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Vice Captain Lips Out

What a great day we had at Randpark for our X-mas Cup. I think the combination of our monthly game with a year-end function and adding the Captain’s and partners to the event was a huge success. That was probably the best R80 I spent all year. I believe that the idea of hosting the Captain’s at this event and having them experience an entire Nomadic day with us is an improvement on the older tradition of listening to a speaker who most of us have already heard. For those of you who like to plan ahead, the event will again be hosted at Randpark next year on 20 November, with one change, we will be playing the much awaited New Firethorn layout. After having driven around the course and witnessed the re-design I think it is going to be a massive improvement and I am not expecting any Silver Salvers that day. My only regret is that Doug Bain will not be around to open the course in March 2015.

The fund raising efforts from January have been unbelievable and the members have dug deep to raise a substantial sum of money. To my Andrew Mentis Nomads Foundation committee, I thank you all for your efforts and assistance throughout the year. We undertook some large events, with some reservation, but on each occasion we created an enjoyable experience for the members and managed to turn a profit at each of them. I wish Barry Bruton all the best for his charity raising initiatives for 2015, which will commence in January at Bryanston.

As the year end approaches, I am busy at St Laurence’s Children’s Haven with the final improvements to their facilities. To name but a few, security fencing, monitors, cameras, painting, salt chlorinator, kitchen and cooking facility upgrades, plumbing and electrical upgrades, carpet installations and television installations.

So the games for the year are a thing of the past and we now look forward to spending some time at the South coast with friends and family. For all the Nomads going down, see you in and around Port Shepstone, Umdoni, Southbroom and the Wild Coast.

Happy holiday golfing.

Graham Bishop

I spent a couple of hours at St’ Laurence’s Children’s Haven over the last two weeks, with the purpose of finalising the cost of renovations and improvements to be undertaken and completed by the end of November. As you can imagine, security at the Haven is of major importance. Thanks to James Luyt who will be assisting with security upgrades to the electric fencing, installation and repair of CCTV monitors and intercom system. We are also looking at smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.

With the increase in electricity tariffs and water consumption costs being a regular occurrence and the lack of government support with funding, one of the objectives is to reduce reliance on both of these. We have restored the borehole pump to working order and are looking to introduce sustainable solar energy. The general repairs and maintenance begins on Monday and includes, painting, tiling installation of cupboards, bathroom upgrades and a lot more. All of these improvements will make the children’s stay at the Haven more enjoyable and will reduce the operating costs.

After attending the 118th National Management Meeting on 8 November there were one or two points that relate to AMNF. The one that I believe will benefit both our members and future charities, is confirmation that we will be able to issue Section 18 (A) certificates. In summary, it means that donations received from either individuals or companies, for which the donor will receive a certificate, will be tax deductible and can be claimed on your tax return. The Andrew Mentis committee will discuss the implications of this and decide on how we can best utilise this concession and hopefully introduce it from January.

We also received confirmation of important dates for 2015 and it looks as though as Captain I will be doing some travelling next year. Some of the notable events are Zimbabwe Nationals in Bulawayo in May (with the tournament being reduced to 3 consecutive playing days with flag raising on the Friday), Gauteng’s 55th anniversary, Border’s 40th anniversary at the Fish River Sun in July, Southern Cape’s 30th anniversary, with the venue and date still to be confirmed and finally in November 2015, Western Province’s 50th anniversary to be played at Milnerton Golf Club.

For those of you travelling to the Natal South coast, see you all there. Looking at the numbers it seems that Gauteng Nomads will be well represented at the coast this December.

This is my sixth report as Vice-Captain already, so we are halfway there. It seems odd that I have been Vice-Captain for six months, but have been collecting Andrew Mentis funds for almost 10 months. The financial year end does not correspond to the term of office and will close at end December 2014. After having submitted my budget earlier in the year, I am pleased to announce that it has been exceeded. Many thanks to all Gauteng Nomads for having supported our fund raising efforts during the year. As a consequence of this support and having achieved budget, there will be no further need to bring along additional cash to either Germiston or Randpark, you all deserve a break.

As it turns out, the final fund raising event for my year was the Ellis Park Rugby Day. I must admit that I was initially apprehensive to take on such a massive event. One cannot imagine the amount of planning, effort and funds it takes to arrange this day. Without the assistance of Darren there is no way I would have coped, many thanks Darren. Notwithstanding the effort, I will be first in line for next year and look forward to assisting Barry in putting it together.

A massive thank you to Antonio Rossetti for his continued support of Nomads and also to Solomon Mahlatsi from SAB for all his assistance. Solomon arrived at the venue on the Friday afternoon with a truck carrying all the tables, chairs, umbrellas, bar, ice and lots of drinks. Without the assistance of SAB this event is not a viable one. I have heard that, when the economy is poor, there is a noticeable increase in alcohol consumption. This thinking was evident at the post match stock take, with a fifty percent increase on last year’s consumption. According to the food and beverage manager at Randpark, “we do not use that amount of alcohol for a function of 300”.

