MINUTES OF THE BIRDLIFE OVERBERG ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2016Posted on the 9th February 2016
MINUTES OF BIRDLIFE OVERBERG’S ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2016
VENUE: COMMUNITY HALL AT MOLLERGREN PARK, HERMANUS
DATE: MONDATY8 FEBRUARY 2016
TIME: 18h30 for 19h00
APOLOGIES FOR THE AGM ON 8 FEBRUARY 2016: Louis and Angelica Alberts, Geoff Anderson, Marlien Bruwer, Gary and Paula Combrink, Kobus du Pisani, Chris and Estelle Neethling, Elsabe Ketteringham, Richard Ketteringham, Diana Parker, Marthinus Potgieter, Nida Potgieter, John & Jos Simson, Kerry Tindall, Carol & Hoogie van Hoogstraten.
MEMBERS PRESENT AT AGM: Titia Ballot, Ilse Bigalke, Charel Bruwer, Chris Cheetham, Anita de Jager, Sue Kellerman, Vivie Lombard, Carin Malan, Grant Mclachlan, Jane McMorran, Peter McMorran, Barry Moult, Maureen Moult, Charles Naude, Colleen Naude, Anton Odendal, Elaine Odendal, Helé Oosthuizen, Almari Robbertse, Aletta Robertson, Jill Salmon, Hugo Slabbert, Annie Spratt, Frank Spratt, Viktor Styger, Carl Swart, Madelein Swart, Brian Taylor, Cecilie Trumpelmann, Elaine van der Merwe, Hannes van der Merwe, Conrad van Heerden. GUESTS: Paul & Riane Roos.
1.INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS At the beginning of this report it is appropriate to revisit BirdLife Overberg’s basic aims as formulated when we originally formed the club. Our aims read:
1.1To allow people in the Overberg with an interest in birds to become involved in birdwatching by participating in the typical activities associated with BirdLife South Africa and its international partners;
1.2To place strong emphasis on educational programs in order to get participants involved in the meaningful conservation of birds and their habitats;
1.3To market the Overberg as a top birding destination, thus contributing to the region’s already impressive tourism infrastructure.
It would be appreciated if this annual report could be evaluated against the backdrop of our club’s basic aims.
2. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF THE 2015 AGM
None received. MINUTES ACCEPTED.
OBITUARIES: We mourn the passing of members Clarise Anderson, George Bradford and Jaap Sadie during 2015. Jaap was the first Treasurer of BirdLife Overberg. A moment's silence was observed.
Comment: Kindly note that a photographic summary of most of the year's events, including talks, day outings and midweek outings had been posted at the following link:
It was recommended that the revised BirdLife South Africa club constitution be adopted by the club. ACCEPTED. This document can be forwarded to members if needed. Resulting from this it was recommended that we register the club with SARS. ACCEPTED. A further recommendation was that we sign the bird club partnership agreement with BirdLife South Africa. ACCEPTED AND TO BE SIGNED AND FORWARDED TO BIRDLIFE SOUTH AFRICA.
3.1 MONTHLY TALKS AND LECTURES: We were again able to put together a varied and entertaining series of lectures focusing on visits to fascinating birding sites, critical conservation issues and often very entertaining guest speakers. We express our sincere appreciation to all speakers who shared their considerable experience, knowledge and brilliant photographs with us. We also thank all members who had assisted with the accommodation of guest speakers, and in particular Carol and Hoogie van Hoogstraten who had accommodated several speakers. See overview of talks at the link above.
The provisional schedule of events for 2016, together with members responsible for catering, chairmanship of monthly meetings and leading day outings can be viewed at this link:
The schedule of chairpersons for 2016 monthly meetings has been made available on the club's provisional programme – refer club website at link above. We thank all members who have agreed to assist in this regard.
3.2 CATERING: The catering at the monthly meetings is still very well received. We would like to thank everyone who had contributed to this great effort. It is of critical importance that members send RSVP reactions timeously – the slow reaction to this places huge pressure on those catering. The cost of catering: The committee proposed that the cost for meals be increased to R 80.00 per head and that those not eating pay a cover charge of R 25.00. ACCEPTED.
The schedule of caterers for 2016 monthly meetings has been made available on the club's provisional programme – refer club website at the link above. We thank all members who have agreed to assist in this regard.
3.3 APPRECIATION TO MOLLERGREN PARK: We have indeed been privileged to have been able to present our monthly meetings and some training courses at the community hall at Mollergren Park. This is a marvelous venue and most of our guest speakers have commented on this. It was recommended that Mollergren Park be retained as venue for our monthly talks. ACCEPTED.
