South African Military History Society

Free State Branch January 1969


Meetings: The branch has had two meetings, one at the National Museum in Bloemfontein (3/10/68) and the other at the home of Dr. F. Lategan also in Bloemfontein (7/11/68). No meetings have yet been planned for this year. Both our meetings were poorly attended. Dr. Lategan went to a lot of trouble at a time of the year when he could hardly afford it and gave us an excellent talk which was illustrated with firearms from his collection. At our first meeting Mr. Hugh Corbel gave us a most interesting talk (off the cuff) on badges. To these gentlemen a big thank you. Dr. M.C.E. van Schoor has indicated that he is prepared to give a talk on General de Wet to a combined meeting of the members of the Society and students at the university this year.

Lidmaatskap: In die Desember nuusbrief wat uit Johannesburg ontvang is word gemeld dat die Vereniging se ledetal op 191 staan. Die Vrystaat Tak het slegs vyf lede wat by hom ingeskryf is. Sommige van die lede wat in Johannesburg ingeskryf is, is in die Vrystaat woonagtig. Dit is die bedoeling dat lede self kan kies waar hulle ingeskryf wil wees. Dit spreek vanself dat ons tak se lidmaatskap moet vermeerder alvorens ons met mening te werk kan gaan. Afskrifte van die aansoekvorm om lidmaatskap en die prospektus is verkrygbaar van die sekretaris.

Military History Journal: Numbers 1, 2 and 3 of Volume 1 have already appeared. It may interest members to know that this excellent publication is printed at a loss, which loss it is hoped to eliminate by increased sales or by increased membership of the Society and its branches. Back issues of the Journal are obtainable from: The Director, S .A. National War Museum, P.0. Box 90, Saxonwold, Transvaal. Price: Rl.25 per copy. Contributions for the Journal must be sent to the same address.

Grondwet: Die Vereniging se grondwet wat in 1966 saamgestel is het met die stigting van takke verouderd geword. Dit word nou herskryf en afskrifte daarvan sal hopelik binnekort beskikbaar wees vir verspreiding onder lede.

Quote from December 1968 Newsletter from Joharmesburg: "Our thanks to Prof. M.C.E. van Schoor of the University of the O.F.S. who visited Johannesburg to deliver a most interesting lecture on General de Wet. Apart from the interest of his subject, he highlighted an aspect of the Society which deeply impressed us. This was that our members, whatever their backround, enjoy the study of Military History and the men who took part, and are able to admire and criticise irrespective of the political reasons for the battles."
In di&ecaute; verband kan daar gemeld word dat daar hewige teenkanting was teenoor vorige voorgestelde bespreking van die politiek wat betrekking gehad het op oorloë. Hoewel die politiek 'n groot invloed het op die militêre geskiedenis word dit waar moontlik vermy in die Vereniging se werksaamhede.

Voertaal: Dit is die Vereniging se be1eid dat sy werksaamhede in albei landstale gevoer word ten spyte van die feit dat die oorgrote meerderheid van sy lede Engelssprekend is.

Organisasie: Die Vereniging bestaan tans uit sy hoofkwartier in Johannesburg met takke in Potchefstroom en die Vrystaat (hoofkwartier in Bloemfontein). Onderhandelings was uit Joharmesburg aan die gang vir die stigting van takke in Durban, Port Elizabeth en Kaapstad. Majoor S.W.J. Kotzé het uit Salisbury laat weet dat iemand daar 'n tak gestig het maar nadere besonderhede is nie beskikbaar nie.

Policy: The following is quoted from a letter from the secretary at headquarters: "It is first class to see that you are holding your inaugural meeting soon. Actually the same is due to happen in Durban and it does of course bring up a few matters of policy. Subject to full discussion on the matter we feel that the framework under which branches should operate should be broadly as follows:
1. You elect your own committee and be responsible for your own finances.
2. In view of the fact that we in conjunction with the War Museum produce the Military History Journal, you pay to us an affiliation fee of two rand per member per annum. For that you receive two journals for each member each year. The entrance fee and one rand per annum you retain for your own running expenses.
3. As a start to your branch you can take over those of our members who are from your area and as soon as you tell us who are transferring to your control we will pass you one rand of each of their subscriptions.
4. We will forward to your secretary notices of our meetings together with copies of our newsletters and similar information and will receive the equivalent from your secretary.
5. Reciprocity will be such that all your branch members will be welcome to attend any function or meeting held by us and vice versa.
6. The constitution side will be fixed in the near future."

How not to serve your society: In an address to the Secretaries' Club, London, Lord Hollenden had these 24 hints on how members of the public should not serve the association(s) in which they are interested. They are: