When we last met in November 2006, Francois de Wet involved us not only in a detective/adventure aircraft-story but also proved how much he loves the North African desert which, once it has been experienced, will never leave your mind. The KUFRA AFFAIR, when in May 1942 three Blenheim bombers were lost in the desert due to inexperience, faulty navigation and a sad chain of human errors, has been well documented over the years. Francois has been involved in unravelling some of the mistakes over the years, because his uncle, Major J.L.V. de Wet, was one of the air crew who was lost.
The Scribe has one four-page article available for anyone interested, and Francois has an excellent, illustrated article published in our Society JOURNAL of December 2001. Anyone wishing to read this, may also borrow it from the Scribe. The vast collection of photographs Francois showed, taking us on a long Safari, were truly awe inspiring. Thank you for a most fascinating, spellbinding evening, Francois, ..... but then the Scribe must admit that he was also touched by being confronted once again by the desert in all its variations and nuances which he had experienced and come to form a love/hate relationship with, 60 years ago.
Fellow member Tony Gordon reported on the 200th Anniversary of the Noon Gun, and the firings at Lion Battery on Saturday, 16th December 2006. He was most impressed by the arrangements for which Gerry de Vries, Scribe of The Cannon Association of South Africa, Cape Town, and Ian van Oordt, Chairman and gun owner, had been responsible.
Tony writes: "About 300 spectators were present, but, unfortunately, very few tourists. There were five privately owned cannons firing. Two of them bigger than the others, but all far smaller than the 18 pounder Noon Guns. Gerry had the whole event well organized and safety was totally kept! Each gun fired in 30 second intervals (10 years for each shot) and then, exactly at noon, the Noon Gun fired, and the spare gun almost immediately after! A most impressive result! We should be very grateful to Gerry and his chums for their huge interest in our old guns as they are often a very obvious aspect of our history. Without their efforts most of these would have ended up as scrap iron." Anyone interested to read more about the 200th Anniversary may obtain a copy of the Newsletter of The Cannon Association of South Africa by e-mailing Gerry de Vries at email@example.com
|18th January||A GROWING REMEMBRANCE:|
|A talk on the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire, UK. The talk will be well illustrated by photographs, and the speaker, Brig. Gen. R.S. "Dick" Lord, explains: This living tribute was conceived after a visit to the Arlington Cemetery and Arboretum in Washington, and the idea was supported by Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC. It covers 150 acres on which over 50,000 trees have been planted, each one accompanied by a memorial plaque. In the Merchant Navy section alone 2,536 Oak trees represent the number of British merchant ships lost during WW 2. The Medical Services have planted an avenue of Beech trees, commemorating the 29 men of the RAMC who won the VC, including the surgeon at Rorkes Drift. It is a treasure of military history.|
|8th February||THE NATIVE MILITARY CORPS AND THE SINKING OF THE SS MENDI on 21.2.1917|
|8th March||THE FINAL BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN IN OCTOBER 1942|
|Part 2 of Colonel Lionel Crook's presentation, a continuation from October 2006|
|12th April||1) ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING|
|2) THE BALKAN WARS FROM 1821 to 1922|
|An illustrated Talk by Achilles Kallos on the Political and Military History of the Balkan Wars from 1821 to 1922 based on his new book. The talk will be accompanied by battle maps created by Mr. Kallos. More details on his talk will be given in our April Newsletter.|
P.S. The Vacancy for Scribe (who will not be available for re-election in April) is still open. Will anybody who is interested in taking over, please contact the Chairman or any Committee Member.
Society Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of every month, (except December when we are in recess), at 20h00 in the Recreation Hall of the SA LEGION'S ROSEDALE COMPLEX, Lower Nursery Road (off Liesbeek Parkway, Alma Road Traffic Light), opposite Rosebank Railway Station. Secure Parking inside. All visitors are welcome. Tea and Biscuits will be served.
Jochen (John) Mahncke
Tel.: 021 797 5167 - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org