2013 28th Libertarian Seminar to be in Prince Albert

posted Jul 15, 2013, 6:41 AM by Liberty Libpartysa

So, as they say in the classics, now for something completely different: the 28th Libertarian Spring Seminar, and launch of the Libertarian Party of South Africa.

In the event that no other venue has been suggested or proposed, would libertarians consider coming to Prince Albert for this year’s seminar? OK, that’s Prince Albert ... not to be confused with Port Alfred or Prince Albert Hamlet, for instance. Our town is in the Western Cape, snuggled at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains, 45 kms to the left of the N1 If you are driving south from (for example) Joburg to Cape Town, and about an hour from Oudtshoorn in the other direction.

There is a really lovely little theatre style venue, privately owned, overlooking the vlaktes, with good facilities of all kinds. Theatre style seating will be remembered by many as the format of such successful seminars as the one at Sparkling Waters in Gauteng many years ago. If numbers don’t come up to scratch, we will use the seminar room at the Swartberg Hotel, which will comfortably accommodate 20 around a table.

I would be delighted to undertake the role of Seminar convener and/or organiser if required, but would readily stand aside if somebody else wanted to take the role.  Trevor Watkins will be available to give advice and help. Whilst I am prepared to put significant effort into making the seminar a success, I won't cajole people to attend. Should there be agreement on the venue and on a date (suggestions, 6-8 September, 4-6 October; 24th September already ruled out) still to be agreed, I would expect interested parties to commit to a R100 non-returnable deposit.

So: Prince Albert is four hours distant from Cape Town by car, and two hours distant from George, which is on the national airport grid. Visitors from Joburg will of course face a longer journey to get here. Adventurous types can get a train to Leeugamka, and we would arrange to have them picked up for the 45 km trip from there to PA. For the well-heeled, there is a functional local airstrip which is used from time-to-time by visitors, and is safe.

There is a great deal of accommodation in PA, from 4-star (Die Bergkant) to the camping site, and a great deal in-between, B&B, self-catering and full board. Although’ a small town, it is home to a significant population of academics, intellectuals, writers and artists, and I hope we would get some support for the seminar from them. We have a small but thriving wine industry, and a few really wonderful rural retreats for those who would like a leisure break in addition to matters libertarian. There is a really good art gallery in town, and it is not impossible that we might be able to combine our seminar with one or another kind of art exhibition or event.

I remember the glory days of the libertarian seminars extending for four days or more, culminating in a dinner dance. I don’t confidently expect to scale those dizzy heights of organisational success, but I do have an aspiration to push the boundaries a little: say, starting with a Thursday evening dinner with a key note speaker, and pushing on to Sunday lunchtime. I might be able to arrange for some entertainment by our own internationally known singer-songwriter Brian Finch.

Comments, suggestions and counter suggestions welcome.

Colin B.