The Genealogical Society of South Africa 
eGSSA branch 
  Annual General Meeting of the Genealogical Society of South Africa
Port Elizabeth Women’s Club, Summer Strand, 25th February 2006





The Annual General Meeting of the Genealogical Society of South Africa took place on 25 February 2006 at 09:00 at the Port Elizabeth Women’s Club, Summer Strand.




Opening and Welcome

The formal meeting opened at 09:10. The National President welcomed members.



Attendance and Apologies

Apologies were received from Paul Maré, Colin Pretorius & M.J. van Wyk.



See attached list.


Acceptance of Previous Minutes

The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, which took place on 5 March 2005 at The Castle, Cape Town, was accepted. (Proposed by R. Ford & seconded by L. Rinken.)



Call for additional items for the agenda







President’s Report

The National President of the GSSA, Johann Janse van Rensburg, read his clear and concise Annual Report. (Ref. Appendix A)



Financial Report

André Heydenrych, Treasurer, gave the Financial Report which included the following items: (Ref. Appendix B)

The cost of the AGM, approximately R20 000, was to be regarded as an operating expense.

A new printer for FAMILIA is being employed. It is anticipated that printing costs may increase, however with more people asking for electronic copies this could balance out the additional expense. (Cont. under 5.3.2.)

After considering various options in changing membership fee structure it was unanimously agreed that no increase in present membership subscriptions should take place for the year 2007.

A careful breakdown of expenses should be made, allowing for separate reflection of the costs of meetings and products.


The GSSA realised a loss of R4 000 if only the membership fees were considered as income. This loss was however covered by the moneys generated by the products.


The meeting stressed that capital should be available for publications and the development of products. (Cont. under 5.3.4.)


The branches must service members. One way of achieving this is that when new members join, it is imperative that the branches must inform the Treasurer immediately. Another way is that changes to addresses must also be sent to the Treasurer immediately. The Treasurer is never certain of which address to use when contacting branch members.


The new address of the Northern Transvaal branch was given and the Membership Forms must be amended accordingly. (See item 5.4.5.)


It is to be noted that the Treasurer keeps a central register of all CD’s and products for sale. Only the Port Elizabeth branch markets its own products. Each product has a unique GSSA reference number, supplied by the Treasurer.



Specific Reports



Web Page

The Web page should be updated regularly.




Report was presented. (Ref. Appendix C)


A detailed comparison of the cost of printing FAMILIA was given. The new printer is providing a better product and delivery is more prompt.


The inclusion of the “Best of the branches” will be discussed at a later date.


Methods of encouraging writers to submit articles to FAMILIA need to be found. The present trial system, of paying writers for articles, has proved to be unpopular and difficult to administer. It was decided to stop the payments to contributors.



Public Relations

Isabel Groesbeek and Johann Janse van Rensburg proved to have been most energetic and enterprising in their efforts to publicise genealogy and the GSSA. Museums were visited, articles written, and radio talks given. (Ref. Appendix D)



Projects and Products

Branches are to provide detailed business plans to the Treasurer / NEC, stating costs, expenses and future plans. It is essential that this be done before money is made available for new products.


It was suggested that each branch should dedicate one of their meetings to show casing the GSSA range of products. This has already proved to be very successful in the Western Cape.




It was again confirmed that training should lie with each individual branch. Suggestions were made that each new member of a branch be given some individual guidance on methods of research etc.




Progress on Omnibus 2004/2005 has been hampered by the need for elimination of duplications. Daan Hamman stated that the final product stands at approximately1 000 pages; it will thus only be made available electronically.


The branch committees must obtain the research done by members.


A new editor for Omnibus must still be found.



Genealogical Reference Guide / Genealogiese Verwysingsgids

For the Genealogical Research Guide, it is necessary that branches obtain more information about the research being done by members. In order to keep the Guide up to date and of the most benefit to all our members, an annual effort must be made by all the branches to get the data from new as well as current members.



Branch Reports

Note that all the branch reports are available separately.



Durban and Coastal

Not presented. (Ref. Appendix E).




Daan Hamman read Colin Pretorius’ Report to the members. Profits will be used to improve the Web Branch and improve Web space. (Ref. Appendix F).




Not presented. André (as representative) gave a short report on the current activities, or lack there of. The branch is at present dormant due to a lack of active committee members. In 2005 there were 70-80 paid-up members, a loss of these members to the GSSA may be a consequence. The possibility of an amalgamation with the West Gauteng branch has been voiced, or alternatively, temporary closure. The situation is problematic and will receive urgent attention from the NEC.



