Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Request for Old Photographs

Dear Members and Blog readers

We are busy working on a timeline application for our new website which I’m really quite excited about. I’m not going to go into too lengthy an explanation as to what the finished product will look like; it is however intended to be an online photographic account of the Association’s history.

What we are looking for at this stage is photographs of some past presidents and hence request that if you have, to please allow us to duplicate them. If you are unable to forward them to us in electronic format, we will scan originals and return them to you shortly thereafter.

We are particularly looking for images of past presidents, from about 1930 to 1980, as per the following list:

J.W. Capstick
A F Turner
A.J Brokensha
S.S. Sutton
G.F. Vercoe
J.J Smit
W.T. Bryant
H Aitken
A. Bense
J.W. Short
W.F. Hamilton
J.A Reardon
C H R Kincaid
M Lipshitz
D.J. Higgs
W.A.H Short
D Verbaan
L. Fish
K.I.W McLoed
R.L. Stevenson
D.J Robertson
P.F.H. Thomas
A.J.M Stewart

If you are able and willing to assist, please contact me at Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal offices on 031 266 7070, or on my cell 083 704 0441.

Ernest Roper
Commercial and Online Division.



Monday, June 29, 2009

Thoughts For The Week

The Recession !!!!!!

1. The US has made a new weapon that destroys people, but keeps the building intact. It’s called the stock market .

2. Do you have any idea how cheap stocks are? Wall Street is now being called Wall Mart Street.

3. The difference between a pigeon and an investment banker: The pigeon can still make a deposit on a BMW.

4. What’s the difference between a guy who lost everything in Las Vegas and an investment banker? A tie!

5. The problem with investment bank balance sheet is that on the left side nothing’s right, and on the right side nothing’s left.

6. I want to warn people from Nigeria who might be watching our show, if you get any emails from Washington asking for money, it’s a scam. Don’t fall for it .

7. Bush was asked about the credit crunch. He said it was his favorite candy bar.

8. The rescue bill was about 450 pages. President Bush’s copy is even thicker. They had to include pictures.

9. President Bush’s response was to meet some small business owners in San Antonio last week. The small business owners are General Motors, General Electric and Century 21.

10. What worries me most about the credit crunch is that if one of my checks is returned stamped ‘insufficient funds’, I won’t know whether that refers to mine or the bank’s.

Quotes courtesy of Offbeatbuzz.com
Compiled by Michelle Govender
Association Minute Secretary


Friday, June 26, 2009

Focus on a Member: Smith & Winfield

Hinton Brown chatting to Jock Mcutcheon

2009 Marks the year that Mr. Hinton Brown officially retires from Smith & Winfield, 60 years after having in 1950, bought the company from a deceased estate for £600.

After leaving his position with the South African Airforce, he entered the building industry with a crash course at the Herbert Evans Contracting Division (now Plascon Paints) in Johannesburg.

His next step was to approach the Master Builders Association to register his company’s ownership. He fondly remembers that the committee of the time “did not eye me with favor, because of my lack of experience.”

However, they were subsequently convinced by Walter Ridl that Mr. Brown’s “experience as a fighter pilot was ample qualifications for surviving in the painting and contracting industry.”

The above photo is of Hinton Brown at his retirement party chatting to Jock Mcutcheon. Jock – a master craftsman from Scotland, joined Smith and Winfield in 1951 as contracts manager. In 1956 he left to start his own company Mcutcheon and Phoenix which was also a long serving member of the Association, until merging with Smith and Winfield in the 1990’s.

Hinton’s son Chris joined the company in 1983, Nigel Murray Rogers in 2003. Today they are the senior members of a dynamic team, that will take Smith & Winfield into the future.

Ernest Roper
Commercial & OnLine Division


Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Future of our Blog

Those of you who follow this blog, would I’m sure have noticed the change in direction it has taken. When it was hosted on the old Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal website, the blog was used as a means of conveying all Association info, including such serious matters as Industry News and Tender Information.

This was always intended as a stop-gap while waiting for masterbuilders.co.za to go live. With this having happened, News & Information as well as Tender Information has been moved to its new and permanent home.

Blogs are by and large fun, informal, lighthearted and informative, which is what we have in mind for the future of our own blog. From hereon in, the weekly format is as follows:

Mondays: Thoughts for the week, courtesy of Michelle Govender.
Tuesday: Upcoming events, as well as feedback on past events.
Wednesday: Focus on Staff.
Thursday: Tips on how to get the most from your website.
Friday: will alternate between “Focus on a Member” and “In Times Gone By” where we will revisit memorable moments and individuals, from our 108 year old history.

