REPORT ON THE BIRDLIFE OVERBERG XMAS IN JULY DINNERPosted on the 31st July 2017
It would be impossible to meaningfully describe the success of Saturday evening’s event. We therefore decided to give brief overviews without images. Descriptive images will be loaded systematically as these are received in a photo gallery at this link:
Members of BirdLife Overberg celebrated the club’s 15th birthday with a fund-raising dinner held on 29 July 2017. We decided to change our approach to fund-raising and conservation efforts to mark our 15th birthday. Our focus will in future fall on our region’s coastline and estuaries and for this we will host a weekend long workshop on 2 & 3 September. This will be done in collaboration with the Nature’s Valley Trust and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. The main purpose of the workshop will be to decide on two or three projects that we will be involved in for the next few years. The official programme will be released within the next few days. My appreciation to all for supporting our Xmas in July event as our profit will go towards presenting the workshop.
The guest speaker was the world renowned PETER STEYN and he entertained us with an overview of his latest book “Kingdom of Daylight – Memories of a Birdwatcher”. All the available copies were sold out on the night. Peter’s lovely wife Jenny and Trevor and Margaret Hardaker were our guests of honour. Unfortunately Vernon Head and family could not attend. Vernon did however for a special poem that he prepared for the occasion and we include this below.
MARK ANDERSON, THE CEO OF BIRDLIFE SOUTH AFRICA, SENT THIS LETTER OF CONGRATULATION:
BIRDLIFE OVERBERG’S 15TH ANNIVERSARY
On the occasion of your special anniversary, I’d like to extend my hearty congratulations the members of BirdLife Overberg. In particular I would like to commend the three people who have served as chairpersons during this time, namely you, Elaine and Dave de Beer. I believe that Carin Malan also deserves special thanks, as well as the committee members who have served in various capacities during the past 15 years.
BirdLife Overberg has been a model bird club during the past decade and a half. The club has an active programme of lectures and outings and, what I have appreciated during my various interactions with the club, is the camaraderie amongst the members. It is important for bird clubs to have fun, and BirdLife Overberg certainly does!
BirdLife South Africa is doing well largely thanks to the contributions of its affiliated bird clubs. The cumulative contributions of BirdLife Overberg and other bird clubs are ensuring our success. Thanks for being part of BirdLife South Africa.
Take a bow BirdLife Overberg, and keep up the good work. I hope to celebrate with you on the occasion of your 20th anniversary.
Mark D. Anderson Chief Executive Officer
CLUB MEMBER CARL SWART SAID GRACE AND WE THOUGH IT APPROPRIATE TO INCLUDE HIS WONDERFUL PRAYER:
“Thank you Lord that our feathered friends play such an important role in Scripture. A dove returned to Noah with an olive leaf as sign of your grace. You commanded the ravens to bring food to the prophet at the brook during the drought and that You said “not one sparrow would fall to the ground without your Father’s consent”.
As we gather here this evening to celebrate 15 years of birding in the Overberg we thank You for the many of birding opportunities in our area, for new friends we have made and for fellow birders gathered here this evening.
You taught us to pray – Give us our daily bread. This evening we give thanks for the feast that has been prepared and for the wonderful company we are have while enjoying this meal.
We are humbled by the abundance of food being served to us and we thank you for Your grace in Christ’s name.
IT WAS DECIDED THAT PARTICIPANTS SHOULD DONATE “XMAS PRESENTS” TO A CHARITABLE CAUSE AND THREE ENTITIES WERE DECIDED UPON.
Marlien Bruwer describes these:
“We are currently assisting three educational entities in Hermanus.
In Zwelihle we have set up a nursery school called “Little Fishes”. The school has 12 toddlers between 1 and 3 years old and 15 pre-school children between 3 and 6 years.
In Mount Pleasant we assist a nursery school called “Duifies en Kuifies”. 15 babies and toddlers younger than three years and 15 pre-school children between the ages of 3 to 6 years of age are accommodated here.
We have just furnished a new safe-house bought by Child Welfare through funds received from the Lighthouse to Lighthouse ladies. The house is appropriately called “The Lighthouse”. Here the house mother looks after 6 children of school going age.
We have the following day to day wish list: Toilet paper, baby wipes, tissues and soap.
Cleansing material: Dishwashing liquid, Handy Andy, Jik, Domestos and roller towels.
Art material: Any paper with a blank, clean side, rolls of unprinted newspaper, boxes of thick crayons, cardboard and paint powder”.
The reaction was overwhelming. We express our sincere appreciation to all members who had opened their hearts on the evening.
Our members reacted wonderfully and a huge range of products was donated.
HERE IS VERNON HEAD’S CONGRATULATORY POEM:
BIRD CLUB PEOPLE
(For BirdLife Overberg)
Are cupped in the hands of the softest clouds
Free on the wide mind of swaying boughs
Singing sunsets to the coastal trees
Stroking dawns through the fynbos seas
Rocking thoughts like the tiny waves of a sparkling stream
Seeing feral slopes in an instinctive dream
Lovers of all the dusts and soils of life
Roaming above our Earth and its layers of strife
You are the steady shelf for your birding books
You are inside the stealth that Nature cooks
You are the shadows made by words
Raining sentences from a sky of curves
And vibrant commas
Forming stanzas of perambulations on a path to truth and honours
Hold that smile and that laugh across all these Lands
Across the wild country of exquisite rolling stands
Rest those eyes of excited breath
Sleep awake faraway from the tintinnabulations of death
In powerful thunders of gray and storms of white
Give all the fecund greens of every vibrant leaf delight
People of the quietest Bay
Holders of Primordial Ripples in an expanding stay
Burst your power like the darting cormorant
Hunt your quest like the patient heron and
Busy yourself – delicately – like the stretching, new limbs of tomorrow’s seasons
Dance with the warbler on the edge of the most fragile reasons
Grow for us as teachers of souls
Within a world of so many holes
Grow like a vast garden into pristine wilderness:
Gentle faces of tenderness
No voids for tears
No faces of fears
You are the new spoor-line now
On a memorial map
A meandering track
Back to a first home in yesterday’s Eden Bay
Back to a land blossomed of your stay
Back to beloved Overberg