2011 Durban Alumni Association Annual General Meeting
UKZN DURBAN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION (DAA) 2011 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Forty alumni and guests attended the UKZN Durban Alumni Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Howard College Theatre on Howard College campus on February 14.
Keynote speaker, Professor Donal McCracken who served as Dean of Humanities for fifteen years, reflected on his non-administrative interest during these years – writing books! His eleven books reflect two main themes: environmental history and Irish history. He focused on his two latest books, Saving the Zululand Wilderness: An early conservation history and Inspector Mallon: Buying Irish patriotism for a five pound note. He touched on his controversial and outspoken views on both publishers and literacy critics.
Eric von der Meden’s – the Chairperson of the Association – report reflected the various activities and talks which took place during 2010. Included in these activities was a tour of the Harbour Mouth Widening arranged by Ian Wilks (an alumnus of UKZN) and conducted by Construction Manager Roy d’Oliveira, a remarkable engineer and excellent presenter! He spoke about the scale and complexity of the project which demanded many skills, especially initiative and explained what was done and how to bring this project to completion both ahead of schedule and within budget. Another event was a visit to Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) and the Faculty of Agriculture with its Botanic Gardens and Ukulinga research farm.
These were followed by a Ken Gillings conducted tour of the Valley of the Emakhosini and the battles in the area which established much of our KwaZulu-Natal history. In addition Professor Mike Watkeys gave a talk entitled “You can try and stop Climate Change, but you can’t stop the Earth’s Magnetic Field Changing” This illustrated the high level of research being accomplished by many of our Alumni. Finally, the year ended with a well attended (70 guests) Alumni End-of-Year Lunch at the Durban Club.
The 2010 Committee Members were re-elected. They are: Eric van der Meden (Chairman), Finn Christensen, Joan Law, Denis O’Leary (Treasurer) and Robin Ralfe. Denzil Cope did not stand for re-election .
The AGM was concluded with refreshments and snacks and provided a chance for alumni to chat with each other.