Report to the National Annual General Meeting on 27 March 2010
For the Year January to December 2009
At the Annual General Meeting held on 17 March 2009, the following branch committee was elected:
|Vice-Chairman and Publicity||Bob Saunders|
|Membership Secretary||Gerard Marloth|
|Events Secretary||Margaret Humphries|
|Recording Secretary||John Stephens|
|Additional member||Penny Evans|
Membership declined from 64 at the end of last year to just 40. This is partly due to the Johnnesburg Branch starting up again and members transferring back to same.
This drop and our perceived inability to retain members who join at say Hobby-X and we never hear from them again, has been discussed at length and steps are still being taken to try to remedy the situation.
11 Branch meetings were held attended in total by 211 members and 9 guests - an average per meeting of 20 members and guests. This was exactly the state of affairs last year and is still most disappointing in terms of our membership, but it must be remembered that our members are spread over a large area as far afield as the Magaliesburg.
Once again, we had 4 branch members addressing the Branch, including Kriek Fourie, Bob Saunders, Graham Southey and myself. Other speakers were our Society President, Hendrik Louw, and two branch chairman, Simon du Plooy and Ferdie van Wyk. It was indeed a rare pleasure to have these gentlemen addressing us.
Ons het ook weer ‘n mini-uitstalling gehou met ons afsluitingsfunksie en die bywoning van die pers en ‘n artikel in ons plaaslike koerant, The Roodepoort Record, het heelwat navre tot gevolg gehad.
8 komiteevergaderings is gehou en gemiddeld was 7 uit die 8 lede teenwoordig.
Bob Saunders continued the good work of his predecessors in sending out monthly newsletters conveying information about our branch meetings and welcoming new members joining. Articles by members are now also included and have been most interesting. Unfortunately, Bob is not available for the new year due to a changed work situation and Neels Coertse has been co-opted to take over in the new year. His first efforts have been excellent.
We thank Bob for his dedicated services over the past years and know that whilst he may no longer be available on the committee for the forseeable future, we know we can still depend on his assistance as was the case at Hobby-X this year.
Branch Blog (www.westgggsa.blogspot.com)
Japie Bosch started the blog on his own initiative a few years ago and it was quickly accepted by our committee as the main “voice” of the branch. Despite moving to the coast, he has continued to provide this service and we owe him a debt of great gratitude for his excellent work.
The quality of the articles included still speak for themselves and cover a wide range of genealogical interests which have raised favourable comment from various sources.
As additional member on the Committee, Penny Evans was entrusted to liase with Japie and to feed him with reports and photographs about our meetings. She rose to the occasion and has been a great asset to us.
For the new year, Japie has started a new blog at www.westgssa.blogspot.com whilst still making the old blog available. We thank him once again for these excellent services and are proud of the blogs he started and maintains for us.
Coinciding with last year’s National AGM in Bloemfontein the branch again managed the stand on behalf of the National Executive. In the continued economic climate we, financially, and in enrollment terms were again lagging against previous years BUT, the stand drew much attention. Our visitor's book had no less than 130 entries against 69 for the previous year! The stand was often packed with people waiting to be attended to.
7 new members were enrolled and 7 copies of e-SAGI sold.
The stand was once again designed by Bob Saunders with input from Richard Ford and Bob did most of the work in setting up and dismantling the stand. His contribution greatly contributed to the success of the stand and he needs to be especially thanked.
Breaking down the stand resulted in broken fingernails and sore fingers trying to remove the double sided tape we used and we vowed that alternative methods needed to be used in future. Here the names of Bob Saunders and Kriek and Alta Fourie need a special mention.
A word of thanks also to all branch members who assisted and to members who visited
Our e-SAGI database continues to expand, now with over 550,000 individuals included and sales of same have become the major source of revenue for the branch allowing us to buy further items for our library and a computer projector early in the new year. This, incidentally resulted in a major improvement in the 2010 Hobby-X activities.
Verlede jaar het ek geskryf: Dennis Pretorius het sewe van ons lede uitgevang deur aan hulle gratis CD’s te verskaf van die inskrywings in die Braamfontein Begrafplaasregisters in ruil vir die invoer van dele van die data in ‘n spreivel. Hopelik sal lede die taak kort voor lank voltooi.
Hierdie taak is voltooi en ‘n CD met 20,000 name is beskikbaar en is aan die Begrafplaasprojek voorsien..
A further training course was presented on the 15th August, 2009 once again on the West Rand. Stalwarts Richard Ford and Dennis Pretorius, co-presenters with myself deserve a special word of thanks.
A further course is planned for 2010 and the possibility of a more advanced course is receiving attention.
Our branch is now well settled in to the new location in the Church complex of the N.G. Congregation of Ontdekkers Park where a larger room for our library has been made available. Ds. Attie Botha is no longer the local minister, Ds. Lombard now in place from retirement. We thank the “Kerkraad” for making facilities available to us but regret to advise that a considerably increased rental is now payable.
We acknowledge, with profound thanks, the gift of a computer from the Saunders family. It is old and limited but the first program – Cumberland Software with the file on the 1820 Setlers has been loaded. Further books obtained through CDBooks-R-Us will be loaded as soon as an old version of Adobe Acrobat can be found and installed.
We envisage greatly expanding the library through the funds now available as previously reported ex e-SAGI.
I cannot but, once again acknowledge the loyal support and assistance of all Committee Members. Their contribution in Branch Management Meetings and in performing allocated duties has always far exceeded expectations. My sincere thanks to one and all.
In particular, we welcome Neels Coertse who has already been co-opted and has proved his worth in the first Branch Newsletters under his control.
I trust that all members will again make themselves available in 2010.
Lucas Rinklen, Chairman, 12 March 2010