Chairman's Letter


27 April 2020

Covid-19, thatís all we hear now. For most of us we are none the wiser as to as when we can get on with our lives and how that may turn out. The severe restrictions that have impacted our lives are set to continue for the foreseeable future. Not many of us know if we will be able to return to work or whether we will still be under Level 5 hard lockdown come Friday. There is really no point in trying to second guess what will happen.

There is no question that this virus is very dangerous and highly contagious. I also feel most of us are appreciative as to how our President and his Command Council have handled this crisis no matter how frustrated we are. This time next week we will know what Level 4 will allow us to do and not to do.

Iím optimistic that we will all come out of this stronger and wiser. These past weeks we have had a lot of time to reflect on and re-evaluate our lives. Pre-lockdown we were always rushing and so busy, that we tended to neglect our family and friends. Four weeks of isolation has probable changed this for the good.

What is certain is that there will be no Open Day in May and unfortunately no outings for the immediate future. Hopefully as the restrictions ease, we will be able to start meeting again even if in smaller gatherings to braai and picnic at Base 4.

We are very fortunate to own Base 4 which, as you now know, falls within The Crocodile River Nature Reserve, which is one of the last such wilderness areas between Johannesburg and Pretoria. This places restriction on what we can and cannot do, and we have a responsibility to preserve this bit of wilderness in a rapidly expanding urban area. I believe this special piece of ground is going to increase in value in the future, not only in monetary terms, but to the members of The Club.
The Outings Calendar has been thrown into disarray as a result of the pandemic. We will see what we can organise as the restrictions ease. I canít see any cross-border outing taking place any time in the foreseeable future. Also, winter is on our door step, and unless there are very enthusiastic hardy campers amongst us, we will have to wait until late August and September to do a weekend or extended outing.

In my last newsletter, I wrote extensively about the WhatsApp groups. At the start of the lockdown there was a great deal of utter nonsense and general intolerance from members with quite a few leaving the group. This led us to setting up a separate no-holds-barred WhatsApp group thanks to Charles. This group is very active and while I do not agree with everything posted, which I just ignore, there are often clever humorous postings. The other group still gets interesting postings that are appreciated. However, occasionally someone posts something on the wrong group which invariably leads to an uncalled-for response. Please members just show some tolerance and ignore it if you donít like it.

While this was going on, I got invited to join the 4WDKZN Social Group by a very long-standing member who happens to belongs to both clubs. While Iím not active, what an experience and eye opener this has been to witness. This group is far more active than our combined group, the interaction is amazing. There is a great variety of topics and discussions that are posted without anyone taking offence. The members take an interest and show concern for one another and the general comradeship is great to see. There is hope for us, as I was told that this WhatsApp group started off much like ours and settled down after a few years.

I would like to end my letter by appealing to members to let us show more concern, tolerance and compassion to our fellow members especially during these difficult times. If there is any member out there who is locked down on their own and wishes to have a chat, please feel free to give me a ring.


Peter Hutchison
Four Wheel Drive Club SA
Cell: 082 825 1893


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