Federation of Southern African Gem and Mineralogical Societies.
Federasie van Suider-Afrikaanse Siersteen en Mineralogies Verenigings.
The Mineralogical Society of Southern Africa was founded in 1962 by a small group of enthusiastic mineral collectors. The club first met at the Athenaeum, and then was based at the Montebello complex in Newlands. It moved to its clubhouse in Bothasig, outside Cape Town, in 1993. In 2005 it changed its publicly operating name to The Cape Town Gem & Mineral Club, which made it both more pronounceable and more easily remembered. The club achieved Non-Profit Organisation status in 2008, but still falls under the auspices of the Federation of South African gem and Mineral Societies, a parent body which was established in 1966.
The motto of the club is Omnem Movere Lapidem – leave no stone unturned!
The formal objects of the Society are to promote and support interest in, knowledge of, and appreciation for mineralogy, geology and other sciences, and arts relating to lapidary craft, and to pursue appropriate initiatives in furtherance of such objects.
For members there is a monthly newsletter known as the Mineral Chatter. This contains details of forthcoming events, mineralogical or geological articles and other items of interest.
Field trips are occasionally arranged. This takes members out crystal hunting, studying local
Granites, or investigating the pegmatites of the Northern Cape. We have a strict code of ethics regarding mineral collecting to ensure the protection of sites for posterity, and the respect for farmers or mine owners whose land we visit.
An Open Day is held on the first Saturday of every month. Members and the general public are invited to attend. Minerals are discussed, swopped or purchased according to
whim. On the second Saturday of the month, the Monthly Meeting is held and speakers from within the club, or invited from outside, talk, show slides, or demonstrate items of mineralogical nature.
We have workshops for faceting (gem cutting) and lapidary, which are usually open on the third and fourth Saturdays of the month, according to demand. Occasional courses on gemmology or mineralogy are arranged.
For more information, please go to http://ctminsoc.org.za/
History of Mineralogical Society of Southern Africa
The prime mover in the formation of the Mineralogical Society of Southern Africa was Mr George Swanson who in 1861 had his lawyer draw up a constitution.
On the evening of January 5, 1962, several interested persons gathered at the El Sombrero Restaurant and formed a committee of the following office-bearers: president, Mr George Swanson; vice-chairman, Mr W.H. Linnington; treasurer, Mrs E. Swanson; secretary, Mrs I. van der Meulen, and committee members, Messrs D. Greef, M. Connor and E. Sawyer.
The next meeting saw an increase of interest. Since that date membership of the club has steadily increased and now numbers some 90 persons.
Owing to Mr Swanson’s leaving Cape Town, the chairmanship of the club was taken over by Mr W.H. Linnington and the treasureship by Mr W. Bongers, the vice-chairmanship being held by Mr H.H. Hermans.
During the five years of its existence the club has had various speakers on lapidary methods, silver-smithing, identification of minerals, geology and allied subjects, including stone age implements, films and slide shows.
The society is interested in all earth sciences. Many members collect specimens and about a third of them cut and polish stones and do jewellery work. The first field trip was in March, 1962, to the tin mine at Kuils River, followed by an Easter trip to Springbok and Hendkries Valley.
Trips are only possible during long weekends since Cape Town and its environs have little to offer of interest to the members. Long distances have to be covered before a location of interest can be reached an it is taken as a matter of course that a round trip often ranges from 600 to 1,200 miles there and back. Under the circumstances it is gratifying to see the large turnout of cars and members on these long trips.
The club has no facilities for cutting and polishing as yet, but meets every second Friday of the month at the Royal Observatory at 20:00. Committee meetings are held at members’ homes on the third Thursday of the month.”
S.A. Lapidary Magazine