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PIETERMARITZBURG GEM AND MINERAL CLUB 396 BURGER STREET - PIETERMARITZBURG - 3200 – KWAZULU-NATAL Treasurer: Merle Deare News Editor: Val Spearman Tel: 033 - 344 2170 Tel: 033 – 3865018 e-mail : email@example.com 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. VAL e-mail addresses of Club members (please check addresses and advise if mistake made): Sue Fly firstname.lastname@example.org HT TH Craig email@example.com HT TH Peter Blomkamp firstname.lastname@example.org HT TH Monique Muller email@example.com HT TH Charles Cawood firstname.lastname@example.org HT TH Merle Deare email@example.com HT TH Ian Davies firstname.lastname@example.org HT TH Jeremy Exelby email@example.com HT TH John Hudson firstname.lastname@example.org HT TH Maggie van Reenen email@example.com HT TH Sagren firstname.lastname@example.org HT TH Louis Voigt email@example.com HT TH Jacqui Younghusband firstname.lastname@example.org HT TH Leslie Liebenberg LESLIE.LIEBENBERG@kznlgta.gov.za HT TH Tracy Jones email@example.com HT TH
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