Festive decorations brighten Geraldo’s Kuils River home

Malcolm Kling, left, the funds procurement manager of Tygerberg Childrens Hospital Trust, and Geraldo Gerry Smeda.

Hundreds of people gather on Muller Street, Silver Oaks in Kuils River, during the festive season to take in the splendour of the beautifully decorated home of Geraldo Smeda.

Mr Smeda, who has been decorating his home since 2005, decided to start collecting donations from those who came to see his festive display, and between 2006 and 2008 collected a total of R75 000 which he donated to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch.

Mr Smeda, a 64-year-old teacher at Heathfield High School, said his teaching career sparked his passion for helping children.

“My love for kids started when I began teaching in 1979. With a good heart, I thought I’d donate the money for those who cannot afford (hospitalisation),” said Mr Smeda.

Since he turned on his lights on December 9 last year, Mr Smeda collected a total of R30 050.50, which filled 23 tins and will be donated to the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital Trust.

Last year’s display featured Father Christmas’s house – made of wood, snow and cotton wool – which visitors could go into.

When the final amount was confirmed, Mr Smeda proudly announced it on a banner displayed on his roof.

After all these years, Mr Smeda still gets a kick out of the number of people – visitors from overseas among them – who come to see his light displays.

While some of them give money, others bring toys, which ensured that 500 children from the surrounding community received a gift through his initiative last Christmas.

Mr Smeda would like to thank all those who have contributed over the years.