3.4 DAY OUTINGS: We express our sincere appreciation to Chris Cheetham for organising such an excellent programme for 2015 and for once again creating a programme for 2016 that looks very promising. Participation in these outings started improving towards the end of the year and members are encouraged to support these outings. It is recommended that the system for sharing fuel costs be retained. ACCEPTED.
The schedule of group leaders for 2016 day outings has been made available on the club's provisional programme – refer club website at the link above. We thank all members who have agreed to assist in this regard.
3.5 WEEKEND AND MIDWEEK OUTINGS: Three outings were again undertaken to the De Hoop and Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserves and Kostaplenti at Nature's Valley. Trips during 2016 will be to Duinepos in the West Coast National Park, De Hoop Nature Reserve and the Algeria section of the Cederberg Wilderness Area. A lengthy discussing followed as Charel Bruwer (on behalf of several other members) proposed that another visit to Kostaplenti at Nature's Valley be scheduled. DECISION: That the visit to the Cederberg be moved to 9 to 14 October and that we visit Nature's Valley between 30 October and 4 November.
4. EDUCATION: The four bird identification brochures are still being disseminated at schools and courses. Workshops on the identification of LBJs and summer migrants were presented in August and September. Saturday 3 September: Anton Odendal to present a morning workshop on the Birds of Prey, Owls and Nightjars of the Western Cape.
Eight Flight for Birders bird identification and conservation courses were presented during the year in which a total of 215 birders participated. A course will be presented at Mollergren Park on 20 and 21 February and this will be used as a membership drive. Members were encouraged to assist by getting friends, colleagues and family members to participate and join the club.
5. CONSERVATION – THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN BIRDLIFE OVERBERG AND CAPENATURE: Last year's description reads as follows: This has been a ground-breaking development and probably will show the way (nationally as well) on what bird club outings should look like in future. Details of this arrangement are available on the website. A decision was taken with Keir Lynch of CapeNature to use the Birds In Reserves Project (BIRP) methodology for these outings as it is easy to implement and delivers very practical results for CapeNature in their monitoring programmes. These outings are very enjoyable, even though so few members participate in it. We would like to encourage more members to participate as it is great fun, we learn all the time and we are contributing to the conservation of birds and their habitats. Keir Lynch has resigned from CapeNature and this arrangement needs to be reviewed at the AGM. DECISION: Anton to discuss this matter with the regional management of CapeNature as the feeling is that the MOU be terminated.
6. THE WESTERN CAPE BIRDING FORUM: We still participate in the meetings of this Forum particularly as far as the development of birdfinder web pages and the marketing of the Western Cape as a top birding destination is concerned. Note should be taken of the fact that this is a BLSA sponsored Forum and that we will continue punting the BLSA cause at these meetings. Anton was appointed as Chairman of this Forum on Saturday. This appointment will mean a lot to BLO and the attendees congratulated their chairman’s appointment.
7. COMMUNICATION: We launched the BLOBirdNet during 2014 and this is working very effectively for those who are members of it. The idea is to get all members to participate in the BirdNet, because communication is immediate and anyone can load events, sightings of special birds, etc onto this. The content of the BirdNet is moderated, with the result that no SPAM or nonsense is allowed. NOTICE: We appeal to all members to register with the BirdNet and requests to the last eight members who are not yet registered to join have been repeated. We are also considering the establishment of WhatsApp groups to be used exclusively for Rare Bird notifications. ACCEPTED. Ilse Bigalke requested to develop the system.
In July 2013 we joined Facebook and Twitter, both for BirdLife Overberg and Western Cape Birding. This is hugely successful and has basically doubled visits to the website. Members are encouraged to send a Friend Request to Anton Odendal as this is by far the most effective and rapid way of communicating on events, sightings and the like. Nothing further.
8. WEBSITE AND BIRDFINDER WEB PAGES: Three birdfinder web pages were developed during 2014. These were for the Cape Whale Coast (sponsored by the Overstrand local municipality), Plettenberg Bay (sponsored by the Plett Accommodation Association) and Cape Town (sponsored by WESGRO). These pages are still being updated regularly on a monthly basis. A web page for the Witzenberg region was launched in July 2015 (Sponsored by the Witzenberg local municipality). This was followed by the presentation of Flight for Birders courses at Tulbagh and Ceres and this resulted in the formation of a BirdLife South Africa affiliated club for the Witzenberg region. Work on birdfinder web pages for the Theewaterskloof and Swellendam regions is progressing well and several sections of text have already been posted on the website. The Bergrivier, George and Cape Agulhas regions have been identified as priorities for future web page development. The improvement of the Cape Whale Coast web page along similar lines to the Witzenberg page is also being considered. Sponsorships for these proposed projects are currently being sought and members are requested to assist with the identification of possible sponsors and donors. Anton gave feedback on progress and appealed to members to assist with the possible identification of potential donors and sponsors for the further development of birdfinder web pages for the Bergrivier, George, Cape Agulhas and Cape Whale Coast regions.
