During August 2002 Brian Welch, Chairman of the Southern Cape Chapter, was with me in Holland to judge at the Dutch Chapter Show. Brian was amazed at the variety of badges from around the world and we got to discussing having a badge made for the Southern Cape Chapter. Earlier in the year the KwaZulu Natal Chapter had introduced its own badge in the shape of a Zulu shield, with the short stabbing spear and fighting stick for which the King Shaka of Zululand was famous. Brian and I decided we needed to have some icon which would be associated with the Southern Cape region and we settled on the Pansy Shell so well known in that part of South Africa.
After some crude concept drawings were agreed , and with the assistance of Vincent Chiu, the ZNA Taiwan District Chairman who is a great friend of mine and the SAKKS, a manufacturer of badges in Taiwan produced counter drawings which after a few iterations were finally approved. The badge is made in what is known as cloisonne, which provides the best quality badge according to the fundis. The badge is in the Pansy Shell shape, with the delicate pansy design in gold in the centre of the badge, with the characteristic two bars representing the "holes" on the shell incorporated into the design.
During the Young Koi Show in Johannesburg I met up with Andre Reitsma, the Western Cape Chapter Chairman and mention to him the possibility of doing a badge for their Chapter at the same time. Some while later John Rex and Rob Wagner combined their skills to come up with a truly unique design for the Western Cape Chapter badge. This badge is in the shape of the Cape Peninsula, with a line in gold featuring the outline of Table Mountain (the original motif used by the Chapter for some time now).A Kohaku is superimposed onto this unusual shape. The badge is made by the same manufacturer using the same cloisonne process.
Not wanting to leave the Free State Chapter out in the cold, I took the liberty of doing a design for a Free State Chapter badge, featuring initially a Sunflower. This was e-mailed up to Hennie Van der Mescht, the Chairman of the Free State Chapter . The word came back that they really wanted a badge, but would prefer to have either some corn plants or a large cheetah on the badge rather than the sunflower. Having little experience in designing badges and even less artistic skills, I convinced Hennie that the cheetah idea was a little too difficult for me. The Free State is renown for its agricultural production and specifically its massive corn plantations. So with this as a possible icon for the badge, a few concept drawings were produced and once agreed were sent to the still remarkably patient and helpful Vincent Chiu. In no time at all the manufacturer of the badges had produced counter drawings which actually looked like they had corn plants (mine were a disaster) and with a few refinements the drawings were approved and production commenced.
It is anticipated that the new Southern Cape Chapter, Western Cape Chapter and Free State Chapter badges will be available by March 2004.
Another addition to the range of SAKKS Badges is the introduction of badges for members with 5 years membership, another for those with 10 years membership and one for members with 15 years membership . The first is a nickel SAKKS Badge with a black background for members with 5 years membership, whilst the 10 year membership badge is in gold with a matt gold background, similar to the general nickel badge but in gold. The 15 year membership badge is in gold with a white background. These are being introduced to give recognition to members who have been with the Society for the requisite period, whilst retaining the design and logo of the general Society badge which is dear to the hearts of all the members. A very limited number of the 15 mm versions of the above were also made as samples, but will not be generally available.