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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: samfriends@iziko.org.za

                                     NEWSLETTER – December 2007

As 2007 comes to a close the Friends can look back on a year in which we were privileged to host a
number of outstanding speakers who attracted ‘full house’ audiences. Members also had the opportunity
to participate in a range of outings to new and interesting places. Thank you all for your continued
support without which there would be no Friends organisation. The programme for 2008 is being planned
by the committee and members can look forward to some new excursions as well as a great line-up of
speakers.

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

LECTURES in 2008

26 February

Topic: Hitching a ride with a great white shark
Speaker: Alison Kock – a popular speaker in 2007 – will open the lecture programme for 2008
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 white sharks to
learn more about these misunderstood animals. Alison will describe how they attached the
cameras and why cameras are the perfect tool to learn about the hunting and social behaviour of
white sharks. She will also show a video from the sharks’ perspective.

25 March

Topic: Elephant management in South Africa – why it is necessary and what are the options
Speaker: John Hanks

This lecture will examine the decline and subsequent growth of elephant populations in South Africa in
relation to the limited areas available for 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 be reviewed. The presentation will
conclude with an update on the status of elephants elsewhere in Africa.

29 April

Topic: A marine geotourist's view of volcanoes
Speaker: Dr John Rogers

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 Mid-
Atlantic Ridge, hot-spot volcanoes like those of Hawaii and Reunion, 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 comprised of footage of volcanoes. Hand specimens and books will be used to further illustrate
the lecture.

DAY TRIPS

Saturday 12 April

ON SAFARI IN CENTRAL CAPE TOWN
Leader: Councillor Owen Kinahan

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.

Time: 14:00–17:00
Cost: R20.00 members and R25.00 non-members

20 February 2008

TIMBUKTU MANUSCRIPTS – A GUIDED TOUR OF HISTORIC AND RARE MANUSCRIPTS
Venue: The Granary, Castle of Good Hope

Join the Friends for this ‘first-ever’ opportunity to see these ancient and rare manuscripts never before
seen outside Mali. The manuscripts cover a wide range of subjects including mathematics, science,
botany, music, poetry, philosophy, religion, commerce and social relationships. The exhibition will be
complemented by displays of artefacts and clothing from the Timbuktu and Sahel region.

This exhibition highlights the intellectual tradition that took root in the towns of the Sahel in the 14th
century AD. Africa has a long history of written scholarship and learning, reaching from Ancient Egypt
through the Classical and Christian civilisations of the Mediterranean coast and north-east Africa, to that
of Islam in the northern, western and eastern parts of Africa. Following the introduction of Islam to the
Sahel by Arab traders, Timbuktu became a centre of Islamic scholarship, associated with the production
of manuscripts in Arabic script.

Time: 11:00 with a repeat tour at 14:00 should there be sufficient interest
Cost: R20.00 members and R25.00 non-members

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL FOR BOTH THESE OUTINGS AS NUMBERS ARE LIMITED

OUTINGS FOR 2008

MONTAGUE WITH DR JOHN ALMOND

We can look forward to an interesting excursion in the Montague area where there is endless opportunity
to explore the geology and botany, taste a little wine and go on a tractor ride in this beautiful area. Dates
and details will be available early in 2008.

FOSSIL HUNTING WITH DR ROGER SMITH: 21–25 May 2007

This popular annual outing will be in a new area of the Beaufort West district. Accommodation has been
booked and camp sites are available for those who prefer this option. Full details will be available in
February 2008, when bookings will open.
REPORT-BACK ON INTRIGUING INTAKA ISLAND

The weather was unpredictable, but the enthusiasm of the Friends was undaunted as they set out to
explore this award-winning site.

Encircled by the ever-expanding development of Century City and its surrounds, this wetlands area
provides an unexpected tranquil space spread over seven different habitats and is home to 177 species
of indigenous plants and 120 species of birds.

The two km nature trail was filled with a remarkable variety of indigenous flowering spring plants, while
the seasonal and ephemeral pans contained a diverse display of fynbos, restios and succulents. A
variety of birds made the most of the water filled pans – spoonbills, blacksmith plovers, grey and black-
headed heron, cape shovellor, purple gallinule, red-knobbed coots and many more.

