NEWSLETTER - November 2006

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NEWSLETTER - November 2006 Powered By Docstoc
					               Friends of the 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:

                                   NEWSLETTER – OCTOBER 2006

With December getting ever nearer and end-of-year festivities on the way the Friends programme for
2006 draws to a close with a concert of glorious music to conclude another successful year.

The final outings for 2006 took place in September – read on to hear all about them.

WEST COAST MID-WEEK AMBLE: 19 – 21 September 2006 … as told by Elmara Willis

A group of Friends enjoyed two half days and one full day mid-week getaway to the West Coast. A
highlight of this trip on the first day was a cruise up the Berg River to enjoy the prolific bird life along
the banks. Unfortunately a howling wind that day had driven away many of the pelican, flamingo and
heron which usually crowd the river banks, but a real treat for bird lovers was watching thousands of
cormorants and terns at dusk flying in a seemingly endless flock heading up river to their nightly
nesting grounds.

We visited the salt pans and were shown the complex process involved in the collection of natural sea
salt. These pans are also a popular place for flamingo because they feed on the brine shrimps in the
pink water. In sharp contrast a visit to the Cerebos salt factory showed the commercial preparation of
salt, where additives and heat are used to produce free-flowing salt.

On the third day we drove to the fishing harbour of St Helena Bay, then on to Paternoster and a tour of
the Cape Columbine lighthouse. The trip ended with a picnic lunch at Tietiesbaai, overlooking the
lovely little bay surrounded by spring flowers and with the West coast waves pounding the rocks.

Ed: Thanks to Elmara for all her hard work in organising this interesting outing for the Friends.


An enthusiastic group of Friends enjoyed the September long weekend exploring the varied and
interesting wonders of the spectacular Cederberg Mountains. The group was patiently guided through
the complexities of the geological formations by John Almond and soon became familiar with
Witteberg, Bokkeveld and Table Mountain Groups and the graceful shale bands in between. An
afternoon spent on a rocky slope caused much excitement as members of the group found marine
fossils scattered everywhere. Different species of brachiopods were in abundance with some
specimens of trilobite creating particular interest. The climb to the Maltese Cross was rewarded with
further geological wonders, evidence of glacial activity, tillite deposits and dramatically folded

A visit to the Stadsaal massif was an opportunity to see two interesting fine-line rock art sites as well
as some later examples of ‘rock art’ left behind by visitors with well-known names such as C Louis
Leipoldt and P W Botha! The main Stadsaal cave is spectacular in itself and allows the visitor’s
imagination to run riot as you explore the irregular formations leading in all directions.

The final treat was a walk, in intermittent misty rain, through a valley with interesting and beautiful
varieties of plants on all sides leading to a gentle waterfall – so unexpected among the towering rocky
Natura Viva cc trips always include a spectacular site for sundowners, and in the Cederberg the
choice is endless and spectacular as the last rays of the sun turn the mountain tops through a range of
exotic colours and the last pink clouds drift overhead.

CAPE LEOPARD TRUST: For everyone who enjoyed Quinton Martin’s recent talk on the Cape
Leopard Trust, you may be interested to know that the latest newsletter is now available and can be
read on the website along with the news of the collaring of another Cederberg leopard. Keep up to
date with the interesting work being done by this dedicated group by logging on to the website

TUESDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2006 – the last activity for 2007

An evening of 18th century music with Richard Oxtoby and a well-known group of
talented musicians Grant Brasler, Caryn Hayward, Colleen Nero and Titia Stalling.

You are invited to join the Friends as we celebrate the close of another successful year. Join us for a
glass of wine and listen to the gentle strains of recorder, oboe, baroque violin, viola da gamba and
harpsichord. These talented musicians will create a tranquil sense of a more leisured time before the
stresses and strains of modern life began to make themselves felt. Grant Brasler (harpsichord), Caryn
Hayward (oboe), Colleen Nero (viola da gamba), Richard Oxtoby (treble recorder), and Titia Stalling
(baroque violin) will be playing solo and trio sonatas and quartets by the Italian Archangelo Corelli,
the Belgian Jean Baptiste Loeillet and the German Johann Sebastian Bach and the prolific George
Philip Telemann.

