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Prior to the AGM on 12 April ………read the minutes from last year’s AGM

The Minutes of the 69th Annual General Meeting of the Cape Bird Club  

Held at Nassau Centre, Groote Schuur High School

on Thursday 09 March 2017

Meeting Chair: Priscilla Beeton

Meeting Secretary:  Barbara Jones

Register of Members Present : Priscilla Beeton, Johan Schlebusch, Joy Fish, Joan Ackroyd, Cheryl Leslie, Barbara Jones, Peter Steyn, Ross Soller, Gill Ford, Gavin & Anne Greig, Dave Whitelaw, Mel Tripp, Felicity Ellmore, Michele Ross-Innes, Leslie Fagan, Gill Knight, L. Phillip, P. & B. Burnett, J. MacFarlane, I. MacFarlane, Merle Charlton, Andrew Codd, Lorraine Codd, Peter Nupen, John Rogers, Brian van der Walt, Ione van der Walt, Denise Fiveash, Yvonne Dixon, Helga Hill, Rosemary Nathan, Cedric Dallas, Jean Risien, Gretchen Baretta, K. Hoffman, Graham Pringle, Barbara Pringle, Dave & Lorraine Palmer, Shirley Dobson, Shelley Brown, Heather Howell, Sheila Becker, Fred Wannenburgh, Owen & Sandy Gush, Peter & Sandy Hellis, Berry Mandy, J Hobbs, John Fincham, James MacFarlane, Lindsay & Tessa Kennedy, Andrew & Bernadette Marshall-Smith, Jean Eva, Nick Starke, D. Randell, Sylvia Ledgard.

Register of non-members present: Karin Wilson, Muriel Sutherland, Jacqui Braunlich, Nancy Soller, Derek Mandy, Andrea Weiss, Graham Rodgers

  1. Apologies: Patrick & Beryl Riley, Helen Fenwick, Simon Fogarty, Peter Welch

Quorum: A quorum was declared and the 69th Annual General Meeting opened with a warm welcome by the acting Chairman.

  1. Confirmation of Minutes:

The minutes of the AGM dated 14 March 2016 were accepted. Proposed by Peter Steyn, seconded by Ross Soller

  1. Matters Arising

3.1.         CBC proposal regarding voting rights on the WCBF

This was approved and passed at the WCBF meeting in May 2016, with majority support.

  1. Chairperson’s Report:

The full report for the period May 2016 to February 2017 can be found on the Cape Bird Club website.

4.1 Club Membership

Current membership stands at just over 700, and we continue to work on strategies to encourage new members, especially youth, as well as look after existing membership.

4.2 WCBF

Anton Odendal was re-elected unopposed as the WCBF Chairperson and Mark Brown as the WCBF Vice-chairperson at the last WCBF meeting. Mark Brown is also the WCBF representative to the BLSA.

  • Remembering departed friends:

Des Frylinck and Barrie Rose were remembered for their outstanding contributions to birding.

  1. Communications

5.1          Website

The new website was launched in January 2017. It is still a work in progress, with Joy Fish, Cheryl Leslie, Mel Tripp, Gillian Barnes and Gavin Lawson as the team that is driving the project.

5.2          Promerops

Our club magazine, with Fiona Jones as the editor, is extremely popular with our members, and reported as one of the reasons why people join the CBC.

5.3          Newsletter

Thanks to Cheryl Leslie for all her hard work and hours of time in compiling our regular digital newsletter, which is also a quick and easy way of communicating important information to our membership

5.4          Facebook

There are nearly 2 000 members to our Facebook page, although the majority are not members. Most are younger people, which is in line with our constitution to promote birding and bird conservation among young people.

5.5          Media advertising

Linda Johnstone was thanked for advertising CBC activities on the local radio and community newspapers, as this does attract non-members.

5.6          Members survey

The member survey had 185 responses and these have been very helpful in informing our planning. We are already starting to implement some of the suggestions, such as lift clubs to outings.

  1. Programme activities

6.1          Help is needed with suggestions for new outings and new venues. Members are asked to please email suggestions for outings to the committee.

6.1          Evening meetings

Helen Fenwick was thanked for coordinating the evening meetings as well as all the outings, but she is stepping down. All the speakers at the evening meetings were thanked, and Peter Steyn was thanked for being the ‘praise singer’.