Although this is the plan, it is non rigid, and we will no doubt from time to time veer from it. If you are looking for Industry News, Tender Information or haven’t yet visited our Occupational Health and Safety Forum, all this and more, can now be found on our new masterbuilders.co.za website.

Ernest Roper
Commercial and Online Division


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Focus on Staff: Winnie Ngubane

Winnie Ngubane, flying the flag

Natal born, Winnie, has lived in Durban her whole life and after matriculating, did a secretarial course at Inanda Seminary before studying business management at Unischool which was part of Howard College. She began her career working for the Industrial Council for the Building Industry then later for Fedsure when they took over the fund. She then worked at Capital Alliance before joining Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal earlier in the year.

What she enjoys most about her work, is being in a position to help people.

As the Association's Pension Administrator, Winnie’s key competencies are dealing with the administration of:
  • Withdrawals
  • Retirement
  • Disability
  • & Payouts upon Death
The Winnie Fact File:

Family: 3 Sisters
Favorite Pastime: Listening to music, being creative and relaxing in front of the tele.
Favorite Musician or Band: Likes RMB and Fusion
Favorite Movie Genre: Likes Action ….the name is Bond…James Bond
Something work colleagues don’t know: Spends a lot of time drawing and reading.
Aspirations: To travel to weird and wonderful places.
Favorite sport: Soccer, supports Orlando Pirates.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Midlands Golf Challenge

Master Builders KawZulu Natal Midlands Golf Day is scheduled to take place on Thursday the 23rd of July 2009 at the Victoria Country Club in Pietermaritzburg.

The event is to be a 4 Ball Alliance Scramble Drive, with a shotgun T-off starting at 11am.

Up for grabs is the Midlands Golf Challenge Trophy. The current holders are Phezulu Projects who will definitely be back to defend their title.

The entry fee of R200 per person includes snacks and drinks.

To take part, please RSVP to Shahieda at our Midlands office by no later than 17 July 2009, the contact number is 033 394 7858.

Gareth Roberts
Health & Safety Advisor, Midlands


Monday, June 22, 2009

Thoughts For The Week


Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.
Author Unknown

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.
H.E. Luccock

Teamwork is the ability to work as a group toward a common vision, even if that vision becomes extremely blurry.
Author Unknown

Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.
Vince Lombardi

The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.
Margaret Carty

Many hands make light work.
John Heywood

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.
John Donne

Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.
Virginia Burden

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.
Kenyan Proverb

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
Henry Ford

None of us is as smart as all of us.
Ken Blanchard

Compiled by Michelle Govender
Association Minute Secretary


Friday, June 19, 2009

Fire at Colonial Building

Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal staff member, Thomas Tiquin had the interesting experience of visiting the Colonial Building construction site in Pietermaritzburg, after it had been gutted by a fire on Friday 12 June 2009.

Those who follow the news media will already be aware, the fire broke out at about lunch time on Friday, and due to the nature of the building materials, it spread quickly through the floors.

Walking through the debris, a sense of loss is felt when greeted by the overpowering scent of scorched history. The realization that follows is shear amazement, that none of the construction workers were seriously injured during the evacuation process.

The Scaffolding appeared to be no match for the heat, and the melted metal and bent steel, is a testimony to the damage a fire can do. The collapsed roof and burnt out floors give an indication of the magnitude of work now required, to restore it to its former glory.

Moral of the story, don’t wait till you see smoke on the horizon before checking if your hosepipe has a leak.

Gareth Roberts
Health & Safety Advisor, Midlands


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Are you sure you’re still alive?

Dead or Alive?
Married Single or Widowed?

We all know about the corrupt and chaotic state at the Department of Home Affairs.
What we do not know is whether we are dead or alive or married, single or widowed.

To find out go the Department of Home Affair’s website at www.dha.gov.za

You can also SMS 32551:
Marital status: M followed by your ID number
ID Status (Deceased/Alive)
: L followed by your ID number


Greg Beykirch
Financial Manager



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Association Tennis Day

Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal held its first annual Tennis Day on Friday the 12th of June 2008 at the Hibberdene Tennis Club. Although there were last minute cancellations, 25 people took part on the day in an event that was a tremendous success.

All players participated in a round robin format and the winners of the ladies section were, in first place Trish Swegman, followed by Marietjie Stols in second. The men’s winner was Carel Kruger with Gerrit Stenvert as the men’s runner up.

The days play ended with a showdown between the imported Ladies Doubles Champions from Durban, up against the ladies of the Slow Coast. The match was skillfully umpired by the very honorable Icall So Badly, who’s line call’s were unquestionably, fair and unbiased :)

The glamorous contenders gave it their all, however the sisters from Durban showed the shameful lady’s from the Slow Coast, just how the game is meant to be played.

