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Mindat Conference 2011 - Conference and Workshops

Last Updated: 25th Jul 2011

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

Mindat Conference 2011 - Conference and Workshops

The final four days of the Mindat Conference (Thursday to Sunday) were the conference sessions and workshops - and Friday to Sunday was also the town's Crystal Days festival.

View over the town

Thursday was the start of the Conference - the conference centre was a sports hall converted specially for the event.

The Conference Hall

Conference Ahead

The conference starts on Thursday with formal presentations. The first is by me
Mindat Conference 2011 - Conference again

"Agates from Kaczawskie Mts, Poland", by Jacek Bogdanski

more from Jacek

"Pegmatite minerals from Strzegom granitic massif, Poland", by Tomasz Praszkier

From Tomasz's presentation - Strzegom Coins

"Theories of Agate formation" Brian Jackson

Brian answers questions

"Native gold from Round Mt, USA", by Scott Werschky

And in the evening, food, drinks and slideshows (with beer)

Tomasz's Slideshow about Madagascar

On friday morning, the presentations continued

"Exploring classic Japanese mineralogical sites", by Alfredo Petrov

"The cavity minerals from the spilite basalts in Mumbai, India", by Berthold Ottens

During gaps in the presentation people could visit the mineral show and the mindat booth.

The Mindat booth

At 4pm we left the conference to return to the town center for the official opening ceremony of the Town Center Mineral fair:

The Crystal Days mineral fair opening ceremony

The Folk singers return - with Miro Ng

The mayor officially opens the mineral fair, and receives a Strzegom smoky quartz

Everyone looks up at the tower...

because trumpets are playing

Jeff Scovil makes a short speech on behalf of the Mindat Conference

Bread and Salt, traditional Polish welcoming gifts are presented

The mayor distribute bread to exhibitors and special guests

Guess we are special guests

Mindatians watching the ceremony, Liam Schofield, Chris Stanley, Jessica Macfarlane and Leslie Albin

Now we have a little time to look through the town mineral fair

The Mineral Fair

Minerals on sale in the Mineral Fair

More minerals for sale

More from the mineral show

Agates on sale

Not just minerals - baskets too

Mike Rumsey had to get a basket, which he then filled with rocks and gave to me to drive back to the UK

And music

Johannes Keilman visits the mineral fair

Amber necklaces on sale at the mineral fair

Meanwhile, the stage is being prepared for the grand opening parade

And is Reiner Bode selling ice creams?

Another view of the town show

Meanwhile, in the town hall, some more mineral exhibition cases. This one is mine

Some of my personal collection of UK minerals

And Ida Chau's minature mineral display is also on show

Andrzej Korzekwa's collection of Lubin minerals

We return for more presentations, including

"Minerals of the lead-zinc mine Mežica, Slovenia", by Aleksander Recnik

After dinner, I ask for volunteers to follow the mindat.org sign as part of the town parade - I was most impressed to see almost everyone want to take part! So, grasping the sign, we march proudly into the town center to find our place on the parade.

Team Mindat get ready to join the town parade.

Preparing to parade

And we're off

Team Mindat are go

The parade starts

With some noisy bikers

Another biker

And belly dancers

More belly dancers

and people dressed as teapots

I'm invited on stage during the parade, along with Tom and Amir

On the stage

Meanwhile, the mindatites are having fun.

And comparing photographs

and yes, that's really Terry Huizing and Van King dancing

Somehow Rob Woodside catches a flower hurled from the passing parade

The sun catches the Town Hall tower

In the evening, in the town center, some of the mindat folk have cornered the mayor again

Saturday we move the conference to the Hall of Culture

We start with some technical sessions, including a talk from Mike Rumsey on new Lead Oxychloride minerals from the Mendip Hills, Somerset, England

Mike discussing Mendip mineralogy

Mike Rumsey's presentation

This is followed by the first half of Jeff Scovil's Photography workshop

Jeff's photography workshop

More photography workshop

That evening, we have a large party for polish collectors and mineral show exhibitors.

The saturday evening meal

Brian Jackson, Penny Williamson and Van King

Brian and Penny both bought bubble guns

Is Reiner dancing, or is he trying to hail a taxi?

Workshops continued on Sunday:

My workshop

Explaining how to create articles like this one

Almost over - Asia has a non-alcoholic drink to celebrate

The crowds gather in town for the rock concert

This Polish band are very popular, but I have no idea who they are

More from the concert

And it's time for me to go on stage yet again

And make a speech to thank everyone for their support in the conference

And finally, fireworks!

More fireworks

After the fireworks, those who have been working on the conference are invited to a private party with the Mayor in the town hall

A toast to the town hall carvings

And the Agate Summer decorated bread is finally no longer needed

And so gets demolished by hungry mindateers

Monday. it's time to go home. Everyone has left or is packing up to go

even the stage is dismantled in record time.

And following a most successful conference, I get in my car to drive the 1,298km home.

The 2nd Mindat.org Conference will be in Midelt, Morocco in October or November 2012. As soon as dates are confirmed they will be published on mindat!

Thank you to everyone who helped with the conference, who came to the conference, and who provided photos for these reports. Photos came from myself, Rainer Bode, Ida Chau, Kate Davydenko, Roger Lang, Slamowir Szlinke, Miranda Yu and possibly others - thank you!

Article has been viewed at least 30543 times.


The band, in case you were wondering...


Some awesome photo's there- I guess I should really pull my finger out and get my report done, eh?

Liam Schofield
25th Jul 2011 8:14am
Jolyon et al.,

Thank you for the conference reports. They are a special treat for those of us who couldn't come. The photos are great and getting to associate faces with names is fun. In this particular article, I really like the numerous variants used for describing members of Mindat: Mindatians, Mindatites, and Mindateers. Hard to chose a favorite.

Keep those reports coming.


Paul Siegel
25th Jul 2011 2:30pm
I really hope that Morocco will be in November...

Ray Hill
25th Jul 2011 11:52pm
Will we be able to consume booze in Morocco?

Rudy Bolona
26th Jul 2011 1:59am
A fairly good article on Alcohol in morocco;


Liam Schofield
26th Jul 2011 7:55am
I see Liam has begun his essential research into the Morocco trip already.

Jolyon & Katya Ralph
26th Jul 2011 7:23pm
Priorities; I have them covered.

Liam Schofield
26th Jul 2011 9:36pm
Here are the mindat managers (or some of them at least) meeting at the conference. Sadly we missed Chet because he had to go home early, and Tomasz was lost somewhere or other, so he didn't make the photo either:

Mindat Managers

Jolyon & Katya Ralph
31st Jul 2011 1:02am
Excellent report and photos ! I am sorry I could not attend this year`s conference. Therefore it is my fellow Mindat manager and countryman Knut Edvard Larsen - and not me to the right in the second row on the last picture !
Knut Eldjarn

Knut Eldjarn
1st Aug 2011 10:10pm

Jolyon & Katya Ralph
1st Aug 2011 11:36pm
Back row - Alfredo Petrov, Rob Woodside, Knut Edvard Larsen

Front row - Ida Chau, Mike Rumsey, Jolyon Ralph, Chris Mavris, Van King

Jolyon & Katya Ralph
1st Aug 2011 11:36pm

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