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Friends of Melville Koppies

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Dear Friends of Melville Koppies

1. News

2. Scheduled group tours and hikes

3. FOMK membership

4. Supporting Melville Koppies

 

1.  News

Special anniversaries

Revil Mason

This year Melville Koppies celebrates its 60th anniversary and archaeologist Prof. Revil Mason celebrates his 90th birthday. Revil’s Iron Age excavations at Melville Koppies led to its heritage status, thus complementing its nature reserve status. The 500-year-old smelting furnace he excavated and the traces of stone-walling he mapped are evidence of the early Bantu-speaking farmers who migrated from the north and settled on Melville Koppies about 1300 CE.

Revil was Head of the Archaeological Research Department at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) when he discovered the Iron Age treasures not only on Melville Koppies but also in other areas between the Vaal River in the south and beyond the Magaliesberg in the north.

In acknowledgement of Revil’s contribution to this early history, Wits has organised a special archaeological exhibition at its Origins Museum. The exhibition will run from the opening evening on the 28th February to the 27th April 2019. Tickets are R65 for the exhibition or R81 for the museum and exhibition. Phone 011 717 4700 for more details.

The penalty for forgetting anniversaries

Wife: Darling, do you know what today is?

Husband (bemused and guilt-stricken): Of course!!!

During the morning, a huge bunch of red roses and a box of imported chocolates were delivered to the wife. That evening the couple went to dinner at a smart restaurant. Later, in bed, the wife remarked to her husband:

“Well, that was the best celebration of Rhino Day I’ve ever had!”

Technology anniversaries and FD (flash disk) adaptation

It is difficult to keep track of fast-paced technological changes which have few anniversaries as they become redundant so quickly. “I remember when …” is a refrain of many older people who need tech-savvy grandkids to help them navigate smart new devices.

The newest computers tend to lack slots for CD visuals. Our series of PowerPoint CDs on the various aspects of Melville Koppies are gradually gathering dust. But we have adapted!!! All eleven CDs are now available on a flash disk at a special 60th anniversary price of only R300. This includes over a thousand photos with brief captions (not tweets) AND a new 8GB FLASH DISK. A digital book! The CDs are still available at R25 each.

Here are the eleven aspects of Melville Koppies on the FD:

1. Overview of Melville Koppies. An introductory ‘tour’ of the cultural and natural wonders of this urban Nature Reserve and Johannesburg Heritage Site. This CD covers the flora, fauna, geology, grasses, trees, flowers and bird ringing. Cultural aspects touched on include Iron Age and Stone Age relics, modern history, African Independent Churches, education, research, tours and management.

2. Archaeology and History of Melville Koppies. A wide sweep of ‘not quite human’ and human occupation from 500 000 years ago to the present. This is the cultural heritage of the Koppies. Archaeological excavations uncovered a rich legacy from Early, Middle, and Late Stone Age up to the more recent Iron Age.  Modern history starts from the 19th C.

3. Geology of Melville Koppies. The 3-billion-year-old rock formations are introduced by photos, diagrams, tables and maps. Heritage includes the preservation of these ancient formations which are a geologist’s delight.

4. Flowers of Melville Koppies. A collection of spectacular photos of most of the indigenous veld flowers of Melville Koppies. The photos include the botanic name, common name and flowering times of each flower. A booklet at R20 on ‘Flowering times on the Melville Koppies’ is also available.

5. Trees and shrubs of Melville Koppies. Highveld indigenous trees need to be hardy to survive which means they are frost, fire and drought resistant. The CD has photos of the whole tree with botanic, family and common name. Most of the tree specimens have detailed photos of the bark, leaves, flowers and fruit as well. There is also a section on alien invasive plants.

6. Environmental Management of Melville Koppies. This CD covers all aspects of managing an urban nature reserve and heritage site such as maintenance, publicity, sustainable usage, etc.

7. Fauna of Melville Koppies. An introduction to some of the surviving fauna that have escaped man’s predation. The CD includes small mammals, reptiles, spiders and scorpions, insects and birds.

8. Ecology of Melville Koppies. The fascinating relationship of abiotic and biotic factors with the environment of Melville Koppies. This is orientated to the senior school Life Sciences syllabus.

9. Joburg from Melville Koppies. Photos with captions of the historic sites of Joburg which form part of the panoramic views from Melville Koppies.

10.  Proteas of Melville Koppies All you need to know about this fascinating plant family. There are hundreds of ‘Suikerbossies’ on Melville Koppies.

11.  The Westdene Spruit. From its source in Hurst Hill to its confluence with the Montgomery Spruit at Tana Road, Greenside.

2.  Scheduled Sunday group hikes / guided group tours

 

event

 

 

Guided tour ­–– 3 hours

MK Central

Children over six only. No dogs

 

 

Hike –– 3 hours

MK Central, East, West

Children over six only. No dogs

parking

Marks Park Sports Club in Judith Road, Emmarentia. Walk across the pedestrian crossing in Judith Road to the stone reception hut at the main entrance of the Koppies. Pay on the day.

 

The tour leaves from here at the scheduled time and then the Koppies’ gates are locked.

No need to book unless you bring a large group.

Park, meet and pay in the upper parking area of Marks Park Sports Club in Judith Road, Emmarentia.

 

The hike leaves from here at 8h30 sharp and then the Koppies’ gates are locked.

 

No need to book unless you bring a large group.

program

The guide stops frequently to talk about the flora, fauna, geology, archaeology, history.

The hike leader leads the group on the trails.