Natal Midlands

Not presented.



Northern Transvaal

Wilma de Bruyn, Treasurer of the branch, read their Report. (Ref. Appendix G).


The new branch address was given:





Simon du Plooy, read a concise Report. (Ref. Appendix H). Isabel Groesbeek commended them on their newsletter, FAMNEA.



Eastern Cape

Sheila Broadley read the Report. (Ref. Appendix I). It is to be noted that of the 33 members allocated to the branch, only 13 of them are resident in Port Elizabeth. This has made it difficult to find willing committee members or members with suitable transport.


Farm Cemetery CD available from Rose Trehaeven.



Vaal Triangle

This branch has been in existence for only 6 years. Engela Spaleck, the chairman stated that the members were fully involved. (Ref. Appendix J)



West Gauteng

Richard Ford presented the West Gauteng report. (Ref. Appendix K)



Western Cape

Nico Gey van Pittius presented the Western Cape branch report. (Ref. Appendix L) He stated that the obstacle delaying the publication of Capensis in CD form was the copyright restriction imposed by a previous editor on his personal research.



Free State

Johan Pottas informed the meeting, informally, of problems in the way of functioning of the branch. There are presently only 3-4 members available to run a branch. The President informed all that he was scheduled to visit Bloemfontein to give a talk to the organisation “Vroue Dinamiek” and that he would use the opportunity to arrange a meeting with as many of the members and other interested persons in Bloemfontein to find out if the branch could not be revived.



Points of discussion, motions



CD for Members

A Members’ CD, which consist of inter alia the GSSA Constitution, Beginners Course, Genealogical Reference Guide, Cemetery Recording Guide, GSSA Brochure, etc. has been produced by the GSSA at a cost of R4 per unit. The comprehensive, bilingual CD is copyright free to members of the GSSA. It is suggested that the CD’s be downloaded on to personal computers and then returned to the branches. The NEC wish to urge all the branches to get the CD’s to their members as fast as possible with the least cost to the member possible.


Note: Both current and new members must receive the CD.



Free State Marriages

After attention to the format of this CD, at present not user-friendly, and checking of the contract, it will finally be distributed. Some delay is thus to be expected.



Code of Conduct

After careful discussion, a majority vote accepted Daan Hamman’s suggestion that reference to the Code of Conduct should be removed from the Membership Form and that future updates of the Member CD should be without The Code of Conduct.


It was again stated that although all the branches fall under the control of the GSSA Constitution, the Constitution does make provision that a branch may have its own House Rules.



New Projects for 2006

The NEC was tasked to draw up a new programme for 2006/2007.



New Products

Refer to 6.4



Editor / Project Leader for Omnibus

No candidate at present.


Project Leader for List of Sources

Daan Hamman displayed a copy of the South African Genealogical Reference Guide, which he has compiled and edited from members’ contributions. It is a bulky publication, and will also be available to the public to be sold as a CD.



New Branches

It was stated that the Free State and Kimberley branch would be discussed in detail at the Strategic Planning Meeting, which was to follow the same afternoon.


It was made clear to members and fully supported, that all races and cultures are welcome to join the Genealogical Society of South Africa. The GSSA will give specific assistance where requested.



eGGSA Motion

eGGSA suggested that NEC members should make themselves available for a two-year term in office. This motion was voted against which implies that this would not lead to a change in the GSSA Constitution.



Election of Office Bearers

Prof. Gideon dV de Kock took over as chairman and conducted the election of NEC office bearers. As proposed by Richard Ford and unanimously voted by the floor, Johann Janse van Rensburg will continue to be the National President; Isabel Groesbeek will continue as National Vice-President; André Heydenrych will continue as Treasurer; Petro Coreejes-Brink will remain as an Additional Member and Marilyn Coetzee will remain as National Secretary.


Gideon dV de Kock proposed that Daan Hamman be co-opted as an Additional Secretary for the occasions when National Council Meetings take place in Gauteng.


Nico Gey van Pittius and Gideon dV de Kock reminded the meeting that in future new nominations must be sent in writing 30 days beforehand.



Next AGM

The next Annual General Meeting will take place on 24 February 2007. The Natal branches will be offered the opportunity of hosting the meeting, should they be unable to undertake this, then the Northwest branch may consider stepping into the breech.


The meeting ended at 13:15.



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