Venue: Whale Well at the South African Museum
Time: 18:30 for 19:00
Cost: Members – R40.00 Non-members – R50.00



The Friends are planning an eight-day natural history tour to southwestern Namibia in April next year
led by John Almond of Natura Viva cc. The trip will focus on diverse aspects of Namibian landscapes,
geology, fossils and plant life. To allow for plenty of time exploring the veld rather than on the road, we
will concentrate on getting to know the area between the Orange River, Keetmanshoop and Luderitz
at the coast. Highlights will include bizarre Precambrian fossils, the Fish River Canyon, the
Kolmanskop ghost town, granite koppie walks and lots of lovely desert scenery and succulents.
TRANSPORT: The trip will start and end at the Namibian border. Participants must have high
clearance vehicles (e.g. bakkie or combi) but it need not be a 4x4. If at all possible please share
COSTS: The fees for the trip will be approximately R6 000 per person in comfortable shared
accommodation and will include most breakfasts and evening meals. There will be modest extra costs
such as lunches, refreshments, border fees and entrance fees at reserves.
CONTACT: All enquiries and bookings to Maxine or Jill at any Friends contact numbers.


COMMITTEE NEWS: The elected office bearers on the Friends committee for the 2006/2007 are:
Chairman – Munro Bloch, Vice-chairman – Greg Harvey, Secretary – Medeé Rall, Treasurer – Maxine
Davies. The support team is Bertha Blackwood-Murray, Richard Borden, Elmara Willis and Brian
Warner. As a group of volunteers who work hard to provide the organisation with interesting and
varied programmes, they need your full support and assistance where needed or required.
2007 SUBSCRIPTIONS: Membership of the Friends of the South African Museum is valid for a
calendar year and is therefore due for renewal by 1 January 2007. Renewal forms are included with
this newsletter and should be completed by return before we all get swept up in the rapidly
approaching festive season. The committee is offering members the opportunity to take advantage of
a discounted rate for 2007 should you choose to take up a three-year membership – see fees offered

    Three year discounted subscriptions                           Current one year subscriptions
Pensioner: R90.00 with e-mail.R135.00 without e-mail     Pensioner: R35.00 with e-mail R50.00 without e-mail
Individual: R190.00 with e-mail.R225.00 without e-mail   Individual: R70.00 with e-mail R85.00 without e-mail
Family: R300.00 with e-mail R350.00 without e-mail       Family: R105.00 with e-mail R120.00 without e-mail

ELECTRONIC TRANSFERS: As technology takes over it also presents some mysteries. There are a
number of unidentified deposits in the Friends bank account, probably for subscriptions. If you have
not received a membership card or any acknowledgement of a payment made to the Friends please
contact the office.

OFFICE HOURS: The Friends office, at the South African Museum, is attended by Maxine and Jill on
Wednesdays and Fridays from 09:30 to 16:00. Should you wish to make contact at other times you
may phone Maxine at on 072 225 6893.

WELCOME TO ALL NEW MEMBERS: Our membership continues to grow each month, which is very
encouraging. It is a pleasure to welcome the following new members who have recently joined – we
look forward to meeting you at future activities.

Garth Angus                               Peter Fairhead                           Ken Price
Maré Ascott                               Norbert Furnon-Roberts                   Gerald Robinson
Richard Berrisford                        Anthony Kershaw                          Lyn Robinson
Lynn Berrisford                           Lynne Kershaw                            Henk van der Tak
Vivien Cohen                              Judy Maguire                             Ine van der Tak

Maxine Davies
Editor – Newsletter
Friends of the South African Museum

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