Download this Bulletin in PDFSecond Edition 30th November 2008Annual General MeetingOkay so we trekked to the Free State, Bloemfontein to be exact, for the first annual generalmeeting. Looking at the scenery on the way to the venue I speculated on what awaited us arrived at a negative conclusion. Was about to request the driver of vehicle transporting us to drop me off at next town, when my attention was diverted by a solitary dog wetting the bark of a tree which provided the only shade for about 300 meters. Could not help but reflect, and in so doing passed the little dorpie where I had resolved to abandon my companions and hike back to civilisation, how like that animal humans sometimes are. We piss on those who offer us help and give us direction. Please note the youth of today who are so disrespectful to the parents that make immense sacrifices for their education and welfare. This also had me pondering on the towers who expect much from the associations they are affiliated too and contribute very little in return. The hard work and time sacrificed by the interim executive committee members with no remuneration seems to have no appreciation from the members of the organisation. This left one wondering whether there would be any attendance to speak of at this meeting.Glen LodgeArrive at venue, (Friday 7th November), apprehensive having heard all sorts of stories about the Free State and was pleasantly surprised. Which feeling not even the mosquitoes, they really enjoyed the imported treat tired of the local offering, could dampen. Met the early arrivals who by the time we arrived had a braai going were busy emptying their third drinks and in a very jovial mood. The atmosphere was very holiday vacation like and as more members arrived one would have sworn that this was a weekend away. The comradeship was impressive taking into account the racial diversity and bang goes the theory that Afrikaners are racists here the converse was true and members of colour witnessed warm Afrikaner hospitality.D-DayWoke up Saturday breakfast make way to conference hall take a second look at these hugeokes and wonder how their moms managed to breast feed these giants. Meeting gets underway, protocol and procedure, guest speaker has his say some oke from an organisation called SAARSA talks about the protest action they engaged in to get recognition from the insurance companies and motor manufactures. All this is fine but expectantly awaiting elections and outcome thereof.Nominations come and with them the realisation that attitudes, conceptions and mentalities have changed in this country beyond the expectations of the politicians and critics. The nominations here proved that people have progressed beyond the previous limitations of colour, ethnic and religious boundaries. It was surprising to see the maturity and harmonious spirit displayed.Eat your heart out Obama, ANC, VF, and AWB the towers are showing the way (or should this read South Africans, may be a reflection of society at large). Of the candidates nominated all accepted barring three, Ronald Hart, Geoff Khoza and Adele Kriel whom all graciously declined.Election time and the members vote, ballots are taken away for counting and results awaited.In between all of this while results of the elections are anxiously awaited there is a Karaoke with an Oom from some Volksstaad silver haired stout and strong belting out De La Ray together with folk music and everybody loving it. Eish we have come a long way.The following were elected to the National Executive Committee, Chairperson Ettienne Pel, Vice Chair Tony King, Secretary Ashlene Smith, Vice Secretary Msai Maphisa, Treasurer Julie Nunes,Public Relations Officer Donald Ndinisa, Free State representative on national excom Riaan Du Plessis, Kwazulu Natal representative Althaf Dawood, Mpumalanga representative Patricia Mbunyane and Godfrey Molai, Limpopo Chantal Bossert, Northern Cape Elsie Barnard and finally Western Cape representative Sam Meyer and Arnold de Leeuw. Ok! Eish! Here is the surprise, Five Females on executive committee first for towing industry to have so many with two right at the top. What is fascinating about this is that here is no window dressing these are expected to participate in all forums represent the association where and when required and play an active and meaningful role. Fortunately for the women two of them have already been active. Emphasis was made of the fact that this will not be a one man show with one individual calling the shots.Elected officials pledged to support the organisation and work in the interest of the membership.Officials pledged to follow the consultative process and not alienate the membership. There will be transparency and in this regard lessons had been learnt from other bodies where dictatorial principles were applied and members had little or no say.The AGM ended after all the usual rituals that accompany such occasions but not before another amazing occurrence. Members present were asked to suggest the next venue for the AGM 2009.Places put forward were Cape Town, Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, Durban, Pretoria and Sowetothe majority of the attendees voted for Soweto amazing when one counted the number of white hands up in favour of Soweto. I swear my great grandfather pooped in his grave and I distinctly heard him say “What!” Ok Sowetans better brace themselves for an Afrikaner invasion and a lesson in partying.After the venue had been confirmed the meeting closed then the partying began and moresurprises.Viva Ma-BoereOk so the Oom with the Karaoke stays on and the partying begins. All one can thankfully say is glad I did not jump of at the kleindorpie on the way to Bloemfontein. Afrikaners or the ma boere as the Soweto crowd affectionately referred to them really threw one heck of a party thoroughly enjoyed by all. For those that left early maybe this one guy from Soweto summed it up well “Sorry for you!”Thanks UTASA members for a lesson in humility and humanity write to you again in three months time.