Report on Southern Africa AGM 2017, Thaba N’chu, Bloemfontein [Bruce McKay]

IMG_1337So, the road trip to the Southern Africa AGM started mid-morning on Friday, 08 September 2017. It is about a 550km drive from East London but fortunately the roads are good. On the way to Bloemfontein we noticed how dry the landscape was and that all the live-stock were rather thin and in dire need of water. We lived in Bloemfontein for more than 15 years and have very fond memories and great friends as well as some family that live there. 

Once arriving in Bloemfontein, we had a quick pit stop to buy a few odds and ends and then set off for the last 67km drive to Thaba Nchu. The AGM was to be held at the Black Mountain Hotel & Conference Centre just outside Thaba N’chu, also known as Big Sky Country, this due to the beautiful open skies, even on the cloudiest day it is amazing to see.

On arrival at the hotel we checked in and of course on the way to the room were stopped several times by 41’ers and friends alike to greet. Needless to say, at the registration desk the beer was cold and aplenty. I immediately joined the last board meeting for the year. During the meeting, there were many interesting items discussed and plans were already in place for the next year. The incoming board which was made up mostly of the outgoing board excluding the vice president elect put forward their action plan for the following year. It was a well presented

10-point objective that was discussed and I believe that if they follow the objectives set that the association in Southern Africa can only grow from strength to strength. There was a lengthy discussion around the questionnaire and the outgoing president would be forwarding the results of the discussions to the international secretary for recording. Off I rant to my room for a quick change and then off to the evening function….but wait what a room I was given…fit for a President, excuse the pun.

The evening was a themed event ‘Legends of South Africa’ and of course many people went as rugby players and Mandela but I chose to attend as golfing legend Gary Player. The evening saw an array of typical South African dishes with a magnificent lamb on the spit which was simply the best. The live band was entertaining and the evening was enjoyed sharing fellowship with old and round. Lots of memories shared and new ones created.

Early on Saturday morning saw the AGM starting promptly with a welcome by the President and then the IPP of Round Table Rupert had a chance to address the meeting. It was good to hear that there is such a great relationship between Round Table and 41 Club in South Africa. Since the signing of the MOU both associations have made the effort to support each other in any way possible. My address was well received by all during which I also thanked Andre and his team for the great year they have had and simultaneously wished David and his council a good year ahead. The YAPS gave a short presentation of their YAP tour to SA and the ladies then departed on a tour.

After the meeting there was some more fellowship and a volley ball match between the YAPS to watch until it was time to get ready for the President’s Banquet. What a glamorous affair it was, all the ladies looked amazing and of course the guys too. The highlight of the evening ws when I was requested to induct my younger brother David as the new President for the 41’ers Association of Southern Africa. A proud and emotional moment indeed. The rest of the night was left to fellowship, dancing and just simply enjoying everyone’s company. We left early the next morning and arrived safely in East London at around 16h00.

In closing a huge thank you Black Mountain Hotel & Conference Centre, Peter your guys did a fabulous job and of course to Southern Africa for all the support shown to me as the International President, it makes me proud to be associated with such a vibrant bunch of guys.

Until we meet up again….!