The Bateleurs - Newsletter September 2015
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The 8th of September 2015, marks the 17th anniversary of The Bateleurs – Flying for the Environment. The Bateleur eagle is the epitome of complete mastery of the sky. Its isiZulu name is ‘iNgqungulu’ which echoes exactly the hard clapping sound made by the wings of these magnificent birds during their display flights whilst keeping a “red” eye on the landscape below. Our First Chairman and founder, Nora Kreher, and her fellow founding members aptly named the organisation after the Bateleur and the associated logo reflected the wings and “red” eye in the sky - symbolic of our volunteer pilots and their aircraft keeping an eye on the environment.

Our much-loved old logo was crafted by famed wildlife artist, Keith Joubert. The Bateleurs investigated modernising our brand in pursuance of differentiating ourselves more and to align with the new age of social media. The District kindly came on board, pro bono, and deftly transformed the original logo into a more modern version whilst never losing sight of the symbolic and sentimental significance of the components of the logo.

Our new brand identity was launched at a function held at Rand Airport on the 27th of June 2015 - please see Steve McCurrach's rendition of the event proceedings below. Our new look-and-feel, was also introduced during the event albeit still work in progress with new pages being added continuously.

Thank you to all that attended the event and also a special mention and thanks to the following people/organisations:
  • The District for providing us with a new brand identity and incorporating a myriad of changes with infinite patience;
  • Jeremy Woods for arranging the use of the EAA auditorium;
  • Lantz and Nola Mattinson for assisting with the website;
  • Our guest speakers, Guy Preston and Karl Jensen;
  • Don Bailey from Expand a Sign for providing us with a new banner;
  • Steve McCurrach for the production of the new decals;
  • Danielle Joffe for the embroidery of the caps and badges.

As always, The Bateleurs will continue to provide a bird's eye view of South Africa's eco-challenges, proudly displaying our new emblem as we do so.
Kind regards
Zelda Hudson
Steve McCurrach
The Bateleurs’ re-branding launch held at Rand Airport on the 27th of June 2015 was very well attended and whilst it would be impractical to endeavour here a transcript of all that was said - it will suffice to report that this was a really fine occasion and totally uplifting to have such a gathering.

Our Chairman, Sven Kreher, neatly crafted to entertain us with the viewpoints of both a Bateleurs' beneficiary and a Bateleurs' stalwart pilot or two. Sven then neatly handed the microphone to the inimitable Avroy Shlain who mastered the ceremony in the slick and entertaining fashion which is a hallmark of his. In fact, Avroy made one observation about The Bateleurs, whilst using an old time movie plot to launch his pitch. In essence, a preacher stood in the village square attempting to hand out wads of Dollar bills and as you can guess, everyone he approached stepped away, distancing themselves in a suspicious disbelief that no one would give anything away. The analogy here being that we have 208 willing pilot members and a much revered, highly valued service, with an unblemished record and yet we are not approached by numerous environmentalists and conservationists, in their disbelief that such a ‘no charge’ service could even be possible.   
 Sven Kreher                                                         Avroy Shlain

Dr Guy Preston provided an enlightening, if not down-right scary account of where South Africa stands with regards to alien invasive species of both fauna and flora. Heading up what is clearly the hardest working organ of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Guy presented from a Bateleurs' beneficiary perspective, detailing the vital need and enormous advantages of the aerial perspective. All of this he supported with a very enlightening audio visual delivery, where the aerial imagery had all been collected in various Bateleurs flights that were flown for this high achieving Government department.
Whilst Guy’s delivery was a sobering look at our environmental status and thus the dependence on non-profit organisations like our Bateleurs, the entire occasion conversely had the uplifting pleasure of being regaled by retired South African Airways senior Captain Karl Jensen, who undoubtedly missed his vocation in life, such was the delightful nature of his off the cuff humour. Beware not to misinterpret my account here, as Captain Karl was not invited as a stand-up comedian, but to share a pilot’s perspective on the work, missions and his experiences in The Bateleurs. You can guess that he could have kept us right in our seats for the entire day.
                 Guy Preston                                      Avroy Shlain and Karl Jensen

Our worthy manager Zelda took the floor for a moment, in order to walk us through the skeleton of the new Bateleurs web site and you can be assured that we have a quantum leap in terms of a modernisation of our on-line visibility. Bateleurs pilot, Tokkie Botes, enlightened us about the numerous hours of air support he has provided and will provide every alternative month to the Environmental Crime Investigations Unit of South African National Parks. Tokkie works closely with the forensic team in Kruger to attend to rhino crime scenes. Bateleurs medals for meritorious service were handed to Lantz and Nola Mattinson for assisting with our website from day one, Guy Preston and Captain Karl - and be assured that these medals are received with great honour, evidenced by the fact that Saturday’s presentation being the third time only, in my 14 years with The Bateleurs, that I have seen these medals awarded. 
Zelda Hudson                                                      Tokkie Botes
It was by the kind courtesy of Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) stalwart Jeremy Woods that we had the pleasurable advantage of using the EAA’s auditorium on Saturday. What a setup this is, with disused airliner seats as the seating, a fine sound system, data projector and a hot cappuccino for all, in what was freezing blustery weather. A salute to Jeremy for that fine hospitality.
A simple conclusion to this is that the re-branding offered an opportunity to see and feel first-hand the passion in The Bateleurs and you can all be assured that we are in a very strong and a very good place – ready for another 18 years and more.
Snap-on Incorporated is a leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools and equipment, for professional users.Snap-on South Africa has generously offered to donate 10% of the sales of the products linked to their SAVE THE RHINO initiative to The Bateleurs. Visit their website,, for information on these products.


Avroy Shlain Cosmetics has excelled in developing leading-edge beauty products and will donate 2% of the sales of their Endangered range for Him/Her over the last quarter of 2015 to The Bateleurs. Visit their website,, for more information during October 2015.

The Bateleurs is a registered beneficiary of the Woolworths MyPlanet Programme. Get your free MyPlanet card (no monthly fees, no costs to you!) and nominate The Bateleurs as your charity. Swipe your card at partner stores when you shop. They will donate a percentage of your purchases on your behalf.

  1. If you don’t have a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card yet, simply apply for your free card now and select The Bateleurs.
  2. If you already have a MySchool card, but would like to change your beneficiary or add a charity, simply call the Client Service Centre on 0860 100 445 or email them on – there is no need to get a new card!
Our thanks go to our volunteer pilots and our sponsors:
Haggie Charitable Trust; Isibindi Trust; Felix Schneier Foundation; Rob Davies; WBHO Construction; Afrihost; Datapro; Brian Birkan