By Bob Saunders, vice-chairman
Greetings fellow genealogists
This newsletter is a first in a slightly different format, which we hope you will find more informative than previously, and to which we hope you will respond by being more interactive with the branch and committee.
The upcoming meeting:
The February meeting is one which the committee would really wish to see EACH and EVERY member of the society present -- even more so than the AGM (if needs be), as we are faced with a serious dilemma, in as much as we are not attracting our members regularly to our meetings, and we can only imagine that the talks we have planned and presented to date have not:
a) inspired you to want to attend, or
b) the subject matter does not interest you or
c) the topics presented are not addressing your needs (as members old and young, experienced or novice or somewhere in between these parameters).
So the question that has to be asked is this:
a) What do YOU want from your society?
b) How can YOUR committee best serve your interests and needs from your branch.
c) What can WE do to inspire you to participate more regularly or
d) What can WE change to suit the needs of those among you who have not ever attended a meeting or
e) WHAT aspects, if you did attend one, left you disillusioned about what you experienced?
To make the workshop a success, it is essential that each participant provides an input on as many of these aspects as possible. So please put on your thinking caps and help us to steer the programme in a direction that you believe will be beneficial to you specifically and the branch as a whole.
Should you not be in a position to attend the meeting, please do not simply ignore the letter. Your opinion still counts and we are relying on you to give us feedback by means of a return e-mail if you know you will be unable to attend so that these ideas can also be presented to the committee and others. Where there is a common theme, the answer is simple, and we will attempt to address these immediately. Where there are less common or unique requests/suggestions, we may have to debate the merits and take a vote on the relevance to the branch as a whole. Please do not remain silent on any issue of contention, or any suggestion. Every contribution will be considered.
Next month's meeting:
The March meeting is our Annual General Meeting and will take place on 21 March 2009. Please note that we need to have your nominations for the committee if you believe you have a likely and willing candidate. We will welcome all nominations to which the nominee has consented, as we would like to see some new faces on the committee. If you wish to volunteer services, we will find a nomination for you. Many hands make light work and we could use some fresh ideas too.
Please note that all paid up members are eligible to vote and we would really appreciate a great turnout for this event. AGM's are notoriously shunned by the majority of people for the wrong reasons. We will make ours as light as possible despite the need to make the various reports and execute the necessary formalities. Please show your support by attending and making your voice heard by casting your vote on the motions, and the election of the committee.
Those of you who have not as yet renewed your membership, January was when your subs fell due, so please bring your membership up to date by paying your subs and completing the renewal form as soon as possible - preferrably at the February meeting. We will have the necessary forms at hand and a willing treasurer (or substitute) to receive the funds. Remember this can also be done electronically if this suits you better.
Your committee is in the process of planning for the year, but a lot depends on the suggestions which will arise from Saturdays workshop, in determining the direction we follow for the year. We still have the Ben Leach talk in hand, which we are sure Ben will gladly deliver in due course once he has fully recovered. Sterkte Ben, ons sien uit na jou toespraak in die nabye toekoms.
Ek will graag die Noord-Transvaaltak komplimenteer deur om n idee uit hulle nuusbrief te "steel" en by ons eie nuusbrief in te sluit. Hulle het n spesiale deel wat hulle "hoenderveloomblik" noem, waar lede se stories oor 'n hoendeveloomblik beskryf is. Ons het almal 'n storie of tien oor ons eie navorsing en natuurlik daai een deurbraak oomblik of ongelooflike gelukkige vonds of wat ookal om met ons medelede te deel, om 'n waarskuwing te gee, 'n bietjie moed in te praat of selfs 'n bietjie raad te bied. Ons vra julle om ook hieroor te dink en bydraes te bied vir publikasie. Laat weet asseblief van julle stories wat ons dan onder "interessanthede" sal plaas. Die stories kan net uit 'n paar paragrafies bestaan of 'n langer. Onthou, dit gaan oor ervarings te deel.
We have a small library which is being constantly augmented with books via donation and of course purchase. We are anxiously awaiting to receive a substantial donation from a collection, but more about that in the next newsletter. Graham Southey is our librarian. Between him and Lucas Rinken, our chairman,, they are busy catalogueing our current collection. Please make use of this underutilised resource. There are many magazines for light reading, a fair number of historical type books for more intense reading, and then there are the very serious tomes such as the SAG's for study and research purposes. All of these are at your disposal. Should you find any books in your own collection that you no longer need or want, and these are of some merit and historical significance, please also consider donating these to our library. You will duly be acknowledged for your contribution.
Don't forget that we are still looking for those parts of your research that are complete to be added to our collection either in an omnibus that will be compiled from time to time depending on volume or your very own publication whether it be hard copy or in electronic format. You never know who may benefit from that material in the future - and you will have had a hand in it.
Dit is die nuwe voorgestelde formaat van ons maandelikse nuusbrief,. Ek vra asseblief vir kommentaar en kritiek asook bydraes vir die toekomstige uitgawes, waarin ons byvoorbeeld verjaarsdae sal kan aankondig, nuwe lede verwelkom, huldeblyke publiseer en meer. U voorstelle en nuusbrokkies sal ook verwelkom word. Soos nuwe idees hulle verskyning maak, sal ons die brief uitbou.
Greetings from your committee with the reminder of this months meeting on Saturday the 21st February a 2pm (14h00) at the NG Church Ontdekkerskruin, Phillips Avenue, Discovery, Roodepoort.
Remember your R5 contribution for refreshments, for which we thank Margaret Humphries heartily for co-ordinating and arranging every month. Much is discussed and shared over those cups of tea and plates of eats. So be sure to get your share of the action.