SABA Convention in PE

November 30, 2017

Firstly, a heartfelt thank you to Willem Pretorius, Earl Jeffereys, Robbie de Witt and Hennie Reynecke for their dedication and hard work during their four year tenure as president and members of the SABA EXCO. We, as the new committee can only say thank you for everything you have done for bonsai and that we have big shoes to fill. 


We also want to congratulate EP Bonsai Society for the very successful convention held in Port Elizabeth. It is only at these gatherings that you realise how many passionate bonsai-people there are in South Africa.  Their head-liner Juan Llaga was not only knowledgeable and  a great artist, but also crept deeply into the hearts of the South Africans with his humour.


And on that note, we would like to introduce the new committee to you:


President: Caroll Dewar Hermann has been involved in bonsai since 1984. Her favourite trees are definitely the Baobab and then the bougainvillea.  She was given her first bonsai (a baobab) in 1984 and killed it.  It started a love/hate relationship with baobabs.  She loves to start trees from seeds and cuttings.  


In 2012, she registered to do her PhD in the philosophy of bonsai, which was completed in record time.  Due to the uniqueness of the topic and approach, it took another year before the University could find examiners and the degree was finally awarded to her in 2015.  Since then, she has registered a research project with her University, using bonsai as a psychodynamic tool and has just completed working with unemployed, traumatised youths.  She is currently working on a rehab project, using bonsai, with convicted criminals.  


Her day job is a lecturer in Psychology at a University, has 3 boys and is the only Bonsaichologist in the world:-)! 


Caroll's portfolio remains social media (because she is on Facebook ALL day long) and the web page.


Vice President:  Org Exley joined the Pretoria Bonsai Kai in 1988 after going to their show at the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria and has been a member ever since.  He has also been on and off the committee since 2008 and has been Chairman since 2009/ He has been President of the BRAT regional committee since 2012.


He has a wide variety of species in his collection and likes to propagate from seeds and cuttings, but his best is going on digs 2 to 3 times a year where he collects Wild Olives and other species for bonsai. 

He has +- 100n bonsai in his collection as well as 200+ pre-bonsai stock in containers. He also has a few hundred cuttings, seedlings and trees growing in containers and in the ground for future use. He has workshops at this house every second weekend of the month and he has done demonstrations at club, regional and national level.  In 2013 he was invited to China by the WBFF to represent Africa at the World Bonsai Conference.  Org is also the SA representative on the WBFF. Org was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the Convention in PE for all the work he does for bonsai. Well deserved!


Org's portfolio is Regional participation, such as BRAT, CRAB,, KWANBA, etc, (because he is very strict) as well as the mini-convention.


Treasurer:  Terence O’Flaherty was on the last SABA committee and has elected to stay on.  He grew up on a farm in the old Eastern Transvaal, somewhere between Nelspruit and Waterval Boven, so Jock of the Bushveld and the ZASM tunnel mean something to him. He was schooled in White River and Nelspruit, and completed a Civil Engineering degree at Wits (sorry I am no accountant) and now work in KZN.

While he has dabbled with bonsai for a while, he has only been an active club member for 8 years. He is a member of KENGAI and done a stint there as treasurer and chair. He says:  “Bonsai gives me a chance to escape the rat race and retreat into my world. I enjoy the forest/group/landscapes to the single tree in a pot. Having been given one 2 inch B- Davii cutting while in Namibia, which I nurtured and eventually made cuttings, I now favour this species. I prefer to develop the tree myself (with some help now and again) rather than buy one. I do however try a bit of everything and aim to have 5 or so of each to keep me out of the house when I retire.”


Terence's portfolio is that of Bean Counter because he is so good at it.


Secretary: Victoria Harrison grew up on farms around the Eastern Cape and finally settled in East London, so the love of nature and outdoors has always been in her blood. Her dad dabbled in bonsai so she started going to the shows for inspiration and in 2010 joined Border Bonsai Society. 


She says about her favourite tree – “well I still feel like a beginner and want to try absolutely everything b