HPS Gala evening 9th December 2009

A very warm welcome to you all, and thank you for coming to this our last meeting of the year.

We have several guests here tonight, one of whom is a past member of our club, and who needs no introduction, Max Leipold.  Max won the Golden Apple Award at Interclub this year, with two scanned slides – just goes to show that quality still brings in results.  Max, many congratulations on obtaining this prestigious award….

The year has been another successful one for Helderberg, with a constant membership of around 80 members.  We are pleased to have been able to welcome several new members, and hope to maintain everyone’s interest in the club by providing an exciting program for next year, when Bernard Seymour-Hall will be taking over as Chairman.

During the year our set subjects have included the following:  Silhouette, City Life, Vertical Lines, 2010, Small Bits of Big Things, and Ying/Yang.

Our evaluations got off to a good start in February, when we invited Hermanus Photographic Society to share the evening with us.  It proved to be a popular and worthwhile event.  Our thanks to Hermanus for coming out all the way to Somerset West.


We had fewer outings this year than last, but those who took part particularly enjoyed them.  Outings are a wonderful way of getting focused on your photography whether for a few hours or a weekend.  As well as great fun, outings offer us the chance to get to know other members in the club, to share experiences and technical knowledge.  If you have the chance, do take part – you won’t be disappointed.  One of our more radical outings was to photograph off-road cycles being ridden by daredevil friends of Eric Palmer.  This took place at the foot of the Taal Monument in Paarl.

One of the weekend outings was to Gansbaai …And one to Jacobsbaai … stomping ground of Steve Hofmeyer ….

With regard to our audio-visual department, Irmel, Paddy, Nicole and Eric once more presented a workshop, held in the civil engineering department of Stellenbosch University, where a myriad of techniques were demonstrated

and practiced.

During all this time, the HPS Interclub Committee – which was the normal committee strengthened by Antenie Carstens and Nicole Palmer, held regular meetings in Stellenbosch – either at the home of Michele, or the home of Irmel.  Both these ladies (and their families) are thanked for hostings these evenings.

Planning of Interclub necessitated a visit to the Endler Hall where we tried to work out the logistics of running this important event ….

But first we had to say au revoir to Nicole Palmer who had been chosen as ‘Artist in Residence’ in Paris, by the SA Arts Foundation.  It was the first time that a photographer had been honoured in this manner, and so we sent her off suitably attired with beret and baguette. 


And just before Interclub, Paddy was told she was going to have her third hip operation as soon as an opportunity arose, so she had to hand the Interclub Prints over to Irmel.  Paddy has to spend quite some time recuperating, and we are very happy that Graham has brought her tonight!

Interclub suddenly dawned on Saturday 31st October and all our plans slotted into place.  We appreciated the help of Paulette, Marius, Caroline, Gavin and Denise as were now running on depleted resources as we had no Paddy, no Nicole, and no Eric … who had to take care of Nicole’s workshops so he had his time cut out for himself.  I think he survived!

There must have been 350 to 400 people in the auditorium – by the time they were inside they had viewed all the prints on the boards loaned from Johan Beyers, for which he is thanked.  Judging had taken place in the afternoon.

The catering was of a very high standard, as was the technical presentation.

Antenie Carstens put a wonderful show together of all projected images, and we thank him for that especially.  In the final count, Helderberg came in first, with Hermanus second and Paarl third.  We were lucky to obtain the judging services of Paddy Bouma of Stellenbosch, David Rogers of Cape Town and Diane Skinner of Canada; and Colla Swart – an Honorary member of HPS, handed out the prizes.  Congratulations are also due to Marthinus Retief for obtaining the highest awarded points for an image.

And so ended a very successful Interclub 2009

Caroline Hartley has successfully passed her course at the Stellenbosch Academy of Photography and Design, and I would like her to come forward to receive a medal!

Another presentation is a very special one … it was brought to our notice that a PSSA Meritorious Service Award may be given by a club to a member who has consistently gone the extra mile.  We are very happy to award this certificate to Steve Crane

And lastly I would like to thank you all for supporting me during these past two years … I have learned a lot and have thoroughly enjoyed the exercise, despite a few hesitant steps along the way.  The committee has been wonderful to deal with, and I thank them for making my job easier.  Next year I hope you will support Bernard in the same way that you have supported me.  What I do know, is that Helderberg is a very special club, with loyal, creative and friendly members who are willing to share their technical expertise and knowledge – more we cannot ask for!

I do however, ask you to strive for excellence in your photography – not only to satisfy your own creative spirit, but to stay in touch and be aware of this wonderful world we live in.  To capture just a split-second of what we experience and see, is what our photography is all about.

May you all enjoy a wonderful Festive Season, with the hope that we will see you early next year with a positive outlook for 2010, more wonderful images, and an enthusiastic support for Helderberg Photographic Society.

Thank You

 Steve receiving the Meritorious Award





  Michele                                                                Interclub photographers



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