Articles

50 Years

The Early Days

The Early Days

My first experience of  experience of Hermanus cricket was during the late 1930’s when I played for  a  Caledon  team  against  a  Hermanus  side  at  Hermanus  as  a  school boy.

The match was played on the field of the present Primary School and Hermanus won the game. I remember that in their side were well known Hermanus personalities at that time, such as Dr Lipschitz, the captain, Frank Elliot, a prominent building contractor who scored a century against Caledon that day and three teachers, namely Mr Lomberg the principal, Mr Jopie Joubert who died recently and a Mr Scheepers. I have an idea that cricket in Hermanus was started when Dr Lipschitz came to practice here. When the war broke out no cricket was played for many years.

After the war Mr Osrin from Bredasdorp donated a cup, known as the Osrin Cup and the competing teams were Hermanus,  Caledon, Swellendam, Bredasdorp and later Riviersonderend. These games were wonderful games.

When I came here in 1953 the driving spirit in the club was the late Alec Groenewald. He spent hours and hours improving the cricket field and was ably assisted by his groundsman, Jackson Tubu, who is now a Minister of religion in Zwelihle doing wonderful work. The later members of the club should appreciate all the work that Mr Groenewald and MrTubu put into the cricket field and the wicket. Even in those days the grounds were praised by visiting teams. Alec Groenewald was also instrumental in starting the Sir deVilliers Graaff, the president and Hermanus Club captain game. Alec once prepared a cement slab and on that occasion all the players taking part in the Sir deVilliers Graaff game had to sign on this cement slab, but unfortunately this historic cement slab has disappeared. As a mark of respect of what Alec did for Hermanus cricket, his family after his death asked that his ashes be scattered on the field and this request was acceded to. Alec certainly lived for cricket.

A person who also had a lot to do with the grounds later on, was Mr Charles Meyer who was foreman at the local Municipality. He did a lot in improving the condition of the field. He had a son, Oswald, who played cricket for Hermanus and did very well. Later on Mr Eugene le Roux took over the duties as groundsman and also did an outstanding job.

Sidney Steensma came to Hermanus during the late 50’s. He played Provincial cricket for Western Province as a wicket keeper and he certainly meant a lot to the club during those days, because he was not only an outstanding wicket keeper, but also a very good batsman.

The club later took part in the Boland junior league and games were played against Caledon, Swellendam, Robertson, Worcester and De Dooms. The games against Swellendam were always very competitive as Swellendam had a player by the name of Alec Powell, who was an outstanding cricketer who played for Griequaland West. He was a left handed batsman and left handed bowler who gave the Hermanus batsmen and bowlers quite a torrid time. Mr Basil Barnes who had a jewelry shop in Hermanus played for Border before coming here. He had a lot to do with the improvement of cricket in Hermanus, so much so, that for two seasons the 1st team played in the Boland 1st league. Unfortunately not too successfully and I remember the side being skittled by Paarl for 21 runs one day. Players of note during my time were David Davidowitz who was an outstanding wicket keeper, Frank Pope, who one day hit Clive van Ryneveld for a few sixes at the ground in one of the deVilliers Graaff games. Others were Charlie Sim, Ray Hodgson, Charlie Theron, Bunny Nigrini, Ronnie van Zyl, Bill Flint, Eugene le Roux, Johan van derWesthuizen and Koegelenberg. Ray and Johan were outstanding bowlers and contributed plenty to the success of the club in earlier davs. If names are omitted, mv apologies.

In those days when we played away from Hermanus we made a point as a team of having a mixed grill at Christie’s Restaurant in the Strand – they were most enjoyable evenings.

In the earlier days the wives and girlfriends of the Cricket Team took turns to make tea and provide refreshments at tea time, which was appreciated by the players and the visiting teams. The facilities at the club were very primitive in those days and water had to be boiled on a primus stove, but they were prepared to make sacrifices. There was also no pub at the club. We had to entertain the visiting players at some hotel after the game. It is indeed a pleasure to see the progress made by the club in the last number of years.

Thanks to those who started the wonderful game of cricket in Hermanus, those who contributed to the game, those who continued with the game and those presently playing and upholding the name of Hermanus cricket.

The public and players should appreciate the outstanding facilities offered by the club and the setting of the field with the mountains in the background.

OOM PIETIE THERON

50 Years, History

History of the Club

History of the Hermanus Cricket Club

Nestled at the foot of the majestic Raed-na-Gael mountains, in the heart of the whale country, is the picturesque Sir De Villiers Graaff oval, home of Hermanus cricket.

The Hermanus Cricket Club is widely regarded as the cricket centre of the Overberg and has a long and interesting history.

The earliest recollection of cricket being played in the then small, fishing village, was when Pietie Theron, founder of Guthrie & Theron Attorneys, played alongside Oom Joep Joubert way back in 1936.There was no formal league structure in those days and the cricket was a social occasion.

The Great War of 1939 put a temporary halt to proceedings as the locals trudged off to defend their country but the club was revived in 1954, thanks to the efforts of Sidney Steensma, a former WP “keeper’.

The first turf track was laid by a certain Sgt Alec Groenewald and this track still forms part of the current square today. Groenewald was in fact a legend in his own time and one of the real stalwarts of the club. At the tender age of 61 old Alec used to face-the new ball and apparently he wasn’t a slouch in the field either! His ashes were sprinkled over his hallowed pitch after his death and, sometimes, if you listen closely during a blustery North-Wester, you can still hear him calling for that sharp single! Sir De Villiers Graaff was elected President of the club in 1955, a position that the great statesman relinquished to his son Johan after his passing. Indeed, the entire Graaff family has been involved in Hermanus cricket at some point or another. Hermanus is no stranger to “big” names, with people like Tuppy Owen-Smith, Clive van Ryneveld, John Wiley, Dave McKay and Morne du Plessis having played there. Even the MCC touring party of 1955 have graced the oval.

