Report and Photographs by Penny Evans, blog journalist
From 4 to 7 March the West Gauteng branch set up an exhibit at Hobby X, held at the Northgate Dome in Johannesburg.
Amid the many stalls featuring arts and crafts, power tools, state of the art sewing machines, model electric trains and ultra efficient juicing machines, our genealogy exhibit stood out as being different.
|Her ancestors, Lucas Rinken and e-SAGI were serious business.|
As in past years chairman Lucas Rinken set up his laptop with e SAGI, a genealogical database with more than 550 000 names. This year he linked his laptop to a projector. The names projected onto the screen drew many interested people, all hopeful of finding information about their ancestors.
In many instances people were delighted to find information. For those not so lucky, they were told that it was because they had not sent their information for inclusion in the database.
There were many questions relating to genealogical programs. People felt they had a great deal of family history information, but did not know how to record it. Some questions elicited a humorous response from our chairman for example:
“What information must I give you, for you to trace my family history” to which he replied “Are you going to give me a blank signed cheque” or
“How long does it take to trace my family history?” His response would be “How long is a piece of string?”
It is apparent that there is a need to educate the public about this rapidly growing hobby, and Hobby X is an ideal opportunity to do so. Many leaflets containing information about the GSSA were handed out.
|The projected e-SAGI drew much interest.|
Several of the members volunteering to help at Hobby X felt that they needed “coaching” in order to answer the various questions asked by the public. As time was limited and no training could be done, our chairman drew up a list of possible questions and their answers, and e-mailed these to the volunteers.
Many thanks to the members who assisted Lucas. They are Bob Saunders who assisted with the setting up of our stall, Gerard Marloth, John and Iris Stephens, Barbara Bouwer, Louise Dick, Ruth Jobson, Graham Southey, Kriek Fourie, Margaret Humphries, Dennis Pretorius and Penny Evans.
And a very big thank you to Lucas Rinken for his dedication and the hard work he puts in for our branch.