News and President's Report From General Meeting, February 6, 2021

President’s Report

I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas Party which I was extremely disappointed that I missed.

My apologies for not being present but I did have a bad cold and I had no other choice but to adhere to the rules and not attend. I believe you all had a good time and congratulations to everyone who won prizes in the raffle.

To those members who turned up on the 19th December for the end of year spring clean thankyou so much you really cleaned up.

This year the club will be celebrating its 60th anniversary and we are planning a super Gem Festival to celebrate. This of course will take many volunteers to make it happen.

Jeanne Mora has ceased publishing “No Stone Unturned” and her last edition was printed in December 2020. We still have copies of this issue plus prior issues on the counter. Jeanne, on behalf of the Cairns Mineral & Lapidary Club Inc I thank you for your dedicated services and producing the magazine for the past 16 years, truly a marathon effort. We are now seeking expressions of interest for the new publication.

Club member Ken Vaughan is still missing and the case has been referred to the State Coroner to determine what has happened to Ken.

Vic Lahtinen’s honorary membership has been renewed for another year by the management committee.

We are facing a shortage of teachers this year and it seems we have a shortage of members willing to be instructors. I urge members to consider this seriously as, other than memberships it’s the classes and courses that keep the club operating.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy, healthy and safe 2021 even though we do still have to abide by COVID rules.

Michael Hardcastle

Other Reports

Treasurer’s Report

There was no treasurer’s report but there was a statement of accounts.

Fire and Safety Officer’s Report

Trevor passed his St John’s Defibrillation Awareness online exam with 100% and now has his certificate. MC will need to do the same training. The course is for all members to do online. Michael suggested Trevor do a demonstration at one of our General meetings.

Website Report

It appears as if the web site is either as popular or more popular in December and January as it was in August and September last. Search engine crawling and search engines referrals were down but have risen again to previous levels. This is unexpected and surprising as search engine algorithms give more weight to sites with new and fresh content.

In addition, interest has extended far wider than Australia and the US and the club should consider if it is seen as an unlikely authoritative source of information and may become an influence on tourism.

Google has removed the street view with the bus. This has resolved what was an ongoing issue.

More information is available on request with plenty of hard data.

Correspondence Report

An exception to the rule that the website never reports on correspondence: Karen from Scotland sought approval to use a design from Trevor’s book.


New members

New members were welcomed into the club. These are Emi Ishimatsu, Robert Westley, Marjorie Beattie, Michael Chapman, Masako Ito, Hiroko Shimada, Rachel Wilson, Cicilia Bruksch, Graham Williams, Tom & Sharen Twaddle and Elios Ibanez-Hara

Certificate Presentations

Joshua Chamberlain with his Cabochon course certificate received today

Cabochon Course: Joshua Chamberlain (presented by Jan), Jannemieke Hanhart, Rigo Van Meer, Masako Ito (all to be presented)
Silver Course: Maggie Schoder (was presented after last meeting by Trevor) - Vanese Leetch to be sent hers now residing in Mt Surprise
Faceting Course: Bill O’Reilly (was presented after last meeting by Trevor)


Instructors needed

We are down to one teacher for Faceting, Silversmithing and Cabbing. Michael expressed his concern that we have no members stepping up to teach or be taught to teach. The club will provide mentoring for new instructors


  • First students of 2021 have completed their cabochon course - Get your names in if you want to do the next course - date still to be set.
  • Faceting Classes are well underway
  • Silver Beginners Class in the process of being organised, starting Sat 13th
  • Silver Advanced Class: Still to be announced - Get your name in the book if you want to do this one. It will take about 3 x all day Saturday sessions to complete
  • Wax Casting: Place your wax order from the catalogue in the order book if you are interested in a workshop
  • The club has carving wax to carve and a hand carving tool set. We also have a new electric wax carving tool kit

Cabochon Room

In the club we teach new members to wash their hands and stone before moving on to the next wheel, especially the polishing buff. While using the club’s machines Michael expects all members to continue this practice.

Have respect for the teacher by refraining from offering advice to the students during a class.

General Business

  • NEWSLETTER: The name of the new newsletter is ‘CAIRNS MINERAL & LAPIDARY CLUB INC NEWS’. Michael read out some proposed practical newsletter workflow points from John for discussion consistent with the club becoming publisher of its own newsletter again. Four offered help (Trevor Hannam, Jan Hannam, Joshua Chamberlain and John Heenan). Leigh Twine became editor of club newsletter after Betty Reece moved a motion for Leigh to become editor.
  • GEM FESTIVAL: Lots of Volunteers needed. Let Jan know early if you can. The selling of tickets at Earlville is the main area that has always lacked volunteers so please consider giving four hours of your time to lighten the load of the few that end up doing it. Donation of prizes would be greatly appreciated especially with it being our 60th Celebration
  • GRANT UPDATE: Grant has now been acquitted
  • 2021 MEMBERSHIPS : Renewal fee will be $30 till March 6th 2021 GM meeting then it goes to $40 - New membership fee is $40.
  • FOR SALE: Microscope is still for sale - Halls Faceting Machine has been sold
  • SUNDAY SLOG: Still on hold