This past weekend I headed down to the town of Uitenhage to visit the Eastern Provinces (EP) Winter Conference.
Uitenhage 14 was hosting the conference and it was the first area conference to be chaired by their 2012/13 area chairman Johan “Kappstok” Kapp. Whilst the weather was somewhat colder then what is the norm for a Durban Tabler the hospitality showed by the EP Tablers couldn’t have been a greater contrast to this. The beers and fellowship started to flow and I was meeting many an old friend for the first time! This area conference was also the ARTSA president Guy Crichton’s designated visit of the EP Area and it was fantastic to catch up with him over a few beers.
Saturday arrived and it was time to head off to the conference. I was playing a dual role this weekend, as not only was I there to carry on the twinning agreement with EP, but I was also there as part of the ARTSA 2013 committee promoting ARTSA 2013. This so happened to be the first visit by an ARTSA conference committee member since ARTSA 2009!! The reception towards ARTSA 2013 was very good and many a Tabler from EP Area has signalled their intention to join us up in Ballito.
With the above out of the way, it was time to get down to the brass tracts of the twinning agreement. Part of the tradition is the swapping of blazers and the receiving of the shoes! I have seen this done many a time since I have been in Table and never thought the day would come when I would be on the receiving end of this “fine” tradition. A Strafe Dop was arranged by past everything President Woof who then took great delight in pouring it into the shoes for Kappstok and me to consume. The contents did go down a little easier than I thought, even if a bit of chewing was needed!!
After the conference, we all hit the pub to watch the Springboks take on their dreaded foe England. With the exception of Boknaai, we were all united behind the boys in green & gold who ground out a victory that then sent us on our way! All who have there filled the remainder of the evening with great fellowship, laughter and fun. It really was a fantastic way to finish off a truly awesome weekend.
In closing, I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the EP Tablers for helping make this past weekend a truly memorable one, but a special thanks must go out to the chaps from Uitenhage 14 for hosting and organizing the conference. To Kappstok – it was a cracker of a first conference and I wish you all the best for the remainder of your year. I also look forward to you and the chaps from EP visiting us in July for the Tri-Area.