Dear four wheel drive and outdoor enthusiasts,
This is my first news letter as the newly elected Chairman of the Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa! So I guess the first point of order is to introduce you to the new FWDCSA Committee for 2022/23!
- Mynhardt Kapp (a.k.a. “myni”) – Chairman
- Peter Hutchison – Vice-chairman and inter-FWDCSA branch Liaison
- Dave Bell – Vice-chairman and responsible for the Club’s Constitution and Discipline
- Karl Hoffman – Secretary, Bookkeeper and Membership
- Doug Timm – Treasurer and Auditor
- Dorota Maskowic – Events
- Craig Schelin – Marketing and PR
- Dave McMurdy – Outings
- John Runciman – Driver and Recovery Training
Heini Dirr was elected to the portfolio of Base 4, Estates and Maintenance, but resigned due to personal reasons. That means that the very important Maintenance portfolio is vacant. If anyone is interested to offer their services in this regard, it will be hugely appreciated – please contact myself or Karl. In the meantime Dave Nixon has kindly agreed to take up the reigns again and will be assisting until a way forward is established.
As a new committee we face several challenges for this … and the coming years. Due to limited funds available to the Committee, we will not be able to address everything at once but will rather follow a measured approach and deal with the most pressing matters first. This pertains to the electrical maintenance to ensure that Base 4 is a safe environment for all to enjoy. In the longer term, we need to start looking at fixing or replacing the clubhouse roof and further electrical work. To achieve all of this however, we need funds and a healthy cash flow.
To achieve this, the Committee agreed to a primary focus of “Growth” as a theme for the year. This growth strategy will cut across every portfolio:
Membership: as of 9 April our membership stood at 133 (of which eight are honorary). In order for the books to balance, i.e. just to cover the operating costs of Base 4, we need the number to grow to at least 270 by September. Each member of the Club is encouraged to endeavour to bring potential new members to join the Club – this is not only the task of the Committee. Speak to anyone on the Committee to see how you can help. Younger members will keep the Club going for longer … and if we can get the likes of the “young rebels” that founded the Club, we are sure to be on the right track!
Events: we are going to arrange more fun events and activities at Base 4 to coincide with each Open Day … look out for John Runciman’s “Getting Dirty with John”, which will be short talks on 4×4 related topics; interesting speakers (do you remember Prof. Blumenthal’s talk on lightning?); practical activities such as fire extinguishing; fun track events … and much more! Dorota Maskowic is waiting for your suggestions and help.
Outings: at least one day outing per month; a long weekend every so often and three two-week trips (as the borders open up … and the country lies begging for exploration) … and whatever else we as members come up with. Anyone can organise an outing – get in touch with Dave McMurdy to share your ideas.
Driver and Recovery Training: John has a number of fantastic ideas to attract more people to participate and learn how to handle their trusty steeds. Even “old dogs” can tag along to learn something new … or just join in the fun of getting down and dirty. Remember, there is no shame in having a Jeep recover your Land Rover!
Marketing and PR: Craig has the energy of a nuclear explosion! You will see a lot more content on social media … and he is already busy revamping our website (that was only launched last year!). Watch this space for some fireworks … all to pull more potential members to the Club. He will be giving a talk at the May Open Day on the 14th to share with everyone what he has up his sleeve – don’t miss it! Apart from learning a lot, he will also show you how you can leverage the media platforms to reach even more potential members.
Base 4, Estates and Maintenance: everyone enjoys a beautiful environment, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and Base 4 is just the place to enjoy a weekend of camping, socialising and enjoying all the activities on offer. This portfolio is crucial to set the scene so that everyone can’t wait to go back as soon as they go out the gate. Having such fantastic facilities will ensure that people will be looking forward to returning … and bringing more friends and family to join.
I am happy to welcome two new members to the Club already: Robin Twaddle and Johannes Labuschagne. We look forward to sharing time with you at the Club and on outings to get to know you better. Welcome to the family!
As Peter mentioned in his last letter as Chairman: we have decided to assist Dave Bostwick with his medical bills after he injured himself whilst working at the Club. We have set a target for the Club of R50,000 to reach by October this year. There have already been numerous contributions and as of 9 April, the balance was already at R3,535. If you would like to make a contribution you can pay it into the Club’s account with the reference D Bostwick and your name. We will also have a “milk can” at the bar in the Clubhouse … any small change will be appreciated. Noel Thompson may even do a “WhatsApp challenge” on the FWDCSA group.
The Open Day on 9 April was a bit of a “damp squib” – apart from all the rain, it was also very cold and we did not have anyone camping over the weekend and very few attendees. As such the track event was postponed to the May Open Day (14th). Look out for the promotion on social media and email – a great weekend is planned: the “Breakfast Brigade” will be there to ensure sustenance for the day ahead, a talk on the Club’s social media strategy, “Getting Dirty with Craig” (unfortunately John can’t make it in May) and Dorota’s “Treasure Hunt Mini Rally Around Base 4”. Come and camp over from the Friday … if there are enough people we may even twist Karl’s arm to open the bar and light the fireplace! Remember the words of Ivor Rimmington (SANZA): “there is no bad weather, only poor planning”.
Lastly, on behalf of the Committee and members of the Club, I would like to thank Dietmar Krupke (and friends) for their generous donation of a portable speaker system to be used in the Clubhouse (or outside as needed). Since our previous music system was purloined, we were hesitant to install a new one. But this one gives us flexibility and it is small enough to safely store away after use. Apart from playing music, it also serves as a public address system – for those soft spoken speakers whom everyone would like to hear.
Please support your Club – remember: it’s not what your Club can do for you, but rather what can you do for your Club?! If you have any questions about the Club, Committee or anything else, please approach anyone of us.
The new Committee looks forward to serving the Club and its members for the next year with everyone’s support.
Mynhardt Kapp (“myni”)
082 570 4309
For and behalf of the Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa