A Brief “History” of Western Province Nomads
Covering the period from its beginning in February 1965 up until our 45th Anniversary in February 2010.
This “history” was instigated by Richard Plumb and compiled by Brian Barends with the aid of many WP Nomads. It is acknowledged as probably having some inaccuracies and not necessarily being anywhere near to being a complete “history”. It is therefore intended as being a living document and Nomads are invited to submit alterations and additions, as well as updates as the years go by.
With Nomads having become firmly entrenched in the Transvaal in1960 and the Natal Club having got through its fits and starts to becoming successfully established in 1964, Nomads founder Mike Florance was able to give some consideration to sowing the seeds for the possible formation of a club in the Western Province. There he found fertile ground in larger-than-life-golf-fanatic, Louis Immerman, he with the handlebar moustache and rabbit teeth who had been pestering him to do just that for a year or two. As a result Louis was given the go-ahead to get a club launched in 1965, based in Cape Town.
Official club colours, adopted for golfing attire in 1970, were a Royal Blue golf shirt together with Sky Blue trousers. This Royal Blue shirt gradually morphed to Navy Blue and then in about 1994 the uniform was changed to a white golf shirt because it was felt that the navy blue shirt was too hot for the Cape summers. Later it was felt that the light blue trousers became grubby too quickly and so in 2001 they gave way to navy blue trousers, resulting in very nearly the same uniform as that of Natal Nomads and gradually that of other clubs. It seems that this uniform could possibly be reconsidered once again at some future time … hopefully back to its unique original.
The inaugural game was arranged, with just 45 founder members, at the 9-hole Metropolitan Golf Club in February 1965. From that humble beginning the Nomads began slowly impressing the local golfing fraternity with their dedication to the game, their organising ability, their fast play rules, their dress behaviour both on the course and in the clubhouse, and their acknowledgement of their debt to their golf club hosts. As a result the WP Club soon grew to exceed 100 members by the end of that first year and to full capacity in the ensuing few years. So much so that during the 70s and 80s the membership waiting list was up to five years before pressure was finally relieved by the formation of the Boland club which saw a good number of members moving out to help form the nucleus of that new young club .
In those early days when membership of Nomads was at a premium, it was regarded as the greatest privilege to be a member and no one worth his salt would ever dream of failing to attend prize-giving in his full club regalia – perhaps the most hilarious lapse in this respect was when a newly inducted member proudly turned up dressed in his brand-new blazer with the pocket-badge sewn on upside down!
As has happened to a few of the earlier Nomads clubs, the founder captain, usually a very strong character, felt that the club was being pushed and pulled in a different direction to that which he had envisaged and by 1967 Louis Immerman had resigned, just months away from the 3rd National Tournament being held at his King David home club. (However he has maintained a strong interest in the club and was a special invitee to attend the 1990 WP Nomads celebrations, 25 years after he founded the club, at which time he was invited back into the club as an honorary member, which was confirmed finally on the occasion of our 45th Anniversary in February 2010.)
With Louis gone, Peter Keys, at short notice, reluctantly filled the captaincy and Roy Fisher took over the coordinating of the 1968 National Tournament. It was a huge success and the final night’s prize giving was graced by the presence of our then golf-keen Prime Minister, John Vorster. One of the results of this was that within a very short time Nomads had become part of Western Province golfing life and for some years thereafter an annual game between Nomads and the Parliamentary golf team was arranged.
Over the years we have been generously supported by the major golf clubs in the Western Cape. It was unfortunate that, in 1991, our Thursday game requirements caused the prestigious Royal Cape Golf Club to withdraw that privilege, and we were no longer able to include the club in our roster of host clubs. In recent years we have made a welcome return, and the fact that Royal Cape is the venue of the Royal Nationals in 2018 is a clear indication of the strength of the relationship.
To tangibly demonstrate our gratitude to our host clubs, we began in 1991 a process of donating a memorial bench out on their courses in memory of their Nomad members who had passed on. Later we continued this process with our donation of golf-ball washers to some of the clubs.
Over the past 45 years the monthly Nomad games have been well attended, with fields averaging well above 120. The Nomads format designed to encourage fast play and a vast range of internal competitions each month, many of which were cumulative through the year, created an air of excitement in the members and even if you weren’t a winner in any of the day’s competitions you might get some reward from the day’s lucky draws or, more importantly, take a few Rands off one of your betting clients.
Many members have achieved the right to wear their 100-, 200-, and 300-game badges but the first to hit 400 were Viv Dawson followed closely by Ryno Greenwall (both now departed) and the first to hit the magic 500 badge will shortly be David Whitefield who has the proud record of having played in 96% of his monthly games since he joined Nomads over 42 years ago. Is it any wonder then that he has almost certainly won more Nomads prizes than anyone else in the club? And he hasn’t done badly at Nationals either! He also has the proud boast, probably true, that he once played in the highest-ever scoring four-ball of 155 points (Rod Cameron Snr 42, Peter Sauerman 39, Dave 38 and Henry du Toit 36). Beat that!
And we can’t leave the subject of monthly games without tipping our golf cap to Mike Walker, our astonishing “Weather Guru”. In 1970, when Danny Anziska was captain, he praised the weatherman for giving us such a perfect day at Milnerton Golf Club. Mike made a flippant remark to the effect that you could always rely on him for good weather. From that day forward Mike became known as our Weatherman and there must be something in it because he reliably maintains that in the 39 years since then Nomads meetings have been rained out only four times … and that’s here in the Cape of Storms! No wonder all captains thereafter have consistently thanked Mike for the day’s good weather. Long may you keep it so, Mike!
Prize Giving & Fines
Considering that the Nomad format was designed for play to take less than four hours it has become increasingly noticeable that play has progressed to take a lot longer than that which has put huge pressure on our score keepers to be ready for the desired 6.30 prizegiving. This has in turn led to a desire among members for prize-giving to be briefer.
In the early days prize giving was regarded as the crowning glory to a great Nomad golfing outing, with the jewel in that crown being the fines session. From day one this session was the preserve of the captain who spent the intervals between monthly games to look out for amusing and unusual reasons and happenings concerning his members for which to fine them, not with the intent of raising large sums of money but rather to engender a sense of fun at the end of the day. It also helped the captain to get to know his members more thoroughly and it usually caused a goodly amount of banter between the captain and his victim, which very often led to the biggest laughs of the night. It was noticeable in those days how as month followed month the captains became more self-assured and grew into enjoying the task, leading to the members sharing in that enjoyment. It was interactive and seldom boring.
Gradually, though, at around the beginning of the 1980s this fining duty was shared between the captain and chosen members and eventually the captain dropped out of the equation completely, leaving it to members, most of whom were one-timers and who never got a chance to develop the skills required to help them become truly funny before their turn was up. Instead they made amends in trying to bring in more fines-money than the last chap, to the detriment of the fun that was intended. There were exceptions, of course, in a few “naturals” who came back by popular demand year after year and made the prize giving memorable. Members that spring to mind include such as Nat Yamey and Ryno Greenwall, both of whom were brilliant with their off-the-cuff Jewish humour, and Robin de Kock, a gifted orator who worked for weeks beforehand on a theme and chose the members who would best fit into that theme to raise howls of laughter from the assembled crowd. And what of Michael Walker, that cheeky chappie who always got a big laugh at the expense of his talkative good friend when he would say ”generally speaking Henry Goosen is generally speaking” They were raconteurs of note. There were many others but few rose to the heights of these glory fining sessions. A pity because they really were fun.
Some Special People
The club was filled with some great characters over the years. Maybe the greatest of them all, the Oh so gentle, Oh so amusing, Peter Meats, affectionately known as “Piet Vleis”, with his RAF moustache and pukka British accent who had everyone falling about every time he opened his mouth to speak, who once borrowed an electric iron at Pretoria’s Burgers Park Hotel to warm his cold toasted cheese sandwich! And Tony Gambardella, an Italian cockney who came out immediately after the war, married his South African sweetheart, bought a very old pre-war Austin car and set off to settle in Rhodesia. The car broke down in Worcester. Forced to stop there they decided to stay, where they built a business and remained for the rest of their lives! Somerset West’s John van Schoor, a fine golfer, loud of voice, who never stopped talking and offering his opinions on every possible subject. We named him “The Boland Lip”. And then there was Basil Kantey who could tell you … and you couldn’t stop him … how he played every stroke, on every hole, at every course, at every game he played during his long Nomad years! And Monty “Dembola” Dembovsky who made our Gold Cup days such fun days.
Probably none in the WP club was better known and revered by Nomads country-wide than that indefatigable Roy Fisher, founder member and 1971 captain, always ready for a party, who at the 1966 Kyalami Nationals first introduced our famous Cape Fish Horn which became our WP Club symbol and which he sounded whenever one of our members featured in the daily prize giving, and which still echoes through the Nationals marquee, more than forty years on, having been taken over by a succession of dedicated horn-blowers, in memory of Roy after his sad passing away in 1992.
Of special mention, too, is sad-faced Viv “Smiler” Dawson and cheery Bobbie Pieters, both now departed, who served on the WP committee, in a great variety of capacities, for so many years. Thankless tasks with a multitude of problems which these fine gentlemen volunteered to accept in service to their fellow members. They deserve our gratitude.
Others who have set a marvellous example have been John Pickering, in his quiet way sorting out the membership muddles of yesteryear as well as being the official handicapper for years, contributing to the monthly newsletters and generally doing anything that needed doing…all this despite gradual failing health over a long period of time …. and Mike Heath that amiable and energetic, no-nonsense Nomad who stepped in when he assumed the captaincy in 2004 and took some strong decisions which, although not universally popular at the time, resulted in the restoration of the warm spirit of camaraderie that had always been the cornerstone of the club. He made life a lot easier for the captains that followed him, for which he deserves our admiration. They don’t make many like Mike. There were more …. many more … but most have gone off to that great Nomads club in the sky, no doubt still spreading that same marvellous sense of fun and good cheer. How we miss them.
Maybe one of the greatest accolades should go to John Knight, 1973 captain and 1975 National Chairman, who years ago relocated to live in Knysna. Despite this he retained his WP membership and seldom missed driving the one thousand kilometre round-trip to Cape Town and back in order to play his monthly game with his WP Nomad friends. Wonderful dedication. Now in his 90s he no longer makes the trip all that frequently but retains a lively interest in what is going on in our club. We’ve been so fortunate in having his wise counsel and friendship and the fine example he has set.
Sponsoring of new Nomads clubs
With Nomads gradually becoming known nationally there was a growing tide of enthusiasm for further clubs to be formed in other parts of the country. Among them Western Province was instrumental in assisting Dennis Howard in launching the Port Elizabeth based Eastern Cape Club in 1972; Jan de Kock’s George-based Southern Cape Club in 1985; and Bones Nagel and Tony Runkel took a group of 24 WP Nomads to form a nucleus for the new Boland Club in 1993. All of which flourished in the years ahead. This huge WP loss of members to Boland was quickly made up from our waiting list. Bones’ wife, Anne Nagel, who for years worked with Bob van den Houten as our efficient and much-loved match secretary, went with him to fill that same post at Boland where they became fondly known as “Pa en Ma Boland”. Fortunately Anne was able to leave her WP post of working with Bob in the ever-capable hands of Roz Lewis-Williams.
National Tournaments Held in W P
After Roy Fisher’s successful 1968 King David National we have had the privilege of hosting a further five:
- Cedric Harrod was our coordinator at Clovelly GC in 1971 as well as at Mowbray GC in 1978.
- Neil Holmwood in conjunction with Basil Kantey had the distinct honour of coordinating the 1985 game at Royal Cape in that club’s Centenary year.
- Piet Slabbert ran the Westlake National in 1994 (which, with 504 players, was hailed as the largest amateur golf tournament held on one course anywhere in the world).
- And then Dave Martheze handled a most difficult task in organising a two-club National at both Mowbray and Rondebosch Golf Clubs in 2005.
All were highly successful except maybe for the unlucky 1978 game whose final day’s play was washed out by unseasonable downpours but, on the positive side, it helped immeasurably in swelling the takings in the Mowbray bar!
Brian and Cynthia Barends published daily National Tournament newsletters at our Western Province 1994 & 2005 events, as well as that at Hermanus for the Boland Club in 1999.
Of the six times we have hosted National Tournaments WP has been successful three times in winning the coveted Bert Hunt Trophy which goes to the National Tournament winning club: in 1978 at Mowbray; 1994 at Westlake; 2005 at Mowbray — all of them at home golf courses. We had never won a National Tournament away from home until finally, in 2009, we triumphed by bringing back the Bert Hunt Trophy from Royal Durban.
We have featured well in having six of our members receiving the Champion of Champions Trophy: Bert Rosenberg in 1968; Tiny Naude in 1975; George Perks in 1985; Dave Johnstone in 1992; Richard Plumb in 1997 and Eddie Zurcher in 1999.
At the other end of the scale we have had the misfortune of supplying two of our team who have won the Golden Match Box which goes to those with the lowest score at a National Tournament: Geoff Morris in 1982 and Daryl de Beer in 2003. Of the 22 Holes-in-One scored at Nationals over the years, none has been achieved by WP golfers.
There are scores of anecdotes of amazing and amusing off-course activities at National over 45 years but, true to our code: what happens at Nationals stays at Nationals. But the one that seems to stick in old-timers’ memories was at an East London National many years ago when Geoff Chait drove straight through a T-junction and vanished far into the bushes down in the valley in the dead of night! It turned out to be Geoff’s long walk back to civilisation!
The Seaboard Trophy annual interclub game dates back to 1974, instigated by WP’s captain Fred Cornell and EP’s captain Joss Hamilton, takes place in the southern Cape area. A darts trophy found by Joss at a Port Elizabeth jeweller and the quick removal of the darts, replacing them with a Nomads badge, made a fine trophy for this event!
Gradually, with the formation of later Cape clubs, Border was included and then Southern Cape club was added after its formation in 1985 and finally with Boland following in 1993, making it a 5-club mini-National. For the initial years it was organised in turn by the first three clubs and then, after Southern Cape came into the fold, they handled the organisational details at one of the clubs in their richly endowed golfing landscape and has evolved into a large and popular, annual event.
The McRunkel Trophy annual meeting between the WP and Boland clubs was founded by Alan McCrindle and Tony Runkel (hence the name McRunkel) when they were the respective captains of the WP and Boland clubs in 1994. For their trophy they used a replica of Roy Fisher’s original Cape Fish Horn. This annual meeting is programmed for one or another of the Boland country area golf courses and is a much-enjoyed family weekend.
The WP Captain’s Away weekend has also been going for many years, since the early 1980s and usually also takes in one of the Western Cape’s country district courses. Basically it is a weekend for WP club members but it does make itself open to guests from other Nomad clubs. The golf is not paramount in this weekend, which concentrates more on strengthening the camaraderie between the members and their families. It is always great fun.
Among other “away visits” over the years there have been some notable ones:
In 1970 Roy Fisher and Ken Stuart-Findlay led a group of WP Nomads who joined a few from the other Nomads clubs on the first Nomads overseas tour, to the United Kingdom, which turned out to be a memorable bus-touring event to some of the most renowned courses in the British Isles. True to form, the British summer weather was even worse than the Cape’s notorious “damp” winters, so much so that they adopted the then hit-song “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” as their signature tune. One of the outcomes was that Harry ‘Sporting Sam” Mead brought back with him a genuine Scottish tartan kilt which, for the rest of his years, he wore on Gold Cup days. With his ridiculously bandy legs he was a sight beyond belief!
In 1989, Denys Taylor organised a highly successful Mauritius Tour made up of a party of 39 from Western Cape plus 29 from the other Nomad clubs.
Other smaller tours have been made over the years, notably one to the Wild Coast following a National at East London. Small as some of these tours have been, they have noticeably enhanced the camaraderie among those who attended them and are worth encouraging.
As time passed, milestones have been marked with special anniversary functions, usually a large golf day allied to a dinner-dance attended by members and other important personages. Just such a one was the 1990 “Silver Jubilee” 25th anniversary of our founding. This was kicked off with a selected field of 76 golfers at our founding club, the nine-hole Metropolitan Golf Club, attended by our remaining founder members, past-captains, local golf club captains and members of our National Executive This was followed the next evening by a mammoth gala dinner-dance at the renowned Mount Nelson Hotel ballroom, organised by captain Errol Strickland, with decor conceived by Andy and Ann Ross-Munro, with hundreds of revellers partying below dozens of colourful inverted golf umbrellas suspended from the ceiling. The next day, a Sunday, 200 bleary-eyed Nomads teed off at the Mowbray Golf Club to complete a memorable celebration.
Five years later, in 1995, we followed up with an impressive 30th “Pearl-Anniversary” dinner-dance at the Muizenberg Pavilion with an attendance of 255 and beautifully decorated by our “Nomad Ladies” led by Roz Lewis-Williams. Once again, the next morning 200 sleepy Nomads braved a windy Westlake course to end this historic occasion.
In the Millennium year of 2000, captain Mel Brewer and his event committee led us in celebrating our “One Under Par” 35th Anniversary in fine style with a dinner-dance in the Kelvin Grove Ball room at which we were joined by National Chairman John Cole and a full representation from all the country-wide Nomad clubs, with Master of Ceremonies Robin de Kock calling on previous Western Cape captains to demonstrate their golf swings in the middle of the dance floor. While these captains might have displayed a great image as our admired club leaders and administrators, there was no reason whatsoever for the rest of us to follow their lead in the ungainly way they lunged at the ball!
On the Sunday, as tired as we were after that night before, we enjoyed a full 240–field round of golf at the Mowbray Club.
Mike Walker and Rusty Walsh produced a fine souvenir brochure to commemorate the occasion.
Five years later, 2005, to coincide with our hosting of the “Protea Nationals” Ken Walker organised the celebration of our 40th Anniversary with a large golf day at Rondebosch Golf Club followed by a dinner-dance in the National’s marquee erected at Mowbray Golf Club. It was a grand affair with so many of our visiting Nomads present.
It is difficult to know who among the Western Province Nomads have attended the most National Tournaments but its pretty certain that Ken Stuart-Findlay must be way up there, having attended 39 consecutive tournaments starting with the second National at Beachwood in 1967 and its also pretty certain no Nomad-wife-lady-partner-or-cousin ever has, or ever will, equal the feat of our long-time Associate Lady member, and one-time Match Secretary, Cynthia “Mum” Barends, who attended 32 consecutive Nationals, starting from the very first in 1965 at Kyalami Country Club (one more even than her husband!)
Services to Golf in the WP
With one of Nomads twin objectives being the support of golf, from our beginning we made annual grants to Junior Golf to assist them to send their teams to Provincial Tournaments. In 1976, when their needs became higher than our donations could satisfy, we arranged with the foundation’s director, that dedicated “father of the WP Junior Golf Foundation” Vernon Dickson, that we would organise an annual tournament for their benefit which resulted in a much improved flow of funds. The care of Junior golfers in the Western Cape has been in the hands of a number of Nomads over the years, notably Brian Michell and by longtime Nomad golf professional Clive Holmes who also managed the Foundation local and national teams to inter-provincial and inter-national competitions.
With Fred Dunseith being involved as National Golforama Executive as early as 1968 it was natural that he would set up the WP Golforama division right from our beginning. It was he and Basil Kantey who set the pattern for the first ten years which was then taken over by Rod Cameron, Alan McCrindle, Tony Runkel, Alec Lewis-Williams and eventually, and notably, by Errol Strickland who for so many years has always made himself available to set up Golforama for the professional Sunshine Tour events, local and international amateur tournaments, as well as those for the Junior golfers. It is a hard, hot and sometimes thankless task but these gentlemen gathered their teams of dedicated people around them and presented the public face of Nomads to golf lovers in the area and through TV coverage to the world at large. It would be impossible to estimate the colossal value that their Golforama efforts have contributed to the spread of Nomads name and fame throughout our area. Impossible it is, too, to praise Alec and Roz Lewis-Williams for their heroic efforts in catering to the tired, hungry and thirsty Golforama volunteers at so many tournaments over the years.
A Golforama highlight was the manning of the giant scoreboard at the World Golf Tournament at Erinvale in 1996, won by Ernie Els and Wayne Westner, by Brian & Cynthia Barends of WP and Boland’s Dave van Schoor.
On the charity side, following the Transvaal club’s formation of the Andrew Mentis Foundation, in 1969 Vice-captain Danny Anziska got us involved in this annual fund-raising golfing tournament that to begin with raised fairly limited funds. In 1976, in an effort to increase the amounts generated so that we could undertake larger charitable projects, we borrowed a then recent idea from the Natal Club in also organising an annual Race Day, first at the Milnerton Race Track, later transferred to the Kenilworth Race Course, which more than trebled our charity funds for the year. Peter Wilson, who later became WP club captain in 1982, not only got his advertising agency to design and print the books of Race-day lucky-draw tickets but he personally outsold everyone for years to come. That idea has become an annual Western Province Nomad event ever since. These Andrew Mentis funds were later swelled by a succession of whisky sponsors, and finally by Bell’s Special Old Scotch Whisky for the annual ticket draw, which sends lucky winners on an all-expenses paid trip to the British Open. The aggregate of all these Andrew Mentis Foundation efforts amongst all the 12 Nomads clubs has resulted in total funds amounting to over 22-million Rands to date for the benefit of charitable organisations throughout the land. A proud achievement that is, arguably, unsurpassed by any other sporting body.
Many diverse charities and needy organisations have been aided in their efforts to give sustenance and hope to those less fortunate and much, often tearful, praise has been heaped on the Nomads for these charitable efforts. Possibly none so poignant as the unforgettable occasion at Richard Plumb’s hand-over to his chosen beneficiary, Carel du Toit School for the Deaf, when Gaynor Young, the celebrated young stage actress who had a horrific behind-the-scenes accident some years previously, leaving her incapacitated in many ways, including deafness, gave her Nomads benefactors such a moving talk about how seemingly insurmountable difficulties can be overcome that there remained hardly a dry eye in the room and left no one in any doubt that the whole Nomad Andrew Mentis charitable programme over the years has been so truly worthwhile.
It is sad, but understandable after all these years, that of the 45 Founder members only three still remain with us: Danny Anziska, 1970 Captain, who lives in the Cayman Islands, Mike Kovensky who hasn’t played for many years, and Mike Tripp, who was also a former early National Secretary and who still appears regularly in the W P Nomads monthly games.
High Nomads Achievements
We have been proud to see six of our members rising to become National Chairman. The first was Cedric Harrod in 1974 (one of only two Nomad to reach that high position without first having been a Club Captain); John Knight in 1975; Mervyn Minnaar in 1984; Dave Martheze in 2002 and Nigel Tipping in 1998, Ken Walker in 2009 (both of whom came to WP after having been Captains at Southern Cape, 1987, and Southern Natal, 1992, respectively). Six good men who led us with honour in Nomads highest office. We have also had the good fortune of welcoming two former National Chairmen, Arthur Ferneyhough and Stuart Gedrim, who transferred to WP in their retirement. How nice to have them with us.
Brian Barends was Senior National Vice-Chairman in 1969 before relocating to Cape Town.
The National Secretary berth has been held by: Brian Barends 1965 to 69; Mike Tripp 1970; David Dowie Dunn 1984; Piet Slabbert 1991 and Dave Martheze 1996 to 2001.
The National Golforama portfolio was handled by Fred Dunseith from 1968 to1970.
Special mention should also be made of a few members who went beyond their normal call of club duties:
Acting on a country-wide ground-swell of Nomad opinion spearheaded by Joss Hamilton of Border and Brian Barends, to bring the Nomads founder back into the fold, in March 1989 WP captain Piet Slabbert, announced to a standing ovation that the WP club had decided to welcome back an ailing Michael Florance in recognition of his vision, initiative and organisational flair in originating and developing the Nomad concept which led to it being acclaimed as the eminent association that it had become. Just five months later a contented Mike died and was buried in his Nomad blazer and tie thanks to the determined initiative of a few Nomads who refused to let the matter rest and were eventually able to gain the support of a vast majority of influential others country-wide.
Another who deserves special mention is Ken Elkin, doyen of SA PGA golf professionals, Mowbray Golf Club professional for 35 years; designer of more than 40 golf courses. He was the first golf professional to join Nomads as a WP Founder member and played regularly until age and poor-health forced his retirement from playing golf in 1977. Thereafter he took on the job of official starter at all our games, in rain or shine he was there to get us off the tees and generally get the show on the road, as well as encouraging junior golf in the province. He eventually had to give in to declining health and took a sad retirement in 1996 and passed away a few years later.
The Secretariat, Reception and Score keeping
The Match Secretary and his/her Score keeping team provide the heartbeat of any Nomad club. Captains and committees come and go but the team tends to remain together cheerfully in its important role of efficiently keeping things going with a friendly smile while putting up with complaints and stale old jokes month after month, year after year.
In common with all other clubs we’ve had some wonderful people down the years who have given of their time generously, gratuitously and graciously for the smooth-running of our club and we salute them most sincerely.
From our earliest days to the present time we remember with affection our Match-secretaries: Cam Chaffe, Joyce Anziska, Jeannie Niemeyer, Joy Butcher, Cynthia Barends, Val Barrett, as well as Anne Nagel and Roz Lewis-Williams who both in turn worked with Bob van den Houten over an eight-year period, finally handing over in 1998 to the unflappable and so competent Colleen Pickering who continues to this day with such huge success.
They were aided and supported over the past forty-five years by the likes of Beryl Green, Joan Kantey, Mikki Fisher, Heather Gottgens, Hazel Goldberg, Jane Byram, Paddy Minnaar, Shirley Harrod, Joyce Todt, Dot Watson, Yvonne Martheze, Jo Bayman, Aafke Zurcher, Margie Dawson, Isobel Anderson, Pat McCrindle, Lolly Telford, Jean von Loggenburg, Pauline Heath and Sheila Walker.
Most of them also involved themselves in the various smaller, but no less important, additional fund-raising activities at monthly meetings. Roz Lewis-Williams, in particular, has been the leader of the pack for over twenty years, selling the tickets for just about anything you can imagine, including the popular “Harry’s Hundreds/Thousands” draws, (named after its instigator, Harry Mead)”, and generally being a vital part of the team of ladies who have given so much, with love and affection, to so many WP Nomads for so many years. There is no way we can really express our gratitude sufficiently. All we can offer is a very humble and heartfelt “Well done ladies, we love you all!”
The essential “keeping members informed” newsletters were first started in the late 1960’s by that master-of-mirth Monty Dembovsky who published a most amusing newsletter spasmodically until his untimely death.
Later on Errol Strickland took up his pen to fill this important role from time to time. Then, at the start of Tony Runkel’s captaincy in 1988, with the arrival of the in-house personal computers, it was published on a monthly basis by Brian and Cynthia Barends until mid-1995, when it was taken over by Mike Walker who continued to publish regularly until 1997. It was then continued by John and Colleen Pickering who, with the introduction of the WP Nomads website by captain David Boers in 2002, switched to an electronic version on the web. They then handed over to Keith and Ann Lloyd in 2004, who reverted to the former printed form until the end of 2006 when it once more went back into the ultra-capable hands of the Pickerings who, from then on, have posted the monthly captain’s report and prizesheet on the website while regularly keeping members informed of club updates by e-mail.
Over the years we were fortunate in having the services of Alec Lewis-Williams, Rusty Walsh, Billy Ackerman and Trevor Norris-Jones to take the photographs that featured in our newsletters. Our thanks to you all.
And let us not forget the kindness of Derek Butcher, who, for about fifteen years, printed all our newsletters free of charge, to our great financial benefit … talking of which, a big thank you to Ron Woulidge for printing the 2009 National Nomad diary, probably the most useful document ever.
The Way Ahead
Over the years we have been blessed with dedicated captains and committees all of whom, to a greater or lesser degree, have added their own individuality while adhering strictly to the Nomads principles.
We Western Province Nomads have a very proud record, indeed, in our joint commitments: to the game of golf itself, and to those less fortunate than ourselves. However, let it be said, and let it be humbly appreciated by ourselves more than by anyone else: we would never have achieved all that we have achieved were it not for our many benefactors; those golf clubs who so willingly give up their courses to us for our monthly and special games, and to our sponsors, both local and national, who give so much support to our efforts. We salute them all as we confidently look towards the future.