Posted 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. 

Dear Anton
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.
Yours sincerely
Mark D. Anderson Chief Executive Officer

“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.

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.


(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
Banish emptiness
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


PETER STEYN (posted: 2017-08-03 22:22:09)
Dear Anton,
Not just a top bird photographer – thank you for that lovely picture of us together.
I don’t quite know where to begin, but perhaps to say what an amazing evening. Everything went klop disselboom and we thoroughly enjoyed every moment with your wonderful friendly members. The amount of work and preparation that went into everything simply boggles the mind.
Also for a veritable cornucopia of gifts with which you smothered us, they were deeply appreciated. As for our B
LOUIS ALBERTS (posted: 2017-08-03 22:19:34)
Beste Anton
Daar is baie mense wat bygedra het tot die sukses van Saterdagaand se “Xmas in July” en ek dink jy het die dankie van elkeen van ons op n baie gepaste manier aan elkeen oorgedra.

Jy is egter die een wat die grootste DANKIE verdien vir die stigting van die klub. Sonder n klub is daar nie n verjaarsdag nie !
Dit is nie te moeilik om n klub te stig nie maar dit is n perd van n ander kleur om n klub aan die lewe te hou en terselftertyd relevant te wees. Ek herinner my aan een van die lede wat n paar jaar terug op n beplanningsvergadering gesê het: Ek kom hiernatoe omdat ek iets wil leer en nie om net te sosialiseer nie. Ek dink hy het daardie aand die klub se sterkste tema op die verhoog gesit – dit is wat BLO anders maak as vele ander en die 20ste verjaarsdag as net nog n mylpaal sal verbysteek.
Anita was ook in die kol toe sy gesê het: “BLO is Anton Odendal en Anton is BLO” – ek hoop die vlammetjie van entoesisme sal nog lank helder brand !!
Baie dankie vir al die hulp om die voëltjies wat ek nie herken nie vir my op te klaar – ek waardeer dit baie.

Baie dankie ook aan Elaine vir haar betrokkenheid – ek verstout my om te sê: sonder haar gaan jy swaarkry.
Louis Alberts
STEVE PECK (posted: 2017-08-03 22:16:23)
Firstly please let me say a big thank you to you and your committee and especially the ladies for a wonderful spread and evenings entertainment last night.
Lee and I were so impressed with Peter and his talk, and meeting Trevor and Margaret and chatting was also a highlight for me.
Having been involved at the sharpe end of these types of events I can appreciate the huge amount of work that goes into their organisation again thank you.
DIANE STEENKAMP (posted: 2017-08-01 12:45:10)
Thanks Anton,

We enjoyed the evening very much. Appreciate your and your fellow member's dedication to a wonderful evening, indeed a privilege to be able to join in the festivities.

Regards Deon and Diane Steenkamp