For many years now the hunting stats for each year have been questionable in the sense that they do not capture the total value that is spent in the safari industry, so the actual value that hunting brings to South Africa is conceivably way more than the stats suggest. In the future an electronic submission by outfitters, as Mpho suggests, will go a long way in rectifying this.
Doug Cockcroft of Splitting Image Taxidermy presented the future of the 3D scanning of game animals. A very interesting option that will no doubt be of immense use in the future, not only for hunters in having what would almost be immediate replicas of the game they took by passing the long, tedious and expensive manner in which game momentos are brought home today, especially those who love the European mount but also the conservation practice of data collection in the ageing process of buffalo, as just one example.
2020 will remain a year of sadness and devastation for many around the globe. Custodians too was not spared such, recently one of our most loyal supporters Clive Curtis, lost his wife Tarryn, in a motor accident. The shock reverberated through our membership and messages of support were the order of the days that followed. Clive, Hannah and Connor you are in our thoughts and prayers, RIP. In addition to this we lost one of our founding members Johan Van Den Berg. A stalwart in the industry and a loyal friend to many. John Luyt, one of our shadow members sadly lost his father recently. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with these families currently.
Benjamin Franklin said “out of adversity comes opportunity” and at this AGM such opportunity was born. An auction item of a carved elephant donated by Rupert Brown and originally from the Don Lindsay Collection was bid on by Custodians that were physically present at the meeting, the funds raised to be handed over to Clive Curtis, in support during such difficult times.
It was a huge success and the following morning during the first Exco meeting of the new executive, an idea was put forward to name the auction item after Tarryn. We soon built on this idea and now have the “Tarryn Curtis Memorial Foundation”
Each year, from here on in, we will present the item for auction, all funds raised will be then placed in the fund and utilised for future members that require assistance from Custodians in times of distress. A detailed description will be soon released.
A heartfelt thanks for all whom donated auction items and made sponsorships for the AGM, it is people like this who make our association the home it has become.
In 2019, a new idea was put in place, succession for most committees is always a hard achievement. An idea was put forward to create a “shadow committee” this was to have younger blood become prepared for a possible seat on Exco in future years. 6 members were elected as such and were invited to all meetings held during the year. Their contribution was twofold, it gave them an idea of the work and time that is sacrificed by Exco and it gave them opportunity to contribute to all ideas and the future of Custodians, it was a huge success.
We say goodbye to Matt Greeff, Mark De Wet and Hermann Meyeridricks who have all stepped down from the Executive after serving their terms, we would like to thank you for your massive effort in your service, building such an amazing association. We will miss you but know that you are merely a phone call away from support. To Dave Davenport who stepped down from the Shadow Exco, we too thank you all for your help during the year.
To Alex McDonald and Izak Kirsten welcome to the Executive Committee, we look forward to your input and new ideas as we move forward into 2021.
Many congratulations to Sean Kelly who has been duly elected as the new chairman for Custodians. We wish you all the success in leading Custodians going forward.
Your full Executive committee for 2021:
Sean Kelly (Chairman)
Rupert Brown (Vice-Chairman / Treasurer)
Shadow committee of 2021:
In closing, hunting worldwide is under immense pressure, it is being targeted by many and the fight grows harder each year. Africa is targeted more than most, simply due to the fact that we hold what today are regarded as “iconic” species. Rightly or wrongly it is a fact. Elephant, lion, leopard and rhino are the most threatened species in Africa and their threat lies with hunting bans and the like.
We need to be clear in that the world is watching us daily. We cannot afford to drive agendas that are for personal, minority nor regional gain. Africa as a whole, needs to fight the good fight, we need to work together, we need to drive partnerships for the greater good of African wildlife.
The vast majority of the hunting fraternity understands this, and we need to build on these principles to create credibility in the public eye. We need to reach out to all, and we need to unite for the greater good of our African wildlife heritage and its survival. This will take sacrifice by all, of some description and commitment. Nonetheless, sacrifice that will ensure our habitat and wildlife future is followed by our own futures in conservation hunting.
Together, we cannot erase the past but we can look to a brighter, inclusive future. It has to be the right future and that is all about our wildlife heritage, all else is secondary.
To promote ethical and responsible hunting. To demonstrate and enhance conservation and ecologically sustainable development through the responsible use of natural resources in order to ensure that South Africa’s biodiversity and conservation heritage is protected for the benefit of present and future generations; and to
To enhance and promote the contribution of professional hunting to the livelihood and socio-economic development of all South Africans.