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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

 

Other Unions: Spotlight On: Hamilton's Rugby Club

View: www.hamiltonsrfc.co.za/index1.html

Your correspondent is using familiarity as an excuse here, I make no apologies for featuring one of the oldest and most prestigious rugby clubs in the land. Sure, it's 'my' club, the club I grew up with, the club I followed all my life but we did have Rob Louw, Michael du Plessis, Carel du Plessis and many of the older Springboks to show off. In our time we were at the forefront of rugby in the Cape, the 'changing' scene in the Cape has taken it's toll, the club is certainly not what I grew up with but, who knows, maybe it will survive...

I was a 'boy scout', a proud boy scout in the pack of a Group Scout Master under the most inspirational man anyone could hope to serve under, John 'Appy' Appleton. 'Appy' also happened to be the President, and Life Member, of Hamilton's Rugby Club, and, boy, did he push us to constantly push the boundarys.

There was none of this 'health and saftey' stuff, we were constantly encouraged to push every boundary, push every restraint, put ourselves INTO danger, 'attack' mountain tops in the deep of the night, go on 7 night camps with no adult supervision at all.

To this day, I regret never having the opportunity to thank Mr 'Appy' for the incredible freedom, liberty and opportunity he gave us as kids. He took us all over South Africa, into the wildest areas and never, EVER put watchdogs on us. The philosophy was simple, life is hard, life is tough, don't expect breaks, grab your opportunities.

He let us play full-on contact rugby in a church, all with metal fire escape doors, upon which I distinctly remember breaking my best friend's arm in a tackle.

That wasn't the worst, I broke a friend's rib and another's finger. Fortunately I escaped injuries but my mate, Melt van der Spuy, from Jan van Riebeeck school tried his best to shatter whatever limbs my young frame had.

Melt couldn't handle a soutie who didn't break.

Melt was a big boy and Van Riebeeck were still good in those days! Still, try as he might, the Soutie broke nothing and took him out Friday night after Friday night. On hard wooden floors with brick walls and iron fittings on fire escape doors.

Don't talk to me about 'facilities' or 'health and safety', I just dont understand the whines.

"HISTORY OF OUR CLUB

Hamiltons, aka Hammies, was founded in 1887 and recognized as being the oldest rugby club in South Africa.

Although rugby was played spasmodically in the Cape earlier than 1875, a game was played on the Green Point common between "Mother Country" vs "Colonial Born".

The Club's old records and photographs which were unfortunately destroyed in 1935 when the pavilion building in which they were housed was burnt down.

It came into being in March 1875 at a meeting convened by W. Nightingale who hailed from Scotland. A number of enthusiasts attended in the offices of Messrs Hamilton Ross & Co in Cape Town. This meeting also decided the name of Hamilton Football Club which is derived from Nightingales club in Scotland which was founded in 1868 and which ultimately went over to professional soccer.

The club's first uniform was that of the Scottish club from which Hamilton Football Club was named - which jersey with a scarlet diagonal sash from right shoulder to waist with a scarlet Maltese Cross on the left breast. The club's colours changed with Hamilton Football Rugby Club and Sea Point Rugby Football Club amalgamated in 1910 and finally in 1914 into current colours of red, black and yellow in three wide bands.

The club's ground is situated on the Green Point Common which lies between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Seaboard.

The inception of the Grand Challenge was in 1883 and is still competed for today. Hamilton's most successful period was the mid 1940's when the club entered 12 teams in various competitions, with a playing staff of over 300.

Hamilton-Sea Point Rugby Football Club as it stands today houses an archives in the Frank Moore Lounge which has as recently as June 2000 been revamped and opened with a display of photographs and memorabilia.

More on the history comes from a letter from an old Hamiltonian - Buck McGuire. It reads:

"I would humbly ask you to note that at the time of Hamilton's formation, the proposes had the support and ear of SIR HAMILTON RUSSELL, an IRISHMAN who was an astute, powerful and very successful businessman operating from the Cape of Good Hope.

He owned the largest fleet of Mercantile ships operating in SA waters at that time. Many valuable paintings of is ships in Table Bay are sought after by art collectors throughout the world today.

As a matter of fact the residence that he and Lady Hamilton Russell owned was no less than one of today's premier hotels, the MOUNT NELSON NELSON. Even in the Annex area of the Hotel today, you will find mounted marvellous paintings of these wealthy and dignified Hamilton's Rugby Club supporters, Sir and Lady Hamilton Russell.

Visit the Nellie and you will find the Lady Hamilton's room and many mementoes of this grand time in SA history.

The old Hamilton's Rugby Club founders had as much go and innovation in them as our current " back to wall fighters" and used Sir Hamilton's name in creating the Rugby Club. This they worked out would act as an incentive for his support and so one of the most respected of world rugby clubs was formed in the mother city of Cape Town in the grand offices of Sir Hamilton who agreed to them being used for this auspicious occasion. I think in fact one of his management was a founder member of Hammies.

Some envious rugby clubs and others claim Hamilton's did not have an auspicious founding but quite the contrary Hammies had real power and support behind it even in those days. Success always attracts envy and nonsense about who came "from above the line and who came from below". However it never effected Hammies men and the club attracted all people of the Cape, South Africa and overseas. Simply put we were rugby people first and foremost and left the above and below the line promulgators to try and be what they never were. During my playing time for THE HAMMIES CLUB had a proud brotherhood boast that we did not have an unemployed clubman in our midst. We looked after our own, always. During the World Wars of the 1940's we linked up with Villagers as neither team had sufficient players to form a team. Our players where away defending our country against the evils of Nazism whilst a few other local Cape Clubs actually collected money in support of the German war ideals. We can thank many old Hamiltonians who gave their lives in the Great Wars so that today we may enjoy today the freedom we experience in many aspects of our lives currently. So much so Hamilton's has been the home club for visiting overseas players and Irish players who hold us always in great esteem no matter where we are on the log.

Best wishes to you all and keep the fine energy you exhibit flowing.

Eamon "Buck" Maguire"

Comments:
"Welcome to Cape Town"
Cool story Ras,especially since i dont know much about the club rugby scene.
 
Did you watch the cricket yet? i saw the wicket of Prince. He was out LBW by Warne and the ball pitched nearly 45 degrees from the stumps and spun in to trap him in line. The umpire gave him out but it was a crap decision. The Aussies and Warne in particular would appeal for every flippin time the ball hit the pads of the SA batsmen...
A few years ago the Sri Lankans were warned about the fact that they appealed nearly every over. They were told to stop this or be fined by the ICC...
Now when the Aussies do it it is OK... nothing gets said...

Look, i dont think we deserve to win but mistakes like the one made when Ponting was surely out is unacceptable... And this one where Prince was given out too. The only reason we dont deserve to win is due to the 7 dropped catches...
What a joke....
 
SEVEN?????SEVEN????how do you play the Aussies and put seven balls down?  
clayton, and then on top of that we have dodgy umpiring decisions... it seems as if all the umpires feel intimidated by the Aussies...I was disgusted by Ponting's treatment of the Umpires at yesterday's close of play... They offered the light to Gibbs and Rudolph cos Brett Lee was bowling and the light was bad...
he was actually asking the umpires why they never told him so that he could take Lee off and bowl another spinner(Hodge) and Warne continues at the other end... Why the hell must they ask him? Who the hell is he? He could see the umpires were confering after each over and discussing the light, he had to use his brain and take Lee off...
 
That should be cited,i remember an icident a while back when /Hansie just put pressure on the umpire to refer to the TV ump and he was in big s... for that,The umpire is offering the light to the batsman he does not have to check with the fielding captain.to hell with that man  
Morning the two token blacks on the site. You look a bit upset about the cricket I see. At least Rudolph and Kemp seem intent to stay there the whole day.

Abyway, on the decisions. It's plain and simple, bad decisions happen in cricket, just like the kiwis got some bad calls in the 2nd one day game, we were on the receiving end now. They will allways be there. The Umpire only has about 2 seconds to decide what happened in a split second. He doesn't have a replay. It's part and parcel of the game and will allways be. Somtimes your lucky, other times your on the receiving end. You can argue all day long, but I say, let bygones be bygones. The only way to solve the issue is to refer to the 3rd umpire for wicket taking decision. This will break the spirit of the game. Just my 2 cents worth. But I don't expect you two to understand, you are after all only here because we needed to get more colour on the site!;-)
 
Aldo....your gat man!LOL.hey bad decisions happen in any game,thats true, i was just talking about Ponting giving the umpire crap!  
aldo, jou bliksem!lmao

i get your pioint as what you say is mostly true... What i do not understand is how the aussies always get away with so much... look at their rugby team, it's only since JW started talking about their illegal tactics in the scrum that the refs started taking note. For yr's they have been doing it and getting away with it...

Back to the cricket, Hodge was out on 13, it cost us 190 runs (that decision)... We got the technology available, if everyone knows it is out, they should be able to stop the game and refer it to the 3rd umpire, in this way we will have a fair game and the best side will always win...
 
Aldo jou gat man!

The dodge decisions in Australia always go their way...

BTW

Anyone else notice the highly vaunted WP batsmen failing us while two Titans (ok, one former Titan) is saving us.


Next thing, Aldo will be saying....












MAAK DIE TITANS ALMAL PROTEAS!!!!
 
Okay

It doesn't really rhyme, but I'm sure Steve Hofmeyr can make a song of it...

Especially once Dale Steyn returns....
 
davidS
now there is a oke who needs to be playing. I reckon btwn Steyn amd Zondeki they should replace Pollock and maybe Langeveldt... I think Polly is finished...
 
Nah Wes,i still think Polly is an asset,the guy doesnt concede much runs.  
Rasputin

How did the kids parents who's arm was busted feel about this Nonchalant and grossly irresponsible encouragement of gratuitous violence ?

How did this unnecessary incident affect his official playing season at school, since the scout master clearly lacked imagination to have his troop doing constructive things with the time at the hall ?

A good leader can allow freedom of expression without neglecting the basic principle of proper supervision to interceed when the balance of experience tips to peril !

Pushing the limits of neglegence perhaps !
 
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