 No hiking off on your own.

fitness

A reasonable level required for the tour of about 4km which includes some steep rocky slopes.

 A reasonable level of fitness and balance is required for the hike of about 8km which includes some steep rocky slopes.

gear

Proper walking shoes, hat, sun block, water and a snack if needed –– especially for kids.

Proper walking shoes, hat, sun block, water and a snack for the midway stop.

cost

R60 per adult, R40 per child

R60 per adult, R40 per child

 

2019

 

Sunday guided tours

 

All Sunday/special hikes start at 8h30

March

3rd   15h00

17th  8h30

10th

21st  Human Rights Day Hike (Thursday)

April

7th   15h00

21st  8h30

14th

28th

May

5th     14h00

19th   8h30

1st  May Day Hike (Wednesday)

12th

26th

June

 2nd   14h00

16th   8h30

 9th

23th

July

 7th   14h00

21st   8h30

14th

28th  no event

August

 4th    14h00

18th  8h30

11th

25th

September

 1st   no event

15th  8h30

 8th

22nd  no event

24th  Heritage Day Hike  (Tuesday)

October

 6th  15h00

20th  8h30

13th

27th  no event

November

 3rd    15h00

17th  8h30

10th

24th

December

 1st    15h00

15th   8h30

 8th

22nd

 

Melville Koppies WEST dog walks. Held on the first Saturday morning of every month at 8h00 sharp. Duration +- 1 hour. R30 per person. Park at the end of Arundel Road, Westdene. Contact Tony Lelliott (tony@lelliott.co.za) to be put on his email database. Emails are sent out to confirm that the walk will take place.

 

Weekday group bookings are by appointment. Phone 011 482 4797 or email fomk@mk.org.za. A non-refundable minimum prepayment of R1 000 is required.

 

3.   FOMK (Friends of Melville Koppies) membership

FOMKs can vote at AGMs. They also have the satisfaction of knowing that they contribute to the preservation of a uniquely precious natural asset in Joburg’s own backyard. Some people are automatically FOMKs—committee members, volunteer guides and hike leaders/helpers, and those who contribute financially. To become a FOMK, the annual contribution is R300 per family, R200 per individual and R100 per pensioner/student. Of course any additional amount is most welcome. If you wish to become a FOMK, make an EFT to our bank account (details below) and send your name, email address and proof of payment to fomk@mk.org.za. Your name will appear on the updated FOMK list at the next AGM.

 

4.   Supporting Melville Koppies

a.  MySchoolMyVillageMyPlanet card

Melville Koppies is a beneficiary of the MySchoolMyVillageMyPlanet fundraising programme in the MyPlanet category.  This is an easy way to help fund the conservation of Melville Koppies.  Pick up an application form from any branch of Woolworths or apply online at www.myschool.co.za/supporter/apply. Our registered name is Friends of Melville Koppies. Once you have a card, present it at any of the participating partner shops listed on the MySchool website. Your card will be swiped and returned to you and a percentage of your payment will be donated to Melville Koppies. It costs you nothing, but every swipe counts for us.

b.  JUNKIE Charity Store, 7A Seventh Street, Melville

Melville Koppies is very fortunate to be supported by JUNKIE Charity Store. The owner, Michelle de Villiers, makes a substantial contribution to the Koppies every month but she needs a ready supply of things to sell. Please drop off your goods at JUNKIE and designate Melville Koppies as the beneficiary. Large items can be collected from your home at no cost (love@junkie.co.za or 082 923 4189).

c.  FDs / CDs of Melville Koppies

Eleven aspects of Melville Koppies (‘Overview’, ‘Flowers’, ‘Fauna’, ‘Trees & Shrubs’, ‘Archaeology & History’, ‘Geology’,  ‘Environmental Management’, ‘Ecology of Melville Koppies’, ‘Proteas of Melville Koppies’, ‘Joburg from Melville Koppies’ and ‘The Westdene Spruit’) are available on an 8GB flash disk for only R300. Individual aspects are available on CDs at R25 each. FDs and CDs are on sale before the Sunday tours/hikes, or can be bought or ordered from the Melville office: 011 482 4797 and fomk@mk.org.za.

d.  Gift vouchers

Have you run out of ideas for gifts for those special people who have everything? Give a Melville Koppies gift voucher. Each R60 voucher can be redeemed for a scheduled guided group tour or group hike. Many people intend visiting the Koppies but never get around to it. A voucher will be an encouragement to walk and keep fit in beautiful surroundings. Enquiries Wendy 011 482 4797 or fomk@mk.org.za.

e.  Help with publicity

Write a comment about your visit to Melville Koppies on www.tripadvisor.co.za. Leave a post or ‘like’ on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/melvillekoppies. Tell your friends and relatives about our hikes and guided tours.

 f.  Volunteer guide or hike leader

We are always in need of reliable and committed tour guides and hike leaders. Hike leaders need to know the trails of the Koppies in order to lead the group or act as sweepers. Guides need to learn about all aspects of the Koppies. This is a gradual process and one which we will gladly assist with.

 

 

g.  Banking details for donations

Private donations make up the shortfall in our finances every month. Donations are tax deductible. If you would like to help in this way, our banking details are:

 

Bank

Nedbank

Branch and number

Campus Square 158105

Account name

Melville Koppies Management Committee

Account number

1581 017 421

Our email  address

fomk@mk.org.za

Please send us your name and email address so we can thank you.

 

We hope to see you all sometime in Melville Koppies 60th anniversary year as a nature reserve.