Minutes of the 2012 Annual General Meeting for GEESE held on
Sunday 25th March at 5pm in St Andrew’s Church,
73 Glen Road, Glencairn
1. Welcome & Apologies – The Chairman, Rupert Bromley, welcomed some 40 members of GEESE especially Mark Wiley, giving Provincial representation to the meeting, the new Rotary Warden, Koos Burger and his wife, Antoinette, and Chris Bonthuys from the City of Cape Town who had just got back from Johannesburg that afternoon. Rupert noted there had been a number of apologies – Paul & Greta Jaques plus Takara & Miranda, Tara Naeser, Nedens, Dalton Gibbs, David Brown, Robin Crawford, Lloyd Walters (Gordons), Bromages, Kim & Viv of Scenic South, Pearces, de Blocqs, Valerie Carter, Zoe Coates, Macclesfields, the Oliviers and the van Huyssteens and others were still coming in.
2. Chairman’s Report & the Accounts:
2.1 Report – the Chairman briefly highlighted the major events recorded in his report which had been circulated previously and copies of which were also on hand. He made special reference to the work done by Louise Stafford’s team of Alien Clearers and it was explained how it was a poverty relief programme and it took time to train and enthuse the workers.
2.2 Accounts – these also had been previously circulated and the Chairman invited questions. He drew people’s attention to the fact that the Simon’s Town Civic Association, the parent body of GEESE, had generously donated R3,000 to enable GEESE to continue to maintain the wetland until a City Grant came through for this purpose.
2.3 Approval of the Chairman’s Report and Accounts were approved by Bob Hulsman and seconded by Jimmy Duncan.
3. Feed back from Researchers working in and around Glencairn
3.1 Baboons – Lorraine Holloway gave a brief overview of the present situation. The vision, which would hopefully one day become fact, was to keep the baboons outside the Urban Edge and for all to live peaceably. Currently the baboons are being monitored by Nature Conservation Corporation who have a contract with the City of Cape Town. Lorraine is a member of the Baboon Liaison Group(BLG) which serves as a link between the community and the City of Cape Town in addressing community concerns. In our area there is the Da Gama Park troop, some 35 of them with a split off group of 15 which had started roaming in Glencairn Heights catching people unawares. It was therefore, essential to manage waste in a baboon-proof manner using the proper baboon proof wheelie bins and keeping them padlocked and lying down so as to mitigate baboon raids. The Navy areas were proving a challenge but Lorraine was meeting with their Environmental Officer and was hoping for the creation of a mutually beneficial working relationship. Another initiative is https://www.facebook.com/CarpenterTheBaboon which hopefully people will frequently visit and write with light heartedness. And of course there is the Glencairn/Simon’s Town web site firstname.lastname@example.org run by Louise de Waal, a most valuable form of communication for which we thank her very much..
3.2 Climate and land use change effects on fynbos endemic birds is the title of Phoebe Barnard’s research programme. She appealed to all residents to note carefully the date, place and identity of ringed birds (flier attached). These observations were of vital importance to the research, which is a joint SANBI/UCT/SANParks initiative, as through this her research team can gauge the movements and survival of fynbos birds.
3.3 Other bird-related matters – In discussion with the audience, members raised concerns about the displacement of Cape Spurfowl (Francolin) by Helmeted Guineafowl. Guineafowl were introduced in Cecil John Rhodes’ day. It was also noted that too many cats are ‘hunting’ in the wetland to the detriment of its natural inhabitants. Rob Simmons of UCT will be approached to give a report back in the next few months on the findings of his students who have been researching this. There was also talk about the impact of feeding birds – seed and nectar – as the seed attracted baboons and nectar water needs protein (Marmite or other protein extract) to replace what birds naturally gain from insects. Cilla suggested that nectar feeders should thus contain a teaspoon of marmite to 2 litres of water, a cup of sugar, some honey and some red food colouring. Once birds have found the nectar feeder, the red food colouring is no longer needed. Seed should not be provided to birds or guineafowl anytime that baboons could be attracted by it.