The group enjoyed a lunch break in the two bird hides overlooking the Heronry, which was filled with
hundreds of birds. Sacred Ibis seemed to predominate, but there were nesting herons, pied kingfishers,
darters, white-breasted and reed cormorants, brown-throated martins, masked weavers and red bishops,
in all their scarlet breeding splendour. A special treat for the group was a sighting of a black-crowned
heron with her chicks.

This natural wetlands area is a wonderful way to ‘get away from it all’ without having to travel too far. It
also provides the opportunity for enviro-educational programmes, research and conservation of our
natural heritage. A return visit is planned for October 2008 which will provide the opportunity to observe
any changes that may have taken place.

MUSE … UM? The Friends programme for 2007 closed with a fun evening of poetry and music.
Special thanks go to Finuala Dowling, Brian Warner, Gus Ferguson and John Orr for an entertaining
evening and to Dave Ferguson for providing the delightful musical interludes.

DONATIONS: Thanks to the wonderful support of our members the Friends organisation has been able
to make the following donations in the past year:

    Karoo fossil laboratory: An E-max polishing system which is a much appreciated asset and
     enables the laboratory technicians to work on the finer details in their preparation of fossils
     especially between the teeth of insectivores.
    West Coast Fossil Park. An Olympus stereo microscope, with lightscreen and video camera.
    Clanwilliam living landscape project: The Friends donated R4 000.00 to this development
     project following an enjoyable trip with Prof John Parkington in the Clanwilliam area in October.
    Miles for Smiles: Following David Grier’s lecture in October, when he recounted his
     experiences while running the Great Wall of China, the audience generously donated R2 500.00
     to the Miles for Smiles organisation, special mention of which will appear on the website
     http://www.milesforsmiles.co.za.

Grateful letters of thanks have been received from all these recipients. Thank you all for enabling the
Friends to support the work at Iziko in this way and also to assist more children to have life changing
surgery and be able to SMILE.

SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 2008: All members will have received their 2008 renewal notice by now. To
speed up the processing of your new membership cards please try and get them to the office as soon as
possible.

GIFT SUBSCRIPTION: This is the time of year when many of us are probably trying to think of what
gifts to give our nearest and dearest. Why not give them a gift subscription to the Friends? A Gift
Membership is included with this newsletter or it can be downloaded from our website – see URL below.
This is a gift which will last the whole year and give the recipient many options to choose from in 2008.
HELP US PLAN FOR 2008: 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. Please let us know
if there are interesting places you would like to visit or good speakers the members might like to hear.

THANK YOU to all the following people who play a vital part in the success of the Friends.

    The committee members Munro Bloch, Richard Borden, Bertha Blackwood-Murray, Greg Harvey,
     Medeé Rall, Melissa Stander, John Taylor, Brian Warner and Elmara Willis for all their support
     and hard work in the planning and running of the programmes this past year.
    Jill Franks who assists me in the office and keeps the database up to date, processes your
     membership cards and much, much more.
    Cynthia Querido, the Iziko Press Officer, who publicises our activities far and wide.
    Theo Ferreira, the Planetarium Manager, who attends to all our audio-visual needs for lectures.

WEBSITE: Keep up to date with all the activities at Iziko South African Museum on the regularly
updated website – http://www.iziko.org.za/sam/friends.html. This will take you directly to the Friends
page where you will find the latest newsletter as well as an archive containing previous newsletters. A
membership application form and a gift membership form can also be downloaded if you want 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 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
to follow. If you have not received a 2008 membership card or any acknowledgement of a payment
made to the Friends please contact the office.

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.

The Friends office will be closed from 14 December 2007 and will reopen on Wednesday
                                     17 January 2008.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS: On behalf of the committee may I wish you all a wonderful festive season, happy
holidays and safe traveling.

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.

Patrice Boussekey              Erwin Jacobs                    Dennis O'Donnell
Pat Coles                      Regine Koch                     Renata Puccini
Brian Collinson                John Kotze                      Rudy & Aura Schats
Norman Englender               Deborah Lane                    Toby Shenker
Adrienne Folb                  Sabrina Lane                    Craig Smith
Jia Liu Goldd                  Carol Martin                    David & Linda Stein
Peter & Colleen Grant          Perry Martin                    Louise Steyn
Helen Hoare                    Jurgen Meyer                    Peter & Uschi Stuart
Pamela Jackson                                                 Jacqui Taylor

Maxine Davies
Editor – newsletter
Friends of Iziko South African Museum