CAPE TOWN FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT MARCH 2013
Another year has passed us by, giving me great pleasure to report to the Society on the past year. We started the last AGM with a great enthusiasm, a full committee, members who looked forward to a full year. This was short lived, our first meeting after the AGM we received the sad news of Tony Allan’s illness coupled with Steven Peel’s notice of a new employment contract in the far North. This left us without a Webmaster and Treasurer.
We were lucky – Eric Settle stepped up to the plate and took over the Web Site – sadly we did not have an eager member to step forward to look after the books of the society. We had to ‘wing’ this one managing with Sandra and Margaret’s assistance.
On a sadder note Tony Allen passed away during the past year and recently Trevor Robinson. I would like pay tribute to both these members. Tony developed our website and ran it for a number of years, not a regular meeting attendee but had the interest of the society for 100 % of the time.
Trevor Robinson was one of those quiet men, not a big talker but a big doer, he always came to the meetings with Margaret and without fuss gently set out the chairs, went to Cynthia with some or other document for the library and more often or not a chocolate for her. He loved taking a photograph and always wanted me to pose with the speaker of the day. I personally shall certainly miss the chair steward!
The closing of Ancestry 24 saddened us all, to date we have had no information as to the future operation of the Web Site or what will become of the information collected. Heather MacAlister who founded this society put her life and soul into Ancestry 24. The site helped many persons in finding lost family, already we are seeing the spin offs from this with many questions being directed to the Cape Town Family History Society. We owe Heather a vote of thanks for her tireless efforts.
Meetings – During the past year we have presented a balanced number of speakers on a variety of topics. This has attracted our members and many visitors to our meetings. The programmes vary to provide a broad spectrum of interest. At times the speakers do not suit one portion of the society however they impress others. ‘How To’ meetings have been introduced, a variation on the speaker theme – these were well received and we would like to extend these. We did not have a Heritage Day Expo this last year as there was a run on the venue competing with a wedding – this will be included during this year’s programme.
As always we appeal to you all to introduce speakers especially for members to come forward with their own stories.
Venue – We continue to use the present venue – occasionally clashing with the modern dancers or the odd wedding, Brenda the Parish Secretary looks after the society’s interests to the best of her ability.
A big thank you to John Cross for looking after the sound system. Regular complaints were received with regard to the audio. John has checked the equipment and found no major flaws – not all speakers use the microphone correctly as some are shy of it – we have invested in a new head piece which should resolve the problem.
A vote of thanks to RSA Web for sponsoring our website. Without this support the society would not be able to host this facility. As mentioned earlier Eric Settle offered to act as Web Master, he has done so with calm efficiency – Thank you Eric. Once again we request our members to forward articles of interest to Eric.
Derek Pratt continues to produce a News Sheet of an extremely high standard. Derek would also benefit from the members articles of interest, however trivial they may appear to the member – Derek will turn it into a great article. The Society has much appreciation to Derek for all his dedicated hard work.
Cynthia Winstanly jealously guards our literary assets, resulting in growth. Cynthia has a perpetual war on space – soon we are going to have to look for another storage system to store allowing for easier browsing of the books. I appeal to members once again to return the borrowed items as requested. Cynthia Thank You.
No organization can survive without an efficient administration – an immense vote of thanks to Sandra, Margaret and Ann for their support and management skills.
After all the talking it’s great to have a cup of tea with a bite to eat – Thank you to Betty and Lucille – for organising this and to those members who from time to time assist.
Vote of Thanks to Lois Harley who continues to provide any one with help and runs three separate lecture venues for the University of the Third Age.
The society continues to expand, retaining a level of interest – we do appeal to our members to come forward to assist the committee. There is still much work to be done – we are all busy with our private time, our hobby is expanding worldwide, the society is being asked to provide more services – we need new blood and fresh ideas.
The Society has been fortunate in having a committee of Ann Smythe, Margaret Robinson, Sandra Cruywagen, Cynthia Winstanly, Eric Settle and Derek Pratt who have given me as Chairman all the assistance to make it a continued success.
I thank you for your continued support.
CHAIR 2012 (March 2013)