The old Race Day is a thing of the past, as it lacked support and did not make a profit. What has not changed is that as part of our annual subs, each Nomad pays R200 towards the “Race Day Tickets”. This has now been changed to the Andrew Mentis Endowment tickets. This year we have decided to do away with the booklets and to rather allocate a random number to each Nomad who has paid. All those who have paid will automatically be entered into the draw, to be done at X-mas cup. This new approach removes the cost of printing and avoids a situation where a paid member omits to complete and enter his booklet into the draw. This year there are two prizes, first prize will be a R10,000 voucher for The Golfer’s Club and second prize (sponsored by David Rigby) is a four night mid-week trip to a gold RCI resort for 4 people. Only Gauteng Nomads qualify and you do not have to be present to win the prize.

One of my final duties to perform is to arrange the annual Captain’s dinner. The purpose of which is to thank Darren, as well as the twelve Captain’s from the clubs at which we play our monthly games. The committee have decided that, as opposed to having to round up the same old sixty faces and having to organise a speaker (at no cost), why not rather invite all the Captain’s to a true Nomad’s day of golf and evening entertainment. As a result, this year the Captain’s dinner will be held at X-mas cup.

On 5 September 2014, Gauteng held their 47th annual Andrew Mentis Golf Day. My thanks go to Modderfontein Golf Club and all their staff, who assisted in making the day a huge success. A particular mention to Brandon, who was at the course early and by the time I arrived at 06h15 the whiskey, glasses and milk were all ready for our first tee off time at a rather cold 07h00. I would also like to thank each and every Nomad who participated on the day. We had many Nomads who, as usual, donated generously with hole sponsorships, prizes and the purchase of raffle tickets.  The purpose of the day is to raise money for charity and for all players to have an enjoyable day of golf and entertainment. I think we achieved both of these objectives by raising a significant amount of money for St’ Laurence’s Children’s Haven and it appeared from the balcony of the club house that everybody enjoyed the SAB beer tent on the 18th hole. It wasn’t long before the 15 cases of Castle Light were a thing of the past. The golf was well supported with 7 fourballs in the morning and 32 in the afternoon. The eventual winners of the fourball alliance format were, Miguel Cardoso, Larry Bredenkamp, Mark Temlett and a recently inducted Anton Masterson, on a score of 90 points.

So as one event comes to an end another one begins. The rugby day on 4 October will be our final charity event for 2014. Arrangements are going to according to plan and we have managed to sell all 150 tickets, in fact we are over-subscribed and I have had to purchase an additional seven. We also have guys who already have tickets and will be joining us on the busses and at the venue to enjoy the day’s festivities. Thank you to all those who have generously donated your Bell’s and beers after prize-giving during the year. I have been accumulating all these donations, with the assistance of Randpark Club, who are storing them on our behalf. Year to date we have collected 31 cases of Castle Light and 22 bottles of Bell’s (some of which were used at the golf day). The end result of these donations will be a reduced drinks bill and a greater profit for the charity. Once again, if you are interested, you are welcome to have a look at their website at www.childrenshaven.co.za

The annual Highveld Trophy, contested between the 3 Gauteng clubs, has come and gone. This year Gauteng hosted the event at The Wanderers Golf Club on 6 August. This tournament has a long history and Gauteng has a proud record, winning the last 4 events. It turns out that the Vice-Captain from each club is responsible for arranging this event. Unfortunately both the organisation, as well as the result, did not quite go according to plan. At this point I would normally thank all those who assisted in arranging the event, including the starters. As I omitted to arrange starters, no thanks necessary. Some highlights on the day were – Mike Hendricks winning the C division with 35 points, Darren Holm was runner up in the A division with 37 points, Mike Rickhoff was part of the winning threeball and a Gauteng Nomad did not find his way onto the “worst golfer” trophy (this honour went to Brian Algar, who managed 19 points off his 3 handicap). There were also some lowlights, Allen Needham ended up in the worst playing fourball and the final club standings were as follows: Northerns (27.55), Gauteng (28.68) and Easterns (29.10). Congratulations to Matt Dudley and his 39 man team for lifting the trophy. To all the Gauteng Nomads who did manage to get a game, thanks for your participation and apologies for my performance prior to the event and even more so for my golf on the day. Enough said.

The Andrew Mentis financial year end is approaching quicker than I thought and I am pleased to advise that both my charities were approved at the National Management Meeting held in Natal in July. I have in a previous article spoken about Woman and Men against Child Abuse. The second charity that we are supporting this year is St Laurence’s Children’s Haven. The charity was introduced to me by Basil Joseph, who was quick to call me and thank me for putting forward the charity for approval. I also had the pleasure of calling Richard Malan to give him the good news. Richard is responsible for running this children’s home which is situated in Discovery, Roodepoort. I have been to their premises to have a look around and see what their needs are. In brief, the home has been around since January 2002. The Haven is a place of safety for abused and abandoned children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years old. The Haven currently has over 20 children in their care. Some of the children will stay with them for very short periods but there are those that have been with them for more than 10 years. I was fortunate to meet some of the children on the evening myself and Delia went to visit them. One of the girls that I met will be writing matric this year and if all goes well, she has a bursary to study accounting next year. Over the next couple of months both Richard and their Chairman (Gavin Lee) will be introduced to Gauteng Nomads, at the Golf Day, the Rugby Day and our Ruimsig game in October. I will keep everybody informed on the progress of our maintenance and repairs that we will undertaking at the Haven, with work to be commenced during October. If you are interested you are welcome to have a look at their website at www.childrenshaven.co.za