It was a sunny yet windy day at the beautiful Eureka Estate on 1 November when industry role players got together to catch up with old friends and make new ones. The annual lunch of the South African Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (SAIRAC) Cape Town branch has always boasted a good turnout of members and it was good to see some familiar faces again.
Louis Vermeulen, SAIRAC Cape Town chairman, kicked off the formalities by introducing the new committee and touching on calendar highlights for the upcoming 2019 calendar year. The annual golf day date was set for 14 March 2019. He also commended Russell Brown for his 100% attendance of the centre’s events during 2018.
Vermeulen handed over to Steven Palvi Jnr who gave everyone more details on the 2019 schedule and upcoming social events and courses. Marius le Grange, SAIRAC national president, was up next to talk about the bigger plans of the association, highlighting the 2019 Dreosti Memorial lecture which should take place towards the end of the year.
The centre’s treasurer, Archie Steyn, reported that the accounts and funds are healthy but mentioned that membership is down. He also stressed his concern about the age of membership, noting that 40% of members are over 60, urging younger members to also join the association.
After the formalities, a buffet lunch was served before moving onto the official talk. A total of 101 people attended the lunch.
The guest speaker for the day was University of Cape Town (UCT) Masters student and oceanographer, Ehlke De Jong, who is doing her Masters by dissertation in Physical Oceanography. As part of her research she has been privileged enough to spend some time at the research base in Antarctica and shared some of her experiences with guests. She gave a broad overview of life in Antarctica and what the environment is like before taking some questions from the floor. Everyone seemed particularly interested in the global warming aspect and the health of the ozone layer.
A raffle was also held during the lunch to benefit Meals on Wheels, a non-profit organisation which supports the frail elderly. R3 450 was raised for the organisation.