3.4 Leopard Toads – Alison Faraday unfortunately couldn’t make the meeting but stressed the importance of reporting sightings of Leopard Toads. It appeared that Glencairn residents didn’t realise the importance of reporting the presence of a Leopard Toad whose future is threatened and we have yet to discover their breeding site in Glencairn. Residents were asked to send photographs of their ‘visitors’ to Cilla or she would willingly come to take a photograph for record purposes.
4. DEBATE – should FISHING be ALLOWED or BANNED or WHAT??? The Chairman opened the discussion by quoting from the City’s By-Laws and described the consequences of irresponsible fishermen on the bird life which we are trying to promote in Glencairn and which was the reason for the debate. Bob Hulsman reported the frequent thoughtlessness of fishermen leaving line in the water with floats and hooks. Chris Bonthuys said the trouble stemmed from the residents feeding the birds and making beggars of them – they had learnt to associate people with food and become too tame for their own good. It was suggested that only hooks without barbs should be used and that all carp caught should be taken away. Chris Bonthuys proposed that we call a meeting of the fishermen in order to establish contact with them to work out a way forward to everyone’s satisfaction. By a show of hands, the majority of those at the meeting agreed to the holding of a meeting with the fisherman rather than attempting to ban fishing altogether at this stage.
5. Election of the Executive Committee – There had been one resignation from the current executive – Wendy Sheen – but the others were willing to continue, namely:
John van Huyssteen Margaret Cartwright Anne Fry Bob Hulsman Rupert and Cilla Bromley
An appeal was made for volunteers and anyone who had special skills or passions would be most welcome. It was with much delight that Eileen Heywood, Katrina Holden and Frankie Birt were voted onto the executive.
6. Future Areas of Help required:
v Regular Litter Clean-ups – everyone was willing to help.
v Work Parties for projects – appeals would be emailed or put on the Notice Boards as and when required.
v Photographer/Publicist – this person was required to photograph and write up events for the press and websites position still needs filling.
v Information/Educator – the success of the visit from the Grade 10s of Fish Hoek High School meant we could easily expect visits from other schools as all Grade 10s had to do an environmental project in that year and we need a team of members willing to assist – we aren’t expected to be experts but to assist with local knowledge. Aliet, Phoebe, Lorraine and Katrina all offered to assist.
v Maintenance Supervision – Philippe had fulfilled this role most ably in the past but might want help in the future.
If you see something that needs to be done, would you be willing to organise it? Sharing out the jobs makes it so much easier!
7. Vote of thanks was given for the support received from Councillor Simon Liell-Cock, the City of Cape Town, the Simon’s Town Civic Association and Chris Bonthuys who received a round of applause! As well as the Revd Nolan Tobais, Rector of the Parish of St Francis for the use of St Andrew’s
8. Future Projects:
8.1 The Production of a Basic Guide would be of great help when taking people round the wetland. Various resources were available to draw upon and the Silvermine Rangers had offered their photos to assist in this project. There was a suggestion to go one better and produce a guide that could be down loaded onto one’s cell phone and for the information and photos, etc to be changed as the seasons changed. We would need a volunteer with this sort of expertise but it was agreed that this was the right direction to move into.
8.2 Development of Winnie the Pooh Corner: Cilla spoke of the clearing that had taken place – especially the area round the gum trees which make a natural jungle gym and just need the addition of some ropes. Everyone was requested to have a look at the area and to see its potential before going across for a drink and a snack.
There was much enthusiasm shown for this latest development of Winnie the Pooh Corner and thereafter most people came for a drink and further discussion. The Scenic South Webpage www.scenicsouth.co.za was brought up on the computer so people could view the excellent photos of the rare Little Crake that had been sighted in the Silvermine wetland.