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					Friends of Iziko South African Museum
Postal address: P O Box 61 Cape Town 8000 South Africa Physical address: 25 Queen Victoria Street Cape Town South Africa Phone: 021 481 3913 Fax: 021 481 3993 Cell: 072 225 6893 E-mail:

Welcome to a new year of interesting lectures and activities with the Friends.

LECTURE PROGRAMME FOR 2008: Lectures are scheduled for the last Tuesday of each month
from February to November and take place in the T H Barry Lecture Theatre at 19:00 unless otherwise stated. Lectures are free to members on presentation of a current membership card and non-members pay R20.

LECTURES in 2008 Tuesday 26 February
Topic: Hitching a ride with a Great White shark Speaker: Alison Kock will open the 2008 lecture programme. Time: 18:30 for 19:00 Join Alison as she takes us inside the world of the Great White shark (literally). Alison, with the National Geographic's Crittercam Unit, teamed up to attach small cameras to the white sharks to learn more about these misunderstood animals. She will describe how they attached the cameras and why cameras are the perfect tool to learn about the hunting and social behaviour of sharks. She will also show a video from the sharks’ perspective.

Tuesday 25 March Topic: Elephant management in South Africa – why it is necessary and what the options are. Speaker: John Hanks Time: 18:30 for 19:00
This lecture will look at the decline and subsequent growth of elephant populations in South Africa in relation to the limited areas available to them. The way in which elephants can regulate their own numbers will be outlined, with explanations of why interventions by man have become necessary. The range of options available for the management of elephants will also be looked at. The presentation will conclude with an update on the status of elephants elsewhere in Africa.

Tuesday 29 April Topic: A marine geotourist's view of volcanoes Speaker: Dr John Rogers
Time: 18:30 for 19:00 Dr John Rogers, a marine sedimentologist in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Cape Town, will present a talk on volcanoes, partly based on personal visits to various volcanoes around the world. This will include divergent-boundary volcanoes like those of Iceland and the MidAtlantic Ridge, hot-spot volcanoes like those of Hawaii and Réunion, and convergent-boundary volcanoes like those of Vesuvius, Santorini and Krakatoa. This presentation will include placing

volcanoes in their plate-tectonic setting and the screening of a DVD of footage of volcanoes. Hand specimens and books will help to further illustrate the lecture.

Tuesday 27 May Topic: African Black Oystercatchers: On the rocky road to recovery Speaker: Dr Douglas Loewenthal Time: 18:30 for 19:00
The African Black Oystercatcher is currently classified as near-threatened by virtue of the fact that the population size is so small and numbers have decreased, or were previously recorded as decreasing. Dr Douglas Loewenthal will argue that there undoubtedly has been an overall increase in the global African Black Oystercatcher population (despite some local population declines), and will discuss the often complex and interrelated factors that have been responsible for these population changes as well as the overall improvement of the species' conservation status.

SPECIAL EXTRA LECTURE Date: Thursday 12 June Time: 18:30 for 19:00 Venue: The Whale Well Speaker: Dr Tim Rideout Title: The grandeur that was Rome
The Friends and the S A Archaeology Society will co-host this illustrated presentation that will take the audience on a journey from Trier to Rome, Pompeii, Capri, Herculaneum, Tivoli and Palmyra – following the path of the once powerful Roman Empire.

Cost: Members of both organisations – free

Visitors – R20

OUTINGS Date: Saturday 12 April 2008 Activity: On Safari in Cape Town Leader: Councillor Owen Kinahan Time: 14:30 – 17:00
Join historian Owen Kinahan and the Friends on a walking safari in the central city. Hunting will be strictly limited to following the clues that will lead us to creatures wild and domestic, real and mythological, of fur, feather and foot. They are celebrated and camouflaged on and in buildings. Put on your Great Explorer outfit and come as a bwana (or bwanette)! Equip yourself with binoculars and butterfly nets – and much enthusiasm! The hunt is all on flat terrain and will take about two hours.

Cost: Members – R20

Non-members – R25

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL AS NUMBERS ARE LIMITED Date: 2–4 May 2008 Activity: A three-day natural history excursion in the Montagu district Leader: John Almond

Join John Almond for a three-day natural history excursion, based at the secluded MontEco Nature Reserve near Montagu. The reserve is embedded in the ruggedly appealing hill country of the western Little Karoo, 40 km northeast of the town. The weekend will begin with a tractor drive up the Langeberg followed by a potjiekos lunch; the group will then head off to MontEco Nature Reserve. Time will be spent enjoying veld walks along stony river beds and over scenic koppies on the reserve with stops to enjoy the rocks and fossils, vegetable life, goggas and a picnic lunch. MontEco Nature Reserve offers shared accommodation in comfortable guest cottages as well as a shady camping ground with a lapa. Included in the cost is the tractor drive, potjiekos lunch and two night’s self-catering accommodation.

