IN NEW HANDS: Johan Kapp (right) took over from outgoing area chairman Pierre van Rensburg at this year’s EP Round Table conference held at the Halyards Hotel on Saturday Picture: CANDICE BRADFIELD
EASTERN Province Round Table held their annual area conference at the Halyards Hotel in Port Alfred on Saturday.
Johan Kapp from Somerset East was inducted as the new area chairman. The conference was opened by John Ford, the only former area chairman to come from Port Alfred.
Included in the area are Port Alfred, Kenton-on-Sea, Grahamstown, Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp, Thornhill, Patensie, Kirkwood, Port Elizabeth, Swartkops, Uitenhage, Middelburg, Graaff-Reinet, Cradock, Adelaide and Somerset East.
Four or five representatives, including the chairman, attend the conference from each town. The conference is held in a different town each year, coming to Port Alfred every seven years.
Kapp first joined Round Table in 2000. There was a need for new people and the older members pulled in the younger people to take part.
“I was new to town and it changed my life,” he said.
He has enjoyed the fellowship side of Round Table and the fact that what you put in goes into the community.
As the area chairman, Kapp is in charge of 17 Round Table branches and 140 Tablers. He has to oversee them and their projects and make sure everything runs according to their constitution.
In Somerset East they generally assist local schools and old age homes. Round Table contacts a school, finds out what they need, and then raises the required funds. For one of the schools they raised money to put up a fence around the hostels and then made sure it was done.
Even though it is a small Table, he said they have made a huge difference in Somerset East. In the last four years they have put over R500 000 back into the community.
Outgoing area chairman Pierre van Rensburg has been a Tabler for 16 years. He moved to Kenton to work and joined when he arrived. He joined because his father was a Tabler, and it was a way to make friends and help the community at the same time.
He has been on the area committee for two years, which involved collecting reports, keeping record of donations and making sure that the projects were carried out. It also involved a lot of travelling as he had to visit each Table in the area for a meeting, as well as attend four national conventions and seven combined induction dinners every year.
Now that he is going to be less busy he will be spending more quality time with his family.
A “black tie” event was held on Saturday night where Van Rensburg gave his outgoing report and Kapp gave his incoming speech.
Kapp can be contacted on 082-554-1699 or email email@example.com.