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                                      Treasurer: Merle Deare         News Editor: Val Spearman
                                      Tel: 033 - 344 2170            Tel: 033 – 3865018
                                                                      e-mail :
                                                                              HTU                        UTH

                                                                      Field Trip Manager : Craig A’Bear
                                                                      082 818 4204

                              SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2009 NEWSLETTER

CLUB MEETINGS : The AGM for the Pietermaritzburg Gem and Mineral Club was held on 17 October at Abe
and Les’s home. There were 14 members who attended and were welcomed by Craig. There were no changes to
the names of those members who were in charge of the different portfolios. A number of matters were raised by
Craig including the following :

           •   Field trip to Griqualand West and Niekerkhoop : see Craig’s report back below. (A variety of
               rocks were shown on the table. There was much complaint from Craig about his “overladen” truck
                much to the amusement of John!!)
           •   2010 Gemboree : possibility that it will be held at Kuruman. Details to follow.
           •   Membership card has been finalised and will be handed out to members who have paid fees.
               Plastic holders are available.
           •   Membership fees will not change (R100pp). However to save costs, it was agreed that the SA
               Lapidary Magazine should be e-mailed to those members who have access to the internet. Copies
               would be made for those members who did not have internet. (e-mail addresses below) Fees for the
               use of the machinery in Abe’s workshop to be reviewed due to the increase in electricity costs.
           •   Club Constitution : it was agreed that this needed to be updated in the light of current legislation
               regarding liability and indemnification. Val to send to Craig a copy of a constitution from another
               club for his consideration and further discussion with the Durban Club.
           •   Christmas Party : Val agreed to hold this occasion at her home. Date : Sat 5 December from 12.00.
           •   Jozini Trip : see Craig’s report back below

Following the meeting a lively Auction was held and over R600 was raised. Thanks to all who provided items for
the auction.

FIELD TRIPS : The weekend trip to Jozini and surrounds started on the Saturday morning at 9.00 from the
Baobab Inn with 15 members braving an unusually cold drizzly day. We stopped at the Dam wall to meet up with
other members before stopping at Pauluse’s home where some interesting specimens were bought. We then
headed off to an area where quartz and amethyst was collected. We then visited a quarry where a lot of Zululand
grey agate and carnelians as well as quartz and odds and ends were found. We headed off back to the Inn and had
an enjoyable evening. Sadly that night the rain persisted and the next day decided it would not be safe for cars to
travel on some of the roads so we headed off home, sad but satisfied with what had been collected.

NEXT FIELD TRIP : Date : Saturday 31 October – This is a trip to Albert Falls to collect crystals on a private
farm. The trip to Seven Oaks has been cancelled. Meet at 9.00 at the Albert Falls turn off on the PMB-Greytown
Road. The road is good, no gravel. Cars will be parked and then a walk to the crystal site. Please phone Craig for
any more information.

FOSAGAMS TRIP TO NIEKERKHOOP : An interclub trip was arranged to Griqualand West from 24 – 27
Sept. Les Petser and I left Cowies Hill at 3am on Wednesday morning and fetched John Hudson at his home near
Thornville at 4am. The vehicle was cramped due to all the provision for a trip in the bush. The trip was hampered
by thick mist till Van Reenen, 2 long delays due to road construction and getting lost in Bloemfontein (which
happens to me each time I enter this town!). We arrived at Griquatown at 3.30pm and “chilled” at Earth Treasures
until all the “rock hounds” had gathered, then travelled in convoy to Mr Kosie Smit’s home approximately 16km
from Niekerkshoop. Up till now we were expecting to camp “rough”, but the area we were shown was the
homesteads lawn, which was a lush green colour. The ablutions were great and cooking facilities good. The group
from KZN made a laager and settled down quickly. That night our host invited us to join in with a stir fry he had
organised for his family. After the meal, we upgraded the fire to a roaring inferno and partook in some
refreshment to knock out the tiredness from our bodies. When we eventually went off to sleep, we all slept
soundly until the chilly air of the area crept into our bones. Much snoring echoed around the house. The next
morning after a lazy start we left in convoy for Griquatown where we spent an hour hunting for cheap bits of a
variety of semi-precious stones. At 2pm we left for a Jasper site nearby. We spent an hour collecting wonderful
bits of jasper before heading off again in convoy to “Kosie’s” house. The next day after a cold start we headed up
to the Tiger’s Eye mine and spent the day collecting a wonderful variety of specimens. It was one of the best sites
I have visited. Most of the people had now set up camp, so that afternoon, we got reacquainted with old friends,
and much laughter was heard late into the night. The next day we went to the great “metropolis” of Niekerkshoop,
to Kosie’s depot to buy some tiger’s eye and then went to a farm belonging to Mr Niekerk who kindly let us
collect beautiful red and abrogated jasper. That night we had a “potjie” competition between “the Sharks”, “the
Griquas”, “the Blue Bulls”, “the Stormers” and the Vegetarians. It became a noisy, fun event and most people
retired late into the night. We left the next morning, had a near collision with a kudu, then spent 12 hours
travelling home.

Note by editor : It sounds like this was a thoroughly enjoyed long weekend, and looking at the specimens shown,
there is keen interest to possibly return again in the future. Sorry to miss this occasion but perhaps next time.

NEXT MEETING : Please diarise the 14 November 2009, as this is the last meeting of the year.


e-mail addresses of Club members (please check addresses and advise if mistake made):

       Sue Fly   
                               HT                                       TH

                               HT                                        TH

       Peter Blomkamp
                               HT                                                       TH

       Monique Muller
                               HT                                                            TH

       Charles Cawood
                               HT                            TH

       Merle Deare
                               HT                       TH

       Ian Davies
                               HT                                  TH

       Jeremy Exelby
                               HT                                                       TH

       John Hudson
                               HT                                  TH

       Maggie van Reenen
                               HT                 TH

                               HT                  TH

       Louis Voigt
                               HT                                             TH

       Jacqui Younghusband
                               HT                                                  TH

       Leslie Liebenberg
                               HT                                                                 TH

       Tracy Jones
                               HT                             TH

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