Chairmans Newsletter January 2022

Where does time go? January has come and gone and I’m only now finding time to write my first letter for 2022. The holiday season is fast receding into a distant memory. Firstly, I would like to wish you all the very best for 2022. I’m very positive about this year. I’ve a good feeling it’s going to be a good one – we are certainly due a break from all the hassles and suffering of these past couple of years.
The Club got off to a very slow start, chiefly as a result of most members only getting back from the holidays after the first Open Day. I can’t say much as I was also away. There were only a couple of members who attended and fewer who camped over. From postings on the WhatsApp group, it was a very wet affair which brought back memories of boating on the dam near the Lapa.
The next OPEN DAY CAMP OVER WEEKEND is from 11th to 13th February. Let’s make up for the poor turnout last time and make this one a bumper camp over. We don’t have anything planned as yet, but we can think of something, even if it’s just to socialise.
The committee is focusing its attention on the 50th Celebration on 5th March and the AGM on 26th March. Those eligible to attend should have received their invites. We realise that January is a difficult month financially, however, if you wish to attend either event, you need to have either paid your membership fees or made arrangements with Karl to pay them. This obviously excludes those on the debit order run.
The 50th promises to be a great gathering of the FWDCSA clan as we have invited past chairmen that are still around and able, as well as the current chairman and vice-chairman of the various FWDCSA divisions as well as a few others who have had close ties to us. We have secured a number of sponsors to cover the cost of these invited guest as well as the cost of having Mel Miller to act as master of ceremonies and entertain us.
In order to help us finalise the numbers for catering can you please book and pay by the 14th February. Dave Nixon our chief maintenance member for the past several years has finally decided he has had enough of coming out every week to ensure that Base4 has been looking like it has for a long time now. Dave has certainly earned his rest! His dedication and generosity is going to be sorely missed by the Maintenance Team. On behalf of the Committee and the members I would like to take this opportunity to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU DAVE.
Noel Thompson has volunteered to take over the leadership of the Maintenance Team. These guys also need a BIG THANK YOU for regularly giving up their time to come and look after the club. Base 4 is looking very lush and green at present, and Kersten has his hands full cutting the grass.
It is too early to say what our membership numbers will be in 2022. We ended last year on 143 members. We have had a number of new members signing up recently. However, we need to see how many of last year’s members are staying on and paying their fees.
Karl would appreciate it, if you have received this letter and do not intend renewing your membership, that you let him know. As the AGM approaches, I would like every member to reflect on the FWDCSA and what they derive from their membership and what they would like to gain from it. It cannot be that only a handful of members drive this club. Every member needs to make a contribution no matter how big or small. Even older members who may not be physically fit anymore can make a meaningful contribution by passing on their knowledge and experience. One way to do this is to expand on these letters I’ve been writing and reviving the Club’s newsletter. This could be done electronically at very low cost. We need an older member with time on their hands to organise and edit it. This would create a better sense of belonging, especially if members were to contribute with news and snippets.
We also need experienced members to help Dave Mac organise outings and possibly lead trips, be they one day outings, a weekend away or an extended outing.
The Club is blessed with a wonderful bird life. Perhaps someone could organise a twitter group? There are many ways which members could derive a better experience from their membership and use of Base 4. Although it’s not official yet, Dave Mac has a one day outing to De Wildt planned for the 20th February. This is to be confirmed.
Well, that it for now. See you all on the 12th February.
Stay safe.

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