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


Report to the National Annual General Meeting

For the year January to December 2006

25 February 2006


New beginnings

Before handing over the reigns to me, Thys du Preez brought out a bumper edition of 56 pages in March 2005. So, to start me off in this new co-opted position of “honour” he gave me some good advice and some contact numbers. But, otherwise I had only an empty in-tray and a lot of enthusiasm.



While I kept a weather eye on the in-tray I started developing my ideas on how to tackle two issues:


1 Introducing a production system that would deliver complete material to the printer to ensure that we achieve a uniform quality throughout the journal – a defined typeface and equal margins on all pages.
2 Having the journal posted to members in the month of publication and having them receive it by mid-month.


Unfortunately the printer, Lancelot Printers of Silverton, was unable to match delivery to his friendly mien and cheerful enthusiasm. Whereas the material for the June edition was delivered to him on 27 May 2005, a control copy was received through the post on 11 August. Similarly material for the September issue was handed to him on 3 September but copies reached members only on 4 November. On top of that the end product suffered from inconsistent print quality.


Taking the view that the contents of the journal should receive more attention than the production process, I appealed to the National Executive Committee for approval to appoint a professional printer.


This resulted in the appointment of ReproPrint of Honeydew as official printer from the December edition. Material was delivered on 27 November and members confirmed having received their copies on 12 December.


Printing costs

By way of comparison, here are the costs of the 2005 editions:

March 750 copies 56 pages R5 160 R6.88 a copy

June 750 copies 36 pages R3 443 R4.59 a copy

September 750 copies 48 pages R4 794 R6.39 a copy

December 900 copies 48 pages R7 819 R8.69 a copy


Quality of contents

After the second and third editions I received some letters of criticism about particularly Afrikaans spelling and grammar, and about the value of some of the articles. So, I called the bluff of one of the correspondents and persuaded him to serve on an editorial committee that I appointed ahead of the fourth edition.


The committee consists of Hein du Toit of Pretoria, Keith Meintjes of Michigan USA and Peter Smits of Plettenberg Bay. It is a working committee and the members vetted every contribution to the December edition – with the result that I received no criticism after publication. On the other hand I didn’t receive any praise either!


Familia CD 1964-2004

With Paul Maré’s patient cooperation, and with advice and help from Thys du Preez and Colin Pretorius, we managed to produce an up to date Familia CD in October 2005.


Best of the Branches

At its August 2006 meeting the National Executive Committee discussed an opportunity for branches to feature in Familia. Important research, often published in branch newsletters and journals, could be afforded a wider audience among the total membership by being included in a regular column in Familia.


During September I wrote all branch chairmen and asked them to discuss the concept with their branch committees and to let me have their opinions. Northwest, Vaal Triangle and West Gauteng were the only branches that replied and expressed their support.



31 January 2006


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