eGSSA has weathered another exciting year, particularly with regard to our photo project and our archive document preservation project. We also had a very good year in terms of attracting new members as well as retaining our existing members.
At the beginning of the year we thought that our product sales would not be as good as they were in 2005, and that proved to be the case. Products other than those of GSSA origin made a hefty contribution, nevertheless, with a net profit of R3,160 on a turnover of R15,425. Sales of GSSA products were also lower than in 2005.
Regarding the growth in numbers of our members and services, 2006 was an exceptionally good year. At the end of the year the eGSSA membership stood at 298. This figure once more showed good growth from that of 2005 which was 265 members. We retained a large percentage of our 2005 members, and also succeeded in attracting a number of people not previously involved either in the Society or with genealogy.
Our members are found in a number of worldwide locations, but we have still a healthy number of members within South Africa - and, as in previous years, a number of our South African members are also members of other GSSA branches.
Distribution of our members
|In RSA, member of eGSSA alone||81||108|
|in RSA, also member of another branch||102||114|
Just over 57% of our members are men (170 men, 128 women). The number of Afrikaans speaking members increased during the past year and they represent approximately 56% of our membership total.
One of the three projects that eGSSA started this year was to photograph specific volumes in the South African archives which are already damaged and either already or about to be withdrawn from public access, and to make these available, both to the genealogical public and to the archives. The archives can then use the digital versions in place of the original, which should contribute to the preservation of certain archival sources. The first volume made available on CD was MOOC 13/1/1. The CD contains around 700 images in high resolution and has had a very good reception, generating sufficient revenue to begin with the next volume - MOOC 7/1/1 and 7/1/2, containing around 1200 photographs.
eGSSA also set on foot a service whereby GSSA members are able to order photographs of documents from a number of South African Archive branches at a very reasonable cost. The members in their turn make these photographs freely available in eGSSA's Download Library. Although this service did return a small profit during 2006, the main advantage of the project is the making available of a large number of documents to members as well as non-members. Approximately 4000 Death Notices and related documents have already been made available, with a number still being processed. We currently offer this service for documents in the TAB, KAB and VAB branches of the archives and the NAB should join this group early in the new year.
Our third very successful project is the making available of indexed grave stone photographs in our Download Library, part of our web site. The project started slowly but the contribution of two great collections of around 25,000 photographs enlarged our database very quickly. We have also worked with the management of the SAGenealogie email group to combine with ours their database of grave stone photographs, aiming at one central source. This combination process is not yet completed.
In order to ensure that every photograph in the eGSSA database is properly captioned and searchable, our Swiss member Gail Röthlin leads a team of around 20 volunteers in reading and labelling each and every photograph. More than 14,000 have already been done and entered into the searchable database.
As can be deduced from the above projects we are busy with a giant expansion of our web site. We have several time over the past year had to acquire additional web storage space and processing power to accommodate this growth.
The project begun in 2005 of providing freely on the web site a number of transcripts has also continued with the transcribing of the church registers of the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk Cape Town for the period 1665-1695.
During 2005 we also made available a number of downloadable books in PDF format and this mini-library has been expanded to 8 books, including the Duvenage genealogy, the 'Nageslag van Johannes de Waal, Lotter's 'Uit de Oorlog' and Pienaar's 'With Steyn and de Wet'.
Because of the growth in size and also expected future growth, we shall urgently need to look towards an expansion of our web site during 2007 to ensure that we can continue to provide a high quality, quick service to our members.
One of the benefits that our members enjoy is our quarterly magazine genesis. Anne Lehmkuhl once again offered her services as editor.
Some of the articles that have appeared in genesis this year include:
During 2006 we also presented extracts from the diary of Jacobus Wille, of which the final extract is due to appear in early 2007.
All our sales agreements have been retained and we have added two new ones which have led to the making available of the following CDs:
We (as well as our suppliers) have, as mentioned above, had a very successful year with the series of genealogical and cultural CDs. The best sellers were:
The sales total of R15425 produced a profit of R3160. Although slightly lower than that of last year, this was still a good result.
The sale of GSSA products unfortunately declined during 2006. This can possibly be ascribed to the non-appearance of the promised Cemetery CD 4th edition - several orders for the 3rd edition were cancelled as a result. The three best sellers were the Cemetery CD 3rd edition (32), Familia with 22 sales and the Van Wyk CD with 15.
The increase in our membership and the increase in the subscription for genesis benefited our financial position. At the years end the eGSSA had a positive balance of R25073.28, with no creditors. This compares with a balance of R16981.93 at the end of 2005.
A summary financial statement can be found at the end of this report.
In last year's outlook it was stated that we would need to continue to innovate and further improve our services. We believe that we have largely succeeded in this, through our new projects as well as by the expansion of our existing projects. We can not rest on our laurels, however, and will have to seek new challenges.
As in the past, the biggest stumbling block was the shortage of volunteers. Although genealogy deals to some extent with skeletons, we are not able to manage with a skeleton staff. We have been very lucky in having a number of people volunteer to help with the photographic project and the grave inscriptions project. This was an exception to the general rule, however. There are a good number of smaller projects or sections of projects with which we will always need help, and we hope that more people wit come forward in 2007 to contribute and help our eGSSA to expand.
In the couple of years since its inception, eGSSA has grown in leaps and bounds This growth would not have been possible without the contribution of the various management members and other volunteers, and to these bittereinders (and your families) I wish to say: Thank you for your hard work, for the help and support that was necessary in this phase of growth - without your co-operation we would not be able to provide our members with the service that they deserve.
|eGSSA Income and expenditure statement 2006|
|Membership fees: 2006||4,890.00|
|Membership fees prepaid for 2007||1,875.00|
|- Archive volume project||1,560.00|
|- Photo sales||7,553.30|
|Articles written by eGSSA members||40.00|
|Funding for Acrobat||2,885.00|
|Income from sales of GSSA products||14,210.00|
|Income from sales of non-GSSA products||15,425.00|
|Additional income from sales||477.00|
|Internet banking fees||587.03|
|- Archive volume project||1,120.00|
|- Photo project||7,175.30|
|Cost of sales: GSSA products||13,575.00|
|Cost of sales: non-GSSA products||12,264.80|
|eGSSA Assets & Liabilities statement 2006|
|Cash in bank on 31/12/06||25,073.28|
|- GSSA National||0.00|