Bulletin 34 - March 1988: Comments of Bulletin Editor



Comments

The Annual General Meeting was held at the Cultural Centre on January 18th. Our Chairman, Ted Garside, reviewed both positive and negative features of 1987, and his presentation was followed by reports from various Recorders. It is a pity that new subjects are not being taken up by any potential enthusiast because it means a loss of information that can be filed for future reference. A glance at March Bulletins in recent years shows the same Recorders' reports -- birds, bees and wasps, plants and mammals. Occasionally there may be a geology or a marine report, but insects, for example, have apparently been out of favour for some time. Some past work has been done on seashells, landscape and astronomy, but there is a lack of continuity. We have often said before that one of the prime functions of the ENHG is simply to record (rather than to interpret or to study too deeply -- after all, we are amateurs with limited spare time on our hands) but there does seem to be a dearth of volunteers. Some of the present Recorders took up their interests after their arrival in the UAE and quickly discovered what a rewarding hobby it could become. So, there is plenty of scope to help present recorders or to start up in your own field -- the choice is yours. Volunteers will be warmly welcomed by the Committee.

In his review of last year (pp 2-3), Ted Garside paid tribute to past and present committee members, without whom the ENHG would cease to function. It is pleasing to see Bronwyn Bevan and Phil Lamboley newly elected in place of such departed stalwarts as Jacques Romieu and Eleanor Drew. We should also not forget Peter Hellyer's contribution as chairman in the hiatus created with Mike Crumbie's departure early in 1987.

One of the positive aspects of 1987 was the increase in field trips. Even discounting the one-off Muscat excursion, there was a variety of aims ranging through the main recording interests. Judging from the support of members, it looks as if 1988 will be just as rewarding.

By now we are all familiar again with Bish Brown's ever-cheerful face at the Monday meetings. No doubt a few old-timers did a double take when Bish reappeared in Abu Dhabi last autumn in order to sort out the workroom in the Old Fort and to prepare items and equipment for permanent exhibition. His experience of the natural history of the Gulf's desert ecosystems goes back more than 30 years and includes Iran and Kuwait as well as the UAE. Bish is a fund of knowledge as far as local wildlife is concerned, and his field trips are not to be missed. He is also a keen supporter of the aims of the Bulletin, having contributed some two dozen articles over the years. His latest is in this issue (p.27).

1987 was an exciting year for local archaeology, especially in the Northern Emirates. Expeditions were conducted in Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al Khaimah and Umm al Qaiwain, and on pp 15-21 Peter Hellyer gives and insight into just what has turned up in the latter Emirate. Updates on other Emirates will follow.

 


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