fact that the Galley, because of the high standard that the management have set, is probably the most lucrative rent contributor of all the City’s restaurant tenants.
If I have to compare this business and its support for the community, with many others in the area that also rent from the state, it is not even a debate.
Fish Hoek has been extremely lucky to have had the Eichels running the Galley for them over the years.