Cost in self-catering cottages: Members – R1 100 Non-members – R1 300 Cost for campsites: Members – R800 Non-members – R950 Date: Wednesday 21 – Sunday 25 May 2008 Activity: Fossil hunting in the Beaufort West district Leader: Roger Smith
Join our ever-popular palaeontologist, Roger Smith, and the Friends for the 17th Karoo fossil hunting excursion. Fossils 2008 will be in a different part of the Beaufort West district than before and the group will visit farms not previously explored on other trips. Shared accommodation has been reserved at Travalia Guest Farm 45 kms from Beaufort West. Included: Four night’s shared accommodation, including breakfast and dinner, at Travalia Guest Farm where camp sites are also available for those who prefer this option. Also included in the cost are morning and afternoon refreshments provided in the field. Not Included: Lunches for four days and any additional snacks and drinks you may require during days out on the slopes. Lunch boxes can been arranged at Travalia for R15.00.

Cost for dinner, bed and breakfast: Members – R1 300 Non-members – R1 600 Cost for campsites – no meals: Members – R600 Non-members: R700 BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL AND A 50% DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED TO SECURE YOUR BOOKING. ACCOMMODATION ON ALL TRIPS IS ON A SHARED BASIS. REPORT-BACK ON THE SHACKLETON VISIT IN JANUARY
A crowd of around two hundred enthusiasts, including forty fortunate Friends, attended the run-up of the Shackleton engines on Saturday 19 January at Ysterplaat Air Force Base. The enthusiastic audience was certainly not disappointed as the Grand Old Lady, Shackleton number 1722, was awakened from her slumbers and wheeled out on to the runway. After meticulous last-minute checks, the ‘Shack’ was finally ready. With a deep growl each engine was fired up in turn until all four were blasting forth in a sweet symphony. Then followed the finale with the engines run up to full throttle. The brute power of the engines was finally unleashed on the runway. The ‘Shack’ buckled and strained as the brakes struggled to hold her firmly in check – one could almost sense the desperate longing to become airborne yet again. Finally, the testing complete, the engines were shut down and the captivated audience clapped in appreciation of a truly wonderful performance. Watch the press for details of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the ‘Shack's’ arrival in South Africa on 26 February. Thanks to new committee member, John Taylor, for arranging this last minute special for members.


This fascinating exhibition will be on display at Iziko South African Museum until 12 March. If you have not already visited the exhibition do take this opportunity to enjoy this collection of award winning photographs from around the world. From vivid, colourful landscapes, to intimate portraits of animal behaviour, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition offers an extraordinary insight into the beauty, drama and diversity of the natural world. Don’t miss it.

SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 2008: Your 2008 subscription was due for renewal on 1 January if you have
not already sent us your membership renewal please do so before 31 March. A renewal form was included with your previous newsletter or one can also be downloaded from our website, and returned to the office with your payment. Should you make an electronic payment or a direct deposit into the Friends bank account it is very important that you include sufficient information on the transaction so that we can identify it. This is very important as there are many unidentified deposits in the bank account every month. If you have not received a 2008 membership card or any acknowledgement of a payment made to the Friends please contact the office.

HELP US PLAN PROGRAMMES FOR YOU: Whilst the hard-working committee has a lot of ideas
for future lectures and outings, this is your organisation and we would like to receive suggestions from you. Do let us know if there are interesting places you would like to visit or good speakers our members might like to listen to. WEBSITE: Keep up to date with all the activities at Iziko South African Museum on the website – This will take you directly to the Friends page where you will find the latest newsletter as well as previous newsletters. A membership application form and a gift membership form can also be downloaded should you wish to give one to a friend. You will find some of the images from previous outings which will give you an idea of the kind of activities enjoyed by the Friends. The Iziko website is regularly updated by our very own committee member – Melissa Stander.

ELECTRONIC TRANSFERS: There are an ever-increasing number of unidentified deposits in the
Friends bank account. Please ensure when making an electronic transfer or depositing directly into the bank account that your name and the word ‘subscription’, or relevant activity, is clearly stated and that you forward a copy of the transaction by fax, e-mail or post to the Friends office so we have a paper trail.

OFFICE HOURS: The Friends office at the Iziko South African Museum is attended by Maxine Davies
and Jill Franks on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00–16:00. Should you wish to make contact at other times you may phone Maxine at 072 225 6893. OUT OF OFFICE: I will be away from 11–31 March tracking Greek and Roman civilisations through Libya, Tunisia, Sicily and southern Italy. Jill Franks will be in the office as usual on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00–14:00. WELCOME TO ALL NEW MEMBERS: It is a pleasure to welcome the following new members who have recently joined the Friends – we look forward to meeting you at our future activities in 2008: Dianne Arnold, Loretta Daniels, Diana Hayes, Jeanne Jackson, Hans Kranold, Peter and Louise Lane Penelope Lazarus, Linsell family, Ruth Suter, Martin Wittenberg, Jane Yeats SHARING LIFTS TO LECTURES: A member of the Friends who lives in Constantia would like to make contact with other members nearby with a view to sharing lifts to lectures. For further information contact her at:

Maxine Davies Editor – newsletter Friends of Iziko South African Museum