President's Newsletter

January 25, 2017


Dear SABA-members,


May 2017 be a great year for bonsai in South Africa. The year started with a bang and there seem to be a lot of new energy around.

Whilst everyone was still on holiday the first SABA Penjing show started on the 7th of January at the beautiful wine estate Babylonstoren. The show attracted a lot of visitors and some exceptional trees were on display. The farm is very keen to make this an annual event.

With the sweet there was also the sad news during the event that Rudi Adam, one of the stalwarts of bonsai in South Africa, passed away. He will be remembered by many of the pupils he taught over the years and for some of the great trees he produced. Please read the tribute to him that was posted on the SABA website.


The first SABA Exco meeting in 2017 took place on 16th January and a lot were discussed.  The meeting was attended by Willem Pretorius, Earl Jeffery (vice president), Terence O’Flaherty (treasurer), Hennie Reyneke (Gauteng) and Caroll Hermann (website). Robbie de Witt apologised because of a late business meeting.


The following matters were discussed:



The finances are looking healthy with R99 033,30 in the bank. The healthy balance is due to clubs paying their fees on time and expenses being kept to a minimum. The SABA bonsai calendar, ably organised by Earl, also proved to be a big success with the second print run being sold out and more clubs wanting to order more. That said – not everyone has paid up so please sort this out soonest if you still owe SABA. A big thank you to everyone who supported the project. It could become an annual highlight with everyone’s participation.



We found out that it is not so easy to move a website. Caroll Hermann has been doing sterling work and managed to get the dormant website up and running. It looks much better and we would like your inputs on how to improve it and make it as interactive as possible. Please visit and link your region and clubs so we can build the community.

Advertising on the website will cost R1 000 per year and a sales area will be created where SABA members can advertise what they want to sell at R100 per sale.

Please send news of events you are having so it can be marketed to a larger audience.  The more traffic we can generate thee better for everyone. News of the convention and the registration form has been uploaded.

Not all functions are working yet, but have a look and support us.  It has been a long road to get this sorted and it finally seems to be on the road to success.

With the writing of this our Facebook page has also passed the 1 000 member mark. Not bad if you think we started from scratch. We have a lot of people asking to become members of the page. Remember if there is no tree in sight on your profile you will not be accepted.



The changes to the constitution that was accepted by all at the convention in Bloemfontein is being tweaked at the moment. We got some very good input to sort out the legalese and are making the changes. A big thank you to Errol Rubin for his valuable inputs and to Terence who keeps on plugging away to make this better.



The SABA convention from the 17th to the 20th November promises to be a great event and the team of the EP Bonsai Society has put in a lot of hard yards to ensure that it is one not to be missed. Robbie and Lisa with their team are really working hard to ensure that everything is running smoothly.

The overseas headliner is Jun Ilaga from the Philippines who has demonstrated and judged in Malaysia,Vietnam, Indonesia and many parts of China. We are looking forward to learn a lot from him.

Hannes Fritz will report back on his visit to Japan where he will be representing South Africa at the WBFF convention. He will show pictures and take those who cannot make the trip on his journey through one of the highlights of the international calendar.

We will start with registration on the 17th followed by a cocktail and a get together at the venue at NewtonPark in 3rd avenue, Port Elizabeth.

The AGM will take place on Friday the 17th from 1600 and the prize giving will be on Saturday at 1600. Please all try and attend this.

The programme and registration form will be on the SABA website and remember the Early Bird discount for those who register early. It also helps with the admin if members register early.

Do not forget the dig on Sunday. As those of you know who have joined us for the SABA dig there over the last years it is something not to be missed.



We are still waiting for nominations from the regions for a representative to advise SABA Exco on matters affecting your region. Please expedite this as we need to get going to get better communication and management.

We also need the nominees from regions for judges for the SABA photo competition. So far only the Western Cape has nominated Viky Petermann. The first edition of the monthly photo competition is on hand and we would like the new panel to get to work on it.


And that is it for now.

With everyone’s help this could be a really good bonsai year.

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