AGM 2011



1. The Chairman, David Slingsby, welcomed the members and especially the visitors to the meeting. He read out the notice which had been circulated to members. Lorna White accepted the notice.

Apologies were received from Merry Dewar, Philip Strachan, Liz Geyer, Peter and Anne Erikson, Margaret Ward-Able and Felicity-Ann Khan.

2. The minutes of the previous AGM held on 17 April 2010 and of the special meeting held on 19 June 2010 were accepted. Proposed by Lorna White and seconded by Derek Pratt.

3. The Financial statements had been circulated by email. Most of the income came from workshops run by Lois Harley, and the annual subscriptions. It was noted that the bank charges were high, especially for cash deposits. Main cost items were the Public Address system which had been acquired, and the rental for the hall. It should be noted that two rental payments had fallen into the past year, as the current year’s rental had also been paid already. There was a small loss of R230 after expenses. The balance in the ABSA account stood at about R16500, and increase of over R3000 from last year. Lorna White and Derek Pratt respectively proposed and seconded acceptance of the financial statements.

John Fitz Henry questioned the amount of cash the society keeps. It was explained that the charges for cash deposits were high. He then suggested spending the money, perhaps on books for the library. The Chairman made a point of mentioning that R6400 of the income came from Lois Harley’s workshops. Steve Peel commended and thanked her for all her hard work in this regard. They have been very well received.

4. David thanked Lucille le Roux for all her sterling work on the committee over many years. She had resigned due to ill health. Jawn and Jeanette Goosen had taken a year’s leave of absence and were travelling in the UK. He then asked the existing committee to stand so that everyone could see them as a few additional members had been co-opted, and listed the positions held:
Treasurer: Steve Peel
Newsletter: Derek Pratt
Secretary and Public Relations: Ann Smythe
Reception: Margaret Robinson
Membership: Sandra Cruywagen
Website: Tony Allan – RSAWeb was thanked for their sponsorship of our website.
Library: Cynthia Winstanly. Members were reminded to return books borrowed by the next month. A list of all the books and CDs in the library can be found on the website.

In addition, Lois Harley has single handedly taken on running workshops for the Society, which has not only brought in quite a lot of money, but raised awareness of the Cape Town Family History Society and brought in new members.

5. 10 well supported meetings had been held during the year, with an average attendance of 50. In September, the annual Heritage Day exhibition had grown in scope and numbers of people attending. An end of the year Bring and Braai function was held at Ann Smythe’s home in December, and proved popular with the crowd able to come.

6. David Slingsby appealed to all members to come up with suggestions for possible speakers for the meetings. There is no budget for them, and the onus to find speakers has fallen on just a few people.

7. Betty Nelson and her helpers were thanked for their hard work overseeing the teas each month.

8. The Society has grown to 140 members, and is now a member of the Federation of Family History Societies.

9. Lastly, David thanked Lois again for her contribution, and also those who had made donations to the Society.

10. Lois Harley proposed that the current committee stand again en bloc. This was seconded by Tony Edwards, and the motion carried.

The business of the AGM was concluded, and followed by a talk and demonstration of bagpipes by Tony Vogler.


It gives me great pleasure to present the Chairman’s report for the 2010 year. Once again we have had a busy year but sadly managed to lose some stalwart members from the committee. On behalf of the society I would like to thank the following for their continued support during the past year and would like them to stand and be acknowledged.

I will start with Lucille Le Roux who for personal reasons had to stand down in December 2010. Lucille has been the backbone of this society dealing with membership and public relations we did wish her well during our November meeting but would like you all to give her a big round of applause.

Ann Smythe, Derek Pratt, Tony Allen, Cynthia Winstanly and Betty Nelson have served the committee and will detail their achievements under the various portfolios.

We are also pleased to announce Margaret Robinson, Steven Peel and Sandra Cruywagen who joined the committee at the end of last year.

Administration The society has been most fortunate in having capable persons to fill these duties, Ann Smythe – Secretary and club reporter has been a real help and assisted when our Treasurer Jawn Goosen left for an extended visit overseas and Lucille relinquished her duties. Jawn left us in September fortunately the books were all written up to date and we thank him in absentia. Steven Peel has offered his services as Treasurer for which we are all most grateful.

Training Programmes – Lois Harley has almost single handed run these popular training courses, two, four day workshops attended by 23 persons, 5 special courses on various topics attended by 63, one Saturday training course attended by eleven participants and four at Hermanus attended by twenty nine folk. These continue to be popular and Lois has already started this year with new programmes.
Newsletter – Derek Pratt has quietly gone about the business of producing an excellent newssheet, sent out via e-mail with printed copies being distributed to those without the modern technology. Once again we appeal to our members to submit articles to Derek for inclusion in the newsletter any snippet of information however trivial you may think our Editor will make us of the subject or article offered.
Public Relations – Ann Smythe has handled our publicity with the local press. These notices to the local press bring a stream of visitors to our society many who join after spending an enjoyable afternoon. Our new reception lady Margaret Robinson has offered to look after the front desk with Sandra Cruywagen taking the portfolio of membership.
Website – Tony Allen our Webmaster, the backroom man who is always up to date with information. The monthly ‘hits’ have grown to an average of 50,000 with a total annual hit count 641914. The most popular sections are members, Associate societies and the library page.
Apart from thanking Tony for his efforts we need to acknowledge and thank RSA Web for free hosting of our web site
Library- Our librarian, Cynthia Winstanly has meticulously looked after these assets, keeping tabs on the books and chivvying up those members who for a variety of reasons do not return the books as requested. I would like once again to appeal to our members to respect the conditions under which the books are borrowed.
The Library continues to grow and we thank all those persons who have donated books to the society.
A list of books and CD’s are available on the web page.
Our library has grown now to the extent of having to re-locate to a cupboard at the rear of the hall – a far cry from the two or three green bags which held our treasures a few years back.
Meetings – We have held 10 meetings throughout the year, all well attended with an average attendance of about 50 people. Subjects introduced included a wide range of topics from traditional family stories, preserving family artefacts, settler groups to the early wives and widows of Constantia. Our Heritage Day exhibition held in September was well attended by the members of the public. Displays from the Archival Platform, The Cape Town Archives and Ancestry 24 along with our own member’s presentations provided plenty of interest and an interesting afternoon.
Ann Smythe hosted our end of year function in the form of ‘bring and braai’ was reasonably well attended, good fellowship was enjoyed in the beautiful surroundings of Constantia
Once again I would ask our members to assist in the task of finding speaker’s, we have no budget for speakers fees and rely on the speakers good nature to present their subject for gratis.
Refreshments – Our tea which follows the formal part of the meeting is the real meeting -where important information is exchanged, challenges are met and queries resolved – this would not happen without the outstanding attention to duty by Betty Nelson and those who help Betty – our special thanks.
Conclusion – The success of the Society depends on all of us, we need your support in offering your time to fill the various offices required to run and develop a successful society.
The Society continues to increase its membership which now approaches the 140 mark. We have joined the Federation of Family History Society an international organization which embraces societies like ours worldwide. Hopefully this will assist with research of our family’s roots overseas.
Finally I would like thank those who have served on the Committee, Lois Harley for the training courses, those who have donated books and C.D.’s to the library, local news sheets for publishing the details of meetings, St. John’s Church for the Hall and Brenda the Church Secretary and our Web Site Sponsor R.S.A. Web.
Thank you
CHAIR – 2010
March 2011