9. FINANCIAL REPORT: Copies of the financial report was made available at the AGM and Vivie Lombard tabled the report. The financial report was discussed, some questions were answered by Vivie and the report was then accepted. It was accepted that Vivie Lombard as Treasurer and J. de W. Koegelenberg & Co as Auditor be retained for the next financial year.
10. MEMBERSHIP FEES - 2016: BirdLife Overberg membership fees now stand on R165.00 per year for individuals under the age of 60, R110.00 per year for those over 60 and R55.00 per year for family members. The committee proposed that membership fees be increased to R180.00 per year for individuals under the age of 60, R125.00 per year for those over 60 and R70.00 per year for family members. Kindly note that for 2016 this will only apply to new members joining the club and that the new fees will only be applicable to current members in January 2017. ACCEPTED.
A reminder of decisions taken at last year's AGM: BirdLife Overberg members do not have to take out BirdLife South Africa membership, but are encouraged to do so. It is the member's own responsibility to communicate with BLSA in this regard. It was accepted that as far as BirdLife Overberg membership is concerned all members be invoiced for 2016 during January. This will save major administrative time and costs. New members that join the club between January and June will pay the full membership fee mentioned. Those joining between July and September will pay half of the amount and those joining from October will pay the full amount on 1 February 2017. NOTED AND APPROVED.
It was recommended that we request a volunteer to welcome new members to the club and see to it that they settle down and become comfortable within the system. A document is being developed for this purpose and will be made available to the volunteer in both Afrikaans and English. WE THANK PAULA COMBRINK FOR VOLUNTEERING TO DO THIS. ANTON TO FINALISE THE DOCUMENTS.
11. FUND RAISING, DONATIONS AND SPONSORSHIP: No funds were raised during 2015 and this issue was discussed at the AGM.
11.1 The BirdLife Overberg Golf Day on 26 May 2016. Anton gave rather extensive feedback on progress in this regard and appealed to members to assist with fund raising and the like. The possibility of extending the BLO golf day to a Western Cape Birding Forum golf day in 2017 was mentioned. The raising of funds and prizes will continue for the next two weeks and Anton will then meet with Brian Taylor, Gary Combrink and Deon Esterhuyse for further planning.
11.2 The possibility of an art exibition (To be considered for 2017)
11.3 The possible development of a Cape Whale Coast birding weekend. Carin Malan gave a brief introduction to this concept and a sub-committee was appointed to investigate this matter. Further details to follow.
12. THE BIRDLIFE OVERBERG PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION: Several members have requested that this competition be revived. DECISIONS TAKEN AT THE AGM:
The competition will be revived, but the format thereof will be changed. It was proposed that it occurs on a quarterly basis, that only three categories be created and that each member only submits one photograph per category. Members who do not have long lenses and fancy cameras will be allowed to participate in a different competition by submitting images taken with fixed lens cameras or cell phones. A sub-committee consisting of Carin Malan, Carl Swart, Charles Naude and Richard Masson will investigate this matter further and develop final criteria.
A volunteer is needed to administer the competition. It was proposed that Richard Masson be approached about this and that Riaan Jacobs be seen as an alternative.
13. ELECTION OF COMMITTEE FOR BIRDLIFE OVERBERG 2016: The new BLSA club constitution forces us to appoint a formal committee, but it was proposed that we continue functioning as we did in 2015 with duties being shared between members. The following members have accepted nominations through nomination forms and this was accepted at the AGM:
CHAIRPERSON: Anton Odendal
VICE-CHAIRPERSON & CO-ORDINATOR OF MONTHLY SPEAKERS: Carin Malan
TREASURER: Vivie Lombard with support from Elaine Odendal
CO-ORDINATOR CATERING AND FINANCIAL/ MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY: Helé Oosthuizen
SECRETARY/ HISTORIAN/ MODERATOR OF BLOBIRDNET: Ilse Bigalke
CO-ORDINATOR OUTINGS: Chris Cheetham
RESPONSIBLE FOR MOLLERGREN PARK: Anita de Jager
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED FOR THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS:
MANAGER OF CLUB WEBSITE and MANAGER OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION It was proposed that Richard Masson be approached about this and that Riaan Jacobs be seen as an alternative.
The committee has accepted the proposal that two-way radios to be used during outings be purchased by the club. DECISION: CHRIS CHEETHAM AND CARIN MALAN ARE INVESTIGATED AND THE RADIOS WILL BE PURCHASED IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.
Nothing further received under general
Elaine and Helé thanked for the catering for the AGM.
CLOSURE at 20h25.