Tony Dechant Award

Tony Dechant Memorial Award

When Tony Dechant sadly passed away in May 2002 his family asked that donations in lieu of flowers be made to the many organisations he served so loyally. Our members gave willingly and the committee was then charged with finding a fitting tribute to a wonderful friend.

Our objective was to provide a living memorial to Tony, one that would ensure that he was never allowed to slip out of the club's history. It took more than a few meetings till the suggestion of an award that would not only carry his name, but an award that would be presented annually to ensure that the contribution he made to our club would live on in our history. The recipient would be someone who, in the opinion of your committee, has given service to our club that has been "above the call of duty".

The magnificent carving of a woodpecker was beautifully done on yellowwood by the well-known artist, Martin Dumont, and a suitable plaque fitted, and the "Tony Dechant Memorial Award" was ready to be presented to the first recipient.” - Ken Munroe

Dave Brown

“Dave has served our club for more years than even he cares to remember and tirelessly serves as editor and compiler of our magazine. He looks after the many needs of the club, assists with the programme and, from time to time steps, in and fills the Chairman's role when needed.

Dave has an outstanding knowledge of birds that he so willingly shares with us all:

I said once before that Dave was a tower of strength in our club and it was with great pleasure that Lesley, Tony's daughter who officiated at the maiden presentation of the award presented it to Dave.” – Ken Munroe

2005 - Dave Brown

Atie Dumont

Atie managed the club shop from 1996-2007 and brought in her dedicated way much money in to the pockets of the club.

2006 – Atie Dumont

Patrick Brett and Denise Hoffman

Patrick became a Committee member during 1994 and serve as Chairperson from 1995-2001.

He and Denise serves the club in many ways and was for years after still helping the club.

2007 - Patrick Brett & Denise Hoffman

Di Daniels

Di was for many years (1995-2000) a Committee member and had the portfolio of promotion-secretary of the club. She also played a great role in putting together the booklet “Eastern Cape Birding Routes”, as well as the birding brochure for Nelson Mandela Bay.

2008 – Di Daniels

Cathy Stone

Cathy Stone was secretary of the club from 1999 – 2006 and also managed the membership data-base of the club with dedication.

2012 – Cathy Stone

Andrew Nixon He is a member of this club for many years already. Birding is his passion – He thinks, eats and sleeps birds. His life centres on this Club and birding. He was for years and still is involved in every aspect of the Club’s activities. He was before and is again for the past few years a Committee member of this Club. He is unselfish in sharing his knowledge; with patience and caring he continues to assist in the learning process of other bird-lovers.

2013 – Andrew Nixon

Elgene Penrith

Elgene was for many years not only a Committee member, but also supported many birders in their ID skills. She started the club shop to improve the finances of the club. She did wherever possible the marketing of the club through displays and at functions she was always willing to help with decorating or whatever was needed.

2014 - Elgene Penrith

Briar Wright The time, patience & endless trouble she expends in the organising of the outings program. The effort she always goes to find suitable & interesting speakers & presenters for club night, this also involves follow up & reminders just before the date. Being willing to take over as editor of the Bee-eater. This has involved a whole new learning curve for her as she has not had any prior experience in this field. Her willingness to turn her hand to anything that needs to be done i.e. selling raffle tickets, making sandwiches for an earlier ID Course & generally organising things when needed.

2015 – Briar Wright

Yvonne Bosman

Yvonne, who stays in St Francis Bay became a member in the early 1990’s of BirdLife EC and willingly started a bird club in St Francis Bay in 1993. For most of the past 24 years she chaired this club and does it as an affiliated club of BirdLife EC. She is a motivated person who supports club members and is involved in CWAC, SABAP2, CAR-counts and in monitoring at the windfarms. Her dedication to both clubs in various ways are appreciated and valued by all.

2017 – Yvonne Bosman

JC de Villiers Since JC became a member of the club, he did not only watch birds, but gave his time and talents to benefit the club. He:
  • Maximising BLEC investment returns
  • Maintaining orderly financial controls
  • Promoting IBA awareness
  • BLSA signage
  • Installation and maintenance of BLEC bird hides and water features.

2019 – JC de Villiers

Corné became a member of BirdLife in the early 1980’s and was the Programme Secretary in 1986.

  • May 2008 she became the Shop Convener
  • 2010 she became the Treasurer and implemented well controlled financial principles
  • February 2012 she became the Chairperson.
  • May 2012 she started the Electronic Newsletter (E-news)
  • 2019 she compiled all the information to establish the web-page for BirdLife Eastern Cape.

2021 – Corné Erasmus


Peter Hall is a member of BirdLife Eastern Cape for many, many years.

  • He was a willing leader of outings, where many new birders learned from his knowledge
  • Since 2012 he was a member of the Committee
  • He served on the Programme Committtee for many years
  • He is also the man who willingly opens the hall monthly for club meetings and see to it that it is locked afterwards.

2023 - Peter Hall

Through the club's monthly e-newsletters and bi-annual magazine, the Bee-Eater, we aim to stimulate continued interest in birds and their habitats.