Recently we had the SAIMC annual formal dinner at Bryanston Club. The 140 members and guests who attended thought that this was an excellent venue with better space, food and service than previous events at Inanda Club. Thank you Jo Melville and Reed Exhibitions for sponsoring the main speaker, Quinton Coetzee. Quinton gave us a brilliant talk with slides showing how Kalahari Bushmen ran their lives on principles used in successful businesses today, or vice versa. Roland Rabie provided the amusement with airline jokes and impersonations. Thanks to our Piper Neil Thane for the grand entrance and to Bob Pullen, President of Engineering Council of SA and John Wilson, Chairman of the Metrology Interest Group for joining us. Rodney Glatt of N&Z presented the Negretti Award for the best paper presented at an SAIMC function to Rodney Jacobs.
The SAIMC-sponsored Electrex Exhibition to be held at Gallagher Estate in March 2002 is already well in hand with more than 40% of the floor area booked by most of the big names in automation. The SAIMC Council has an exhibition subcommittee to liaise with Reed Exhibitions and, most of these members, including myself, are from the mature, experienced generation. We thought that we did quite a good job of this year's Electrex which, although smaller than expected due to other conflicting shows that did not come off, had exceptional quality stands, visitor profiles, Factory of the Future and Dancing Girls. However, someone commented recently that the next Electrex needed some vitality as it was organised by old farts. I would like to take this as constructive criticism and invite some younger members to join us and contribute refreshing ideas to enhance this event. I could not invite the one who commented - as he is one of us!
The rising star of our branches must be Secunda under the enthusiastic leadership of Piet van Rensburg. This branch was formed one year ago and has grown to 98 members in this short period. We have been chasing up members who still have not paid their 2000 subs and it is great to see that this branch has only two unpaid members. Johannesburg has over 100 unpaid members and some of the other branches are also not up to date. Rhoda Jaques at the SAIMC office tells me that the second biggest problem with unpaid subs is members changing addresses or jobs without informing us. Please phone her on (011) 487 3003 or e-mail her at email@example.com or fax at (011) 487 3002. Any members who have not paid by January 2001 will be removed from the SA Instrumentation and Control magazine subscription list. If you feel that you are not getting good value for your membership please phone me.
I returned last week from the Elenex Exhibition in Melbourne and a market research trip through New Zealand. The scenery is beautiful, the towns are clean, it is reasonably safe to walk around and the road death toll in New Zealand for this year was only three hundred and sixty five. I was chatting to a young friend who has also recently returned from a three-week trip through USA. We both felt that it was great to be back in South Africa. Yes, we have crime and uncivil servants and mad taxis but South Africans have character and drive and a spirit to go forward. We also have great weather, scenic beauty, wild animals and bird life. Our rugby is improving, cricket is back to world class and Amakrocca-krocca have done a marvellous job in Sydney. And, in case you did not know, this year's world-championship-winning Ferrari was designed by our own Rory Byrne, from Bedfordview!
Wishing all a merry Christmas and a joyful feastive season.
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