SDL Rally 2013

On Thursday 21 November, twenty one staff members of SDL's Head Office shimmied into five SDL vehicles, then set off on a trip to our Annual Rally held near Pretoria.

After pit stops in Lainsburg and Three Sisters, we landed at our first overnight stop-over, Colesburg. We settled into our chalets and freshened up, then spent a delightful evening enjoying a typical Karoo braai in the chilly evening air.

The early morning brought with it coffee and rusks, as well as as six other SDL members from P.E. and East London to join us on our trek. Crossing the Vaal River was the moment we knew we were 'almost there.' After easily sliding into Johannesburg's bustling Friday afternoon traffic, we journeyed to our overnight apartments in Kempton Park. There, we were joined by local SDL members for another enjoyable get-together braai.

Before we knew it, Saturday 23 November had arrived – the day of our 2013 Rally! Rally 2013 can easily be summed up as the most emotional SDL gathering ever. Master of Ceremonies, Marius Sprong, was excellent in managing and running the day's list of events.

Lyric soprano Karien Ribbens entertained us on three occasions with beautiful inspirational songs. Two highly motivated members, Jaqueline Baloyi and Samuel Mongwe, delivered testimonies on why they joined SDL and what they have experienced so far.

Reverend George Rauch, an exceptional speaker, lectured us on self-confidence and achieving success in life and especially in our SDL Business – a message all of us will treasure and apply to ensure that 2014 is our best year ever!

Riedwaan Rhodes followed with a presentation of our new product and a new approach to building a sustainable business. Our five Senior Master Members reported on what happened in their areas during the year and what they have planned for next year.

The Rally's highlight was when SDL CEO Kobus Geldenhuys spoke about both the good and difficult times we experienced this year. His message stressed the importance of faith combined with the will and determination to work. He presented trophies to best performing staff and senior members and announced a senior management appointments; Professor Nqabomzi Gawe as Director.

Marinda Steenkamp briefed the crowd on the events SDL was confronted with this year and how she, together with a team of experts, are approaching each situation. She emphasised the fact that it was imperative that SDL complies with the laws governing our industry.

Karen Benadie, SMM of Pretoria, and her entire team held a small candle-light tribute to Johan, her husband who passed away a month ago. The emotional experience illustrated the age-old fact that SDL is every part a supportive family as it is a business.

This year’s Rally closed dramatically when George Rauch and two pastors led an impromptu prayer asking for courage and determination for SDL and its members in the coming year.

After being treated to a delicious lunch prepared by Karen Benadie and her team, we departed for our home town, satisfied and filled to the brim. Our sincere appreciation to Karen, our Iron Lady, for everything she did under very difficult circumstances, as well as everyone who had a hand in making this year's Rally the utter successful and inspiring event it turned out to be.

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