May 2010


Sunday, May 16th: Annual General Meeting

The venue for this year’s A.G.M. will be Bill Kinsey and Lynn Read’s home at 7a, Belfast Close, off Belfast Road, Emerald Hill (phone 302812).

Our great thanks go to Bill and Lynn for agreeing to host us.

Tea and coffee will be served at 9.30 a.m. and the meeting will start at 10.  After the meeting, we will have our usual botanical walk.

Bring your lunch and a chair, and please also bring a plate of eats to share for tea.

Those who have not yet paid their subs for 2010 be sure to do so before the meeting starts so that you’ll be able to vote on any pressing issues.

Saturday, May 22nd : Visit to McDonald Park, Avondale
As has been reported in Tree Life and elsewhere, McDonald Park is under threat from developers. The purpose of this afternoon outing will be to create a list of trees and other plants in order to establish exactly what is present at this site.
Directions: McDonald Park lies on Cambridge Road, which runs across the Avondale Ridge between West Road and King George Road.  It is well known as the site of a municipal swimming pool. We will meet in the car park at 2.30 p.m.


I have pleasure in presenting the Chairman’s report for the year 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010.

This is my ninth annual report as Chairman.
In February 2009, Zimbabwe adopted multi-currencies, prominent among which were the US$ and the SA Rand, and this change brought almost immediate monetary stability, negligible inflation and an easing of the dire shortages of goods and fuel.
The Society’s financial problems also eased at the same time and although I do not know the up-to-date financial position as I write this, I expect that the Treasurer’s report will show a satisfactory situation.
During the year, we managed to maintain a complete set of 3rd Sunday outings, but had very few walks led by Tom in the Botanic Garden and none of my 4th Saturday walks. Tree Life appeared in every month except for April 2009. We held two ‘Show and Tell’ afternoons in May and November and these went very well.
There are also encouraging signs that our membership is increasing slightly.


The outings were as shown in the following table:Month Location

Ngomakurira mountain – a very favourite venue

April 2009, Lanark Game Park
May, Belfast Close, Harare (A.G.M.)
June, Mfuti Farm, Cromlet Rd
July, Jacana Yacht Club, Lake Chivero
August, Ngomakurira
September, Christon Bank
October, Ewanrigg
November, Ruzawi School
December, Val D’Or
January 2010, Winch’s home, Umwinsidale
February, Domboshawa

March, Bally Vaughan.

Once again, I am very grateful to Meg Coates-Palgrave for leading a number of these outings and to Tom for leading the Botanic Garden walks.
I am also grateful to Bernard Beekes for writing up many of our outings.


The figures show that a significant improvement in membership. Special mention must be made of Richard Oulton, who led a successful recruiting drive at Dandaro.

Tree Mapping
The mapping scheme continues and remains in the capable hands of Maureen Silva-Jones.

Tree Life
Bill Kinsey has continued as editor of Tree Life, often having to cope with last minute changes and a shortage of material. I am very grateful for his help.

Terry will be reporting on this at the meeting.

The website has been very reliably maintained by Odette Lind.

The Committee consisted of Ruth Evans (Secretary), Terry Fallon (Treasurer), Eva Keller, Richard Oulton, Mimi Rowe and myself. J-P Felu joined during the year. My sincere thanks go to all of them for their hard work and support on behalf of the Society.
Sadly, after 7 years as Treasurer, Terry has announced that he will be stepping down from that post. I would like to thank Terry for all the work he has done, especially bearing in mind the extraordinary difficulties of the period in which he was Treasurer.
We are very fortunate to have found a replacement in Bill Clarke, well-known to us as our regular host at Val D’Or near Arcturus.

Herbarium fumigation
At the suggestion of Meg Coates Palgrave, the Society ran a successful appeal which resulted in sufficient funds to carry out 3 fumigations at 6-monthly intervals.

We have to report the sad news of the death of Meg Childes, one of our Honorary Members, and a very regular attender at our meetings.
We also said farewell to Bernard and Nome Beekes, who have emigrated to the UK. Bernard was exceedingly active in the Society in leading outings, devising and running courses for beginners, writing up our outings and was also an expert photographer.

The Chairmanship
During the last 2 years, I have heavily hinted to the Committee and membership that a change in Chairman would perhaps be beneficial to the Society. We all know the disadvantages of a leader who stays too long. Although I remain convinced that a change of Chairman would probably be a good idea, I am happy to stand as Chairman for another year.

In conclusion …
The year saw an improvement in our financial position, a small increase in our outings and activities and signs of improvement in our membership numbers. I think that this augurs well for the future.
Mark Hyde





The Wonderboom (Wonder Tree; Miracle Tree) is a wild, willow-leaf fig (Ficus salicifoliaZiziphus mauritiana Photo Bart Wursten. Sourse : Flora of Zimbabwe