6.3          Outings

A lot of effort goes into planning our monthly and mid-week outings, and the leaders were thanked for all their hard work. More than 34 outings have been held this year

6.4          Local camps

Three this year: Slanghoek, Vrolijkheid, Botterkloof.

6.5          International camps

None fell within this reporting period, as these were held in March 2016 & May 2017

6.6          Courses

Five courses have been run in the past 11 months: Johan Schlebusch chairs the planning committee

6.7          End of year function and quiz

The number of those attending exceeded expectations, and it was a very successful evening. The photographers who thanked for submitting photos. Mel is stepping down as quiz master and Mike Buckham and family have offered to take this on.

  1. Fundraising for conservation

The production Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat, at Theatre on the Bay, raised R28 000 for our conservation TMAK project. Other fundraisers were a painting and a tapestry that were donated by members – thank you all.

  1. Other thanks

8.1          Patrick Riley, assisted by Mel Tripp and Frank Hallett were thanked for their audiovisual support at meetings

8.2          Gavin and Anne Greig were thanked for running the book table at monthly meetings and courses. Others thanked for their services were Sylvia Ledgard, Paul and Cathy Jenkins, the ‘tea ladies’ (Gill ford, Beryl Riley and Joan Ackroyd), and all the people who coordinate regular bird counts and participate in citizen science initiatives

  1. Way forward – YECO

All the members of the committee were thanked for their hard work and commitment. We will be having a workshop in June to develop an integrated longterm strategy for the club around the 4 pillars: youth, education, conservation, outreach. Ross Soller joined in January and has taken on the youth portfolio

  1. Awards

The following members were honoured with the Promerops Service Award for long and outstanding service to the club:

Joan Ackroyd – joined in 1978 (39 years). Membership secretary for 17 years

Helen Fenwick – now lives in Gansbaai so could not attend. Secretary from 2005 for 11 years

Gill Ford – treasurer, courses committee, teas & refreshments

Gavin Lawson – designer of the first CBC website and has managed it single handedly since 2004, Conservation committee (especially Sandvlei)

Gavin & Anne Greig – have been running book sales since 2000.

Yvonne Weiss, Eric Barnes, Dick Barnes & Derek Longrigg – collectively, they have been involved in birdcounts for over 100 years, among other things.

The Chairperson’s report was proposed by Janet Hallett and seconded by Mel Tripp .

  1. Conservation Committee Chairperson’s Report

Dave Whitelaw presented the Conservation Committee Report. The full report for the period can be found on the Cape Bird club website.

Staff at Strandfontein have been cut by the CoCT from 11 to 1, which is resulting in it being very difficult to maintain.

There have been many waders to the site this year. The TMAK project is researching ways to increase the breeding sites of martins and kingfishers at Strandfontein. This bank of information will be available for other sites. Dave stressed the importance of sewage works for birds because of the shrinking of natural wetlands, and the relevant authorities are being encouraged to make these as bird-friendly as possible. The Conservation Committee is trying to identify areas that are important for birds and criteria for local important birding areas (LIBAs). The Berg River is a hotspot for development. The Orange River mouth is a Ramsar site but is in a terrible condition – the BLSA has been notified to try and do something about it.

  1. Treasurer’s Financial Report

A summary of the financial report was presented by the Treasurer, Joy Fish,

The conservation account has been boosted considerably by the fundraiser Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.  Fees from subscriptions have increased substantially. It was proposed that we change our auditors as we can get better service for lower fees than from the current auditors. Proposed by Dave Whitelaw and seconded by Jo MacFarlane. A vote was taken by a show of hands and the motion was passed.

  1. Election of Committee Members

There have been two new nominations. The following members were elected to serve on the committee for the next 12 months:

Priscilla Beeton, Dave Whitelaw, Cheryl Leslie, Joan Ackroyd, Johan Schlebusch, Joy Fish, Barbara Jones, Ross Soller, Linda Merrett (new), Gillian Barnes. The meeting approved the committee

  1. Any other business

A raffle was drawn for the Sappi Birds of South Africa Callfinder book. This was won by Penny Dichmont

Peter Steyn then entertained the meeting with a talk on Shakespeare’s birds

There being no further business the meeting was declared closed at 9.20pm.


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