The superb cuisine included a delicious spitbraai which was supplied by the tennis club’s expert caterers. The food and beverage went down particularly well after a hard day of tennis and networking. By all accounts the players had a fantastic time and everybody is looking forward to next year's event.

Hans Stols
South Coast Region



Monday, June 15, 2009

Thoughts for the Week

Money !!!!!

There is a very easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune: go there with a large one.
Jack Yelton

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.
Errol Flynn

Car sickness is the feeling you get when the monthly payment is due.
Author Unknown

After a visit to the beach, it's hard to believe that we live in a material world.
Pam Shaw

The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments.
Mad Magazine

Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life.
Michael Leboeuf

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
Earl Wilson

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.
Woody Allen

Compiled by Michelle Govender
Association Minute Secretary


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Focus on Staff: Hazel Stevens

Hazel in Canada

Upon completion of school, Durban born Hazel attended ML Sultan Technikon where she obtained a diploma in Internal Auditing. After having been in the employ of David Strachan & Tayler, as well as Deloitte and Touche, in 2008 she joined Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal as association bookkeeper.

Hazel is passionate about accounting and informs us that what she enjoys most about working with numbers is the high level of concentration it requires, in her own words, “It keeps me thinking.”

As the Association's bookkeeper, Hazel’s key competencies are:

Slave to Association's Commercial and on-line Division (She says with a smile).
Makes sure that all suppliers get paid promptly.
Is accountable for staff salaries.
Makes sure that inflows and outflows are accounted for.
Has mastered Pastel Software.
Deals with the Auditors.
Generally keeps everybody happy.

The Hazel Fact File

Family: 1 brother who is a teacher in the UK.
Studying: Third year studying for a B Compt Degree.
Favorite Pastime: listening to music, beading and decoupage.
Favorite Musician or Band: Likes all music that isn’t Punk, listens mostly to pop and RMB.
All Time Favorite Movie: not a movie person, would rather be beading while listening to music.
Something work colleagues would never have guessed: Sunday School Superintendent.
Most outrageous activity ever participated in: Going on the Heart Pumping Top Gun Roller Coaster, while in Canada.
Pets: 3 Dogs that live at home and a pet rock that lives on her desk.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Focus on Staff: Tanya Leeuw

Tanya Leeuw and Family

Tanya began her work career at ICF (Independent Cutting Forms) initially as their receptionist. She went on to work in various divisions gaining experience in stock management, stock control and Logistics, before serving as personal assistant to the companies Production Manager.

In 2007 she joined Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal and initially worked in the exhibition Centre before successfully applying for a position at The NHBRC Outsource Inspectorate. A year and half later she left the NHBRC to join Gary and Ernest in Associations Commercial and On-Line Division.

Working as a team, members of her new department “champion” specific areas in order to achieve team goals and objectives.

Tanya is the designated “champion” of the following.

Database Content
Offline Advertising
Event Planning
Corporate Social Responsibilities

The Tanya Fact File

Qualified: Health & Safety Representative.
Married to Nicholas and is a mother of 3.
Favorite Pastime:
DVD’s and Family occasions.
All Time Favorite Movie:
Cry Baby (with Johnny Depp).
Favorite Musician or Band:
Enjoys all music except Celine Dion.
Something work colleagues would never have guessed:
Is chairperson to the fund raising committee in her church.
Most outrageous activity ever participated in:
Traveling on motorbikes at outrageously high Speeds.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Excellence in Construction Awards

2008 Joint Overall Winners

Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal, Excellence in Construction Awards, is dedicated to the recognition of Industry Excellence within our Province.

This annual event was first held in 2004 and has grown into a glittering Gala occasion with over 500 guests now attending. Guests include dignitaries from government, all members who have entered projects, other members, and various stakeholders in the building and construction industry.

The event has proven itself to be an excellent opportunity for our various business partners to market themselves, and the feedback we have received in this regard, has been exceedingly positive.

To find out more about this special occasion, and last years winners visit: www.masterbuilders.co.za/excellence_in_building

Ernest Roper
Commercial Division


Monday, June 8, 2009

Thoughts For The Week


As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.
Donald Trump

You have to think big to be big.
Claude M. Bristol

Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.
H. Jackson Brown

Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success.
David Joseph Schwartz

You've got to think about big things while you're doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.
Alvin Toffler

Big thinking precedes great achievement.
Wilfred Peterson

Compiled by Michelle Govender
Association Minute Secretary