August 2017 SABA Newsletter

August 28, 2017

Dear SABA members,

The year is flying by and ­- if the newsletters are anything to go by - everyone is full of energy and ready for the summer. Please keep them coming and keep us informed of what is going on in your region.

At a Skype-meeting of the EXCO on 22 August we had a long discussion on different issues. Thanks to all the regions who send in points for the agenda and asked information on issues they feel are important.


The meeting was attended by W. Pretorius, Earl Jefferys, Robbie de Witt, Hennie Reynecke, Terence o’Flaherty and Caroll Hermann. Apology from Viky Petermann (Western Cape). Absent Jaco Kriek (Gauteng).



The SABA finances are looking very healthy. A big thank you to all the clubs who paid on time. This is the best response we’ve had in years. It must also be said that some clubs paid the old rate of R30 per member and not the new rate of R40 per member. Please see that this is corrected before the AGM.

In the last newsletter I also asked clubs to send me a list of members with their detail so we can have a data base of all bonsai enthusiasts in the country. This will also help us to confirm that membership fees are correct.


This data base will be confidential. It will not be given out to anyone for marketing purposes or anything else. We’ve had numerous requests for a list of our members but we don’t want anyone to market directly to members and circumvent clubs. Any information distributed will only be done with the chairpersons consent. Please send lists to


Last years financials are being finalised by the auditor and will be presented at the AGM in Port Elizabeth. A list of paid up clubs will also be distributed with the next newsletter.



The arrangements for the SABA convention in PE is going well. Robbie reported back and announced that there were now 80 prepaid bookings from all over the country. This is great and a big thank you is due to everyone who support us. The more people register early the easier it is to balance the books and add more things to the agenda.


All the organising around the trees is on track, demonstrators confirmed and there is even a Plan B in place for any eventuality.


Anyone still looking for accommodation must please contact Robbie for a list of B&B’s close to the venue.


Robbie and his team are doing great and we are very happy with the way they are organising this important event.


New Talent

There was a request from Gauteng to send more than two entrants for the New Talent competition that will be held at the convention. The committee felt that an increase in attendees can be discussed at the AGM and if necessary the constitution changed accordingly.


There was however a suggestion that extra entrants from a province can approach regions who are not sending people and use their space. This was agreed to by the EXCO. It just seems fair because a region like Gauteng with eight clubs can now only send the same entrants as a region with one club.


SABA Calendars

Last year saw the first SABA calendar with beautiful trees from the SABA photo competition as well as useful information on what to do every month.


Due to the success of this we have decided to do another one this year and have asked for input from clubs as some regions have a different schedule as the printed “To do”-list because of the climate. If you can please expedite your input as there is a lot of work to be done before we go to print.

The cost of the  calendars will be R125 each.



The website is doing well with hits up to 1 767. The most popular page is the one for Vendors.  A suggestion was made to give ALL vendors an opportunity to list their sites for free for two months. This way we can ascertain what the response is and they can see if it is worthwhile. Caroll will take this up with vendors. The first prize will of course be that they pay for this service.


The next most popular pages were “Clubs” and “Events” pages. The most visitors were from South Africa, America and Russia.


Please send any items or promotions for the VENDOR's page to


What we need from you

The EXCO will be stepping down at the AGM and new blood is needed to take our wonderful hobby further. Please discuss this and get nominations ready so that we get the right people in the right job and do not spend a lot of time in debating this at the AGM.


For those talented people out there with special skills and knowledge -  now is the time to step up to the plate. Please put your hand up and see to it that the best people are in the next Exco.


We also need nominations for the lifetime achievement awards. Please identify worthy candidates who have served bonsai for a number of years in a exemplary way and send in their nomination with a CV and proper motivation to me.


And that is it for now! We post this newsletter on the website and link to Facebook but as a lot of clubs seem to miss it even then we will send it to the different regions as well.


Keep on growing.

Willem Pretorius


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