Hermanus entered competitive cricket in the late 60’s and consistently brought in good results in the Junior leagues.

As is the case in many small clubs, the club went through a bit of a lean patch and the interest waned, only to be rekindled by people like Eugene le Roux, “Wessie” van der Westhuizen and Johan Koeglenberg, all of whom are still involved, with the club today in some way or another.

The “modern” era kicked off in the late 80’s as Hermanus again decided to join the leagues after playing only social cricket for many years. Mark Brumer, Herold Vogel, Johan Koegelenberg (Jnr) and Liston Davidowitz formed the nucleus of the side and this side bounded their way out of the junior leagues towards the Premier leagues.

At this stage Hermanus started their own development programme and were the first “country” club to bring in young overseas players to coach as well as to play. GaryYates, the Lancashire off-spinner, spent two seasons here, as did Somerset’s Mark Caraway. The club grew from strength to strength and is now reaping the rewards of all the hard work. There are three sides in competition at the moment, the First XI contests the All Gold Super League and the Two’s for the last two years and the Thirds compete in the Breede River League. Players who have turned out for Hermanus Firsts in recent times include Charl Willoughby, Neil Carter, Cedric English, Steven Roos, Morne Roos, Barry Chedburn, Piet Koen, Gerhard Strydom, Raynard Strydom and Con de Lange. The nucleus of the First team presently consists of Rejeanne Botha, Raynard Strydom, Steve Forde, Phillip van Vuuren and Wayne Truter and Con de Lange.

The club has hosted the annual WP – BOLAND CHALLENGE for the last few years and will continue to do so, with thoughts of expanding to a “quadrangular” format in the near future. Yes, the club certainly has come a very long way, and I’m sure that ol’ Alec Groenewald is having a quiet, contented chuckle somewhere.

STICKY FINGERS

50 Years

Message from the Club Chairman

Marius Pieters

Club Chairman

I joined Hermanus Cricket Club in 1984 when we moved to Hermanus from the Transvaal. My active cricket was limited to two seasons until injury and ill health forced me to ‘retire’ but my enthusiasm for the game led to involvement with the social side and eventually I was persuaded to put my efforts into the committee.

It is a great pride and joy to be associated with HCC. To see the tremendous strides made over the years, the creation of a professional component and to achieve the results we have in such a short period of time – in particular in a small community such as Hermanus. HCC has survived all sorts of difficulties in the past. All the hard work done by the pioneers in the earlier years has laid a solid foundation and as we head forward into this our 50th Anniversary year, we are proud to be a major force in the competitive Super League. Wayne Truter, ons kaptein die afgelope vier jaar, was by uitstek ‘n aanwins vir die klub en het jaar na jaar met uitsonderlike individuele prestasies en motivering die eerste span laat presteer.

Ons klub is bale geseend met ‘n gekwalifiseerde A klas afrigter in Phillip van Vuuren wat sy skool opleiding plaaslik voltooi het en tans groot werk verrig deur ‘n afrigtings skool wat op die been gebring is. Sy sukses kan reeds waargeneem word met die skitterende krieket talent wat besig is om te ontwikkel in ons plaaslike skole.

I would like to thank my committee and all the HCC members for their loyal support of our club and trust that we can all look forward to celebrating our Club’s 50th anniversary and taking it from strength to strength in the future.

MARIUS PIETERS

CLUB CHAIRMAN

 

 

50 Years

Message from the Club President

Johann Graaff

Club President

Congratulations to the club on reaching its 50th anniversary. The Graaff family are proud to have been associated with the club from it’s very beginning.

We have seen the ground and the facilities change from elementary to modern. We have seen the standard of cricket played here improve out of all recognition. We have seen members of the club coming and going. Some families now have a third generation attached to the club. We have been with it through some great moments, and some down ones. Our contact with the club has always been extremely warm and co-operative. From this moment at the beginning of the 21st century, may the Graaff’s still be with you at the beginning of the 22nd.

JOHANN GRAAFF

PRESIDENT OF THE HERMANUS CRICKET CLUB.

 

50 Years

Message from the Mayor

Alderman W.J. Smuts

Mayor W.J. Smuts

As all cricketers will know scoring your first fifty is a momentous occasion and will receive a round of solid applause during a match. Caps off to Hermanus Cricket Club on achieving its first half-century. In its current form, nothing is going to stop them from getting a full one!

Cricket is a great and captivating sport. After next year’s World Cup, where South Africa is for sure certain to lift the trophy, it will be more popular than ever. Cricket in Overstrand is going to boom and as the leading club in our municipal area, Hermanus must prepare itself to play a major role in bringing the game to the people.

For the development of our youth — the leaders of tomorrow — cricket is one of the best activities to offer. It teaches one about the importance of teamwork, but also that individual brilliance can save the day. You learn to dig deep when you are in trouble, but also never to be sure that victory is yours. You have to work hard till the last ball is bowled.

Hermanus Cricket Club, with it great achievements of the past and the beautiful setting of its home ground, is one of our area’s finest assets. It fits in perfectly with the vision of the Overstrand Municipality, namely to turn our area into the most desirable destination to visit, stay and do business. It contributes towards achieving our mission: to facilitate and sustain an environment for the development of a world-class tourist industry supported by environmental, sensitive development.

It is my wish that our partnership with Hermanus Cricket Club will be a long and happy one.

W.J. SMUTS 

MAYOR