Kromme Enviro Trust
AGM – 30 Jan 2019
Welcome to all our members today and thank you for joining us at our AGM. Once again before we start today I think we must just remember what we stand for,
This year has certainly once again taken all three of those very important words into account and we have followed our slogan. Just to touch on these again,
Preserve – what is valuable to the environment
Protect – what is vulnerable to our environment
Promote – teach those how to Preserve and Protect.
2018 – We look back on a very difficult yet successful year for us. There was many days/weeks MONTHS of negotiations happening in the background which we will touch base on shortly, yet we followed through with a number of very successful projects and activities. It’s amazing to see what impact we can have as such a small village, when we get together and commit ourselves we seem to mostly succeed in whatever we tackle to influence our town, I think most members don’t realise the impact we can actually make and compared to larger cities we do make a difference.
Sharing expertise is a very special gift this town has to offer, when something needs to be done we all pull together and seem to complete the task at hand. Yes of course some have a different visions but most of us in this room today all think and feel the same way about our environment and how we can keep protecting St Francis Bay.
I would like to thank you our members and the 2018 committee for making the year a successful one, and without all of us we would have never achieved what we did through 2018. This afternoon you will be receiving reports and the success of our projects through 2018. Once again we are not going to stand here and make empty promises on what 2019 brings but instead reflect on what we have already achieved in 2018.
Heritage Centre and Coffee Shop
This has been on agenda and discussions for 2 years now, and yet we still don’t have a final answer on this. Discussions have taken place over the year with us and Kouga Municipality trying to secure a lease agreement of the centre. To date although promised numerous times we still have not received a complete and final lease agreement. We are still in negotiation and will continue this through 2019. The idea was an upgrade to the centre and make once again the landmark it has always been. The museum section is very important to us so this obviously very much part of the plan. It has been incredible difficult to do any changed not knowing what our future holds on the building. This as most of you are aware is the property of Kouga Municipality.
We are desperately to keep traffic through the building and showing our visitors the history of St Francis and what drives our little village, we still believe that a museum is a huge asset to St Francis Bay. We decided last year to open a pop up Café to get feet through and this worked really well, the feedback was great. This we only operated for 3 weeks over December and January last year. We were the approached with an idea to expand our vision and create a museum and coffee shop combination. We decided to look at the proposal and decided that this would be a viable option for the Kromme Enviro Trust and museum. This is when negotiations started with Municipality to get the lease agreement sorted. We have approached Bayworld in PE and they will assist us with displays and create an unforgettable museum experience. We then ran out of time due to the fact that no contract from Kouga Municipality was received we had to rethink our plans and adjusted accordingly. Nikki and Ernest Bendeman who partnered with us to run with this existing project decided that they will continue for the upcoming season just on a smaller scale to test the waters. So we applied for our temporary licence which was granted and we were able to run a very successful coffee shop out of the centre.
We will now continue the discussions and secure the lease and hopefully 2019 will see a change and open of a new era digital based museum with displays to impress our visitors.
We have built a lovely relationship with Bayworld and we are the contact group for stranded, Dead Sea Mammals in the St Francis Area. We were called out to numerous dead seals and two Whales, we took samples of most of the animals and sent to Bayworld for the record books. We then rescued 4 Artic pups, and they were taken to Bayworld for rehabilitation and later released. We also were called out in December for a Green turtle in the canal/river area. When I went to collect is was a 40cm Green Turtle, the reports from the teenagers that found was he was struggling to swim through the waves at the mouth. He was safely taken to Bayworld and diagnosed with having an air bubble under its shell that’s why it could not swim. It was keep at Bayworld for about 3 weeks and later also released. Then having the closure of SANNCOB we had a few calls for penguins which we captured and sent them to SANNCOB based in Port Elizabeth.
The Green Turtle was the perfect example why we have put a ban on balloons in the Annual water fights, the turtles are the most effected by the left over balloons. A joint campaign with the Riperians that went very well this year with a noticeable difference in balloons been used. I would just like to make a mention and thank Stationery Butler in the village for supporting this and not supplying balloons this year instead they come up with alternative water guns.
I would now like to call Geanne up who will be discussing Eco Kids and Eco Brick project.
Thereafter Maggie will speak about Renewable energy and GKS and Amazing Race Par 3
Then Ken and Alex will be talking about Granny Pool Walkway Update and Two Harbours Walk.
We had yet another very successful year with coastal clean-up, we took part in the annual event again which we do in September. This Clean up gets recorded and item collected gets entered into a data sheet, and then SA Plastics calculate what gets picked up through the country on the day of the Clean-up. Just briefly we managed to collect 200 full bags of rubbish, crab nets and crates and metres upon metres of fishing line and metres of rubber band fan belt.
We then saw the need to do a mid-year collection from Grannies Pool, the weather did not play our part on the day but we still got some support and a few more bags were filled and removed of the beach.
We did another clean from Main beach in St Francis, which also saw us remove 8 full bags off the beach.
The main comments we received was that it was not as dirty as last year, and this is due to the fact the FOSTER also did a clean-up in Cape St Francis earlier on in the year. So these clean-ups are most defiantly making a difference and we noticed that smaller items were collected in last year’s clean-up.
Thank you for those who took part and we look forward to seeing you at our next clean-ups.
Owl House Projects
Most of you are probably quite aware that we accept hard Plastics at the St Francis Market, this plastic will be used to create owl boxes at the Hartebees Owl Rescue Centre. We now have full bags and awaiting their collection. All the plastic gets melted and turned into Owl Houses, thus no longer needing to use wood to create the boxes. They only use recycled plastic now,
Once again, we have had an incredibly dry year, and yet the Gardens are looking as wonderful as ever, A huge thank you to ED and Dusty Elton for your continues effect that you put into the gardens. The amount of times I go down to Grannies and there is Dusty loaded his car with branches that he is taken away after pruning the Gardens is unbelievable. Ed and Dusty thank you very much.
Benches, we are still supposed to be the authorization body to approve the memorial benches around St Francis Bay. We had a few glitches with benches being passed through the municipality but we have rectified this. The type of bench, recycled plastic and brown in colour is still the strict type if bench allowed.
Friends of the Environment
We have found these get together to be a great way to catch up with our members. The talks will continue in 2019, so please keep a look out for your next invite,
Peter De Wet
Trish and Frank Baker