LIBC Newsletter - March 2016


A very special function took place on 11h00 on Sunday, 31 January when we marked the occasion of Karel Nel’s retirement from LIBC with snacks and tea at the Clubhouse. More than sixty people were present when our Chairman, John Meterlerkamp paid tribute to the service rendered to LIBC by Karel.

In John’s own words, “ I have never known anyone, anywhere with anything like the level of unswerving loyalty, absolute dedication and incredible sense of duty that Karel has displayed to our Club. Day in and day out, winter or summer, rain or sunshine, Karel usually arrived well before 06h00 in the morning and left long after 18h00 in the evenings when he was on duty”

The farewell function was a great occasion, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone present and even the weather was exceptionally kind, it being a beautiful, calm summer day. Karel was presented with a very generous cheque as a results of contributions which poured in from our members, together with a gift of a fine pair of binoculars from the Club. Karel responded in his own inimitable manner by thanking everyone for their generosity, and, of course, he told us that he did not deserve it!

When we spoke to Karel afterwards, it was clear that he is going to miss being at LIBC but he is really looking forward to spending much more quality time with his beloved “angel”, his wife Margaret. I know, I speak on behalf of every LIBC member when I say that LIBC is going to miss Karel Nel very much and we will always remember his service to the Club. Best of all, though, is the fact that Karel has offered to occasionally help us out, so we all look forward to seeing him in the future, from time to time. Karel, we all wish you all the very best and hope that you will finally be able to properly enjoy your retirement.

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Those of you who have visited LIBC during the past few weeks may have been surprised to see a lady enthusiastically mopping the jetties or immersed in the gardens! Yes, it’s true, we have employed Margie Johnson for a temporary three month period to take over as Assistant Harbour Manager now that Karel has left us. Margie is a resident on Leisure Isle and is a long- time Knysna person, well known to many people who live in our beautiful town. She loves being outdoors and is a passionate and skilled gardener, and has been involved with watersports since childhood. Margie was so keen to join us that she has even adjusted her very important golf schedule to suit her duties at the club! Margie’s position is temporary because the Committee needs some time to define and decide LIBC’s future needs and the direction we want to take with regard to the Club’s structure.

Another new face at LIBC is Joseph who is with us for about two months while his brother Michael is on holiday. Joseph is another cheerful and enthusiastic person and has fitted into the position very well.


OUR STAFF MEMBERS : ‘At your service’

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In December last year, the Chairman, John Meterlerkamp paid tribute to our long-standing committee member, Lin Hall who had decided to stand down after many years’ service on the LIBC committee. Lin was not only a valuable Committee member, but he made a huge contribution to the club by providing advice and assistance with a huge amount of maintenance work. Lin was also intimately involved with the Harbour reconstruction which took place in 1994.

Then in January this year, both Pat Clough and Arland Read also decided to stand down from the Committee.

Pat has been another committee member with a long history of more than 12 years service.

In recent years Pat has found his interests lay more in restoring old cars than fishing and he sold his boat awhile back and now spends most of his time in his workshop with grease up to his elbows.

Although Arland was only on the Committee for a few years, he made his presence felt and made a big contribution by initiating and developing the LIBC website, as well as the “Lagoon Users Guidelines” an initiative aimed at preserving our lagoon, which is under so much threat.

LIBC thanks all these former committee members and wishes them well for the future. We are sure we will see much more of all of you at LIBC!


Much has been happening over the last few months and there is a lot of information about LIBC.

First and foremost, thankfully, with one exception, all has been quiet from a security point of view, and there have been no incidents, except one where a cabin boat in the parking area was broken into and fishing tackle and petrol stolen. The owner reported the matter to the Knysna police and a case was opened. Because the security situation is currently stable, we have put a hold on the installation of the electric fence, and the committee is continuing to monitor the situation.

We are proceeding with the construction of a raised Guard Hut adjacent to the canoe rack, and it appears that we may get financial support from a local Knysna business so we are waiting for things to develop and will keep members informed.

The sea lettuce infesting the Knysna Lagoon and particularly the Ashmead Channel and area behind Leisure Isle has been an important topic in the news recently. If you are interested, go to the Knysna Basin Project at to read all about it. In the meantime, our harbour and the approach channel has been seriously affected, and there is a serious concern about the effects of the harbour ecology and especially the seahorses which live in the harbour. LIBC is thus greatly indebted to one of our members, Richard Laubscher, who most generously donated a sum of money which enabled some basic equipment to be purchased and a small team of workers to be employed to clean up the harbour. This has made a huge difference, but it is only the tip of the iceberg and there is a massive amount of further work to be done to try to keep this scourge under control.

There have been a couple of incidents where non-members have made use of the harbour facilities apparently without permission and without the knowledge of the Harbour Management. Members are reminded that it is an LIBC rule that only members and temporary members may use or enter the club facilities, and it is absolutely essential that members inform harbour management before allowing anyone to use their moorings or parking bays. Guests must be accompanied by a member. Please abide by this to avoid any unpleasant and unnecessary embarrassment to yourselves.

At the end of last year a couple of people wanted to use the LIBC premises to host functions. On both occasions we turned down the requests because they would have impacted on the normal activities in the harbour and would have been most inconvenient for members using the facilities, particularly because they were planned to take place at the very height of the holiday season. Members are most welcome to use the club premises and facilities for private functions, but it must be understood that these cannot be allowed to interfere in any way with the normal activities which take place in the harbour. Also in both the instances mentioned there was misunderstanding about who has authority over the LIBC premises. For clarity, we emphasise that the LIBC lease includes the entire harbour area, including the slipway and general parking area right up to the boom. LIBC has sole authority over the whole area and neither LIRA, nor the Knysna Municipality have any jurisdiction over any part of the LIBC premises.

Maintenance is an ongoing matter, and we have several projects on the go to repair and maintain the harbour facilities. One minor problem which we are still trying to resolve is to locate the mooring block for the first channel marker once you leave the harbour access channel. It seems that we have the wrong GPS coordinates and Roger Clancy was unable to replace the buoy. In the meantime, please be patient and take care when navigating the channel, especially during the forthcoming equinox spring low tides.

Another potentially serious maintenance issue relates to the timber poles holding the jetties in place. A number of them are showing signs of severe attack by marine organisms and they are badly rotted. The poles are very expensive to replace and this is likely to become a major task for the club over the next few years. Before we rush into an expensive replacement programme, the committee is making sure that we source the correct type of timber, properly treated for permanent immersion in a marine environment. There appear to be only a few very specialised companies that are able to supply the correctly treated H6 timber poles, with an SABS mark of approval.


We started with an audit about 10 months ago, when we asked members to ensure that canoes stored at the Club were clearly marked with a sticker, displaying the members details, in order for the Club can keep track of all canoes and payment for storage. Several canoes which do not have any stickers displayed, have been removed and placed in storage behind the office. Please check to see if any of these canoes might belong to you. The Club is then happy for the owner to return the canoe to the rack, once the correct sticker has been attached. The Club has requested, in quite a few previous newsletters, that stickers be attached to all canoes and would like to emphasize that this will be the last request, thereafter any unclaimed canoes will be donated to a local sports school. At the time of writing, nine canoes still remain unclaimed.


SANPARKS recently sent this notice to the club concerning the marking of existing moorings in the lagoon.  We have included it as it may affect those of you who have mooring blocks in the lagoon: