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President’s Christmas Message 2018

We are at the end of yet another year; it was quite a chaotic year. It was a year in which the Constitutional Court handed down a somewhat controversial judgement against SA Hunters; a year of court applications by various institutions against the Minister of Police and co; a year of escalating fuel prices; a year in which land restitution without remuneration in South Africa has become a probability; a year of turning down firearm licence applications randomly. Certainly, more than our fair share of negative news!

But, we also experienced highlights for which we as members of SA Hunters should be grateful. In spite of tough economic times, the HuntEx exhibition in Gauteng was a huge success as thousands of hunters and firearm enthusiasts swiped their credit cards to purchase that `essential and relevant’ items. Thousands of members participated in various shooting events. (After all, there is nothing like the smell of burnt cordite to put you in the right frame of mind.)

Many other members hunted successfully – a rare privilege that we can still enjoy in South Africa. Furthermore, we are blessed with outstanding staff at Inyathi Park (national office) that go the extra mile to serve our members and deliver excellent service.

I am grateful for my colleagues on the Board, the branch management committees and regional coordinators that deliver unselfish services to our members and the Association – something that often passes unnoticed. Thanks to each and every one, every member for your passion and commitment to contribute to the effectiveness and functionality of SA Hunters. Lastly, I also want to thank every sponsor and individual that contributed to the various successful fundraising projects and other initiatives.

What does the future hold for us as individuals? Where are our ships of fortune taking us? This thought reminded me of the Titanic, the unsinkable. Yet, on 12 April 1912 the unsinkable Titanic sunk within a few hours, taking 1400 lives to an icy water grave. During the terrifying hours before it sank, the crew and passengers realised that there were not enough life boats for all. The rich and famous ensured their places on the life boats because that is how society’s hierarchy worked. At some point, the captain of the Titanic announced that there were a few places left, but only for mothers with babies. An ordinary female passenger without a child realised that those words were her death sentence. Suddenly, a man with a baby ran past her; he stopped and pushed the baby in her arms with the words: “It is yours … run and get your place on the life boat! Her life was saved. If she did not have the baby with her, she would gone down with the Titanic.

What is your biggest Christmas wish? A precious gift, a nice dinner, a joyous day, or something else? We all know that our life’s journey will come to an end, just like the Titanic. Our lives are not unsinkable. We also know that not everyone will find space on the life boat of Jesus. With Christmas, God once again puts his child in your arms and says:” This is yours … run and find your space on My life boat! Do not wait until it is too late, there is still space. Most of the people that lost their lives in the Titanic disaster, did not drown, but froze to death. Who wants to float through life in the cold if Jesus already prepared your spot on his unsinkable life boat? Ensure that everyone has the child in his/her arms that will guarantee their places on the eternal life boat. That is what Christmas is about: to celebrate the birth of THE Child.

Let us celebrate this Christmas with the right attitude! Let us conclude this year with love, appreciation for each other and without quarrels. Let us take hands and move towards 2019. We do not know what it holds, but we are the authors of our own life stories and we determine our own thoughts and attitudes. If we approach the coming year with a positive mindset, half our anxieties are something of the past. I want to remind you of Proverbs 15:15: For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” Firstly, a positive attitude is a choice; secondly, it will cheer you up and leads to success. Do not approach 2019 with negativity: it is in your hands.

May each and everyone have a joyous Christmas with your loved ones and keep up the good will in 2019.

A blessed Christmas and a prosperous 2019!

Carl Arnold

President: SA Hunters

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