SPRINGBOK CYBER NEWSLETTER
August 2016 edition
Everyone knew that London 2012 would be a very hard act to follow, and there were many doomsayers who predicted that the 2016 Rio Olympic Games would prove to be a disaster. Some even went as far as to advocate that the Games be cancelled (though don’t forget that there were also similar unpatriotic killjoys who treacherously said the same about the London 2012 Games – as we commented about at the time!), but in the end all these dire predictions turned out to be false, and Rio de Janeiro produced a most spectacular and memorable Olympiad. To be sure, there were a few problems, most notably poor attendances and a number of administrative and broadcasting hiccups, but the Rio Games in no way proved the disaster of Montreal 1976, nor even the anti-climaxes of Seoul 1988, Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004.
On the whole Rio 2016 lived up to the original Olympic ideals of Baron Pierre de Coubertin and Dr. William Brookes – albeit on a more global scale and in the current age of professionalism. Eddie Butler, the BBC commentator, pontificated in an opening broadcast that the early Olympics were a purely White male affair. This assertion of his was manifestly untrue however, as women competed in both Lawn Tennis and Golf at the second ever Olympics in Paris 1900, and have been present ever since, and the first Black to compete at the Olympics was a French competitor at Paris 1900 (although it is believed that an Egyptian and a Turk competed at Athens 1896). The presence of non-Whites was however a matter of increasing controversy during early years, as many argued that Negroes possessed innate physical advantages. This debate became most intense shortly prior to the 1936 Berlin Olympics when it was seriously advocated that there should be separate Olympics for Westerners, Africans and Orientals (indeed we argued this ourselves in an article which appeared in S.A.Patriot No.24). Alas the international knee-jerk reaction to the evils of the Nazi regime made such a racially-based idea unthinkable following WWII. Be this as it may, it has been clearly noticeable that the increasing ascendancy of Black and Oriental competitors during the 1960s and 1970s subsequently flattened-out, and indeed during the latest two Olympiads has started to decline. Perhaps therefore such a logical development of staging separate Olympics for the three main ethnic groups will eventually come to fruition later this century.
For the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team the Rio 2016 Olympics proved an unqualified triumph. Not only did the total number of medals won, 67, surpass even London 2012’s total of 65 (and indeed was the second highest total ever, after London 1908) but furthermore, although the number of their Gold medals declined on the face of it from 29 to 27, two less of these were won by “plastic Brits”, so the number won by true Britons therefore remained the same! It has often been argued – and we certainly agree – that the triumphant achievements and “feel-good effect” which resulted from the London 2012 Olympics was one of the main contributing factors which gave the British people the self-confidence to vote to Leave the EU at the 2016 Referendum. We would actually go further than this and assert that the euphoria generated by the “Brexit” victory was one of the main reasons why the GB & NI team performed so confidently and triumphantly at Rio. Donald Trump aims to make America great again – but 2016 has shown that Britain already is Great again!
For South Africa, however, Rio 2016 simply confirmed yet again the extent of the decline of the “new” South Africa. Of the only two Gold medals which they claimed one was obtained by the most novel expedient of fielding a man in a women’s event, and the other, that of Wayde van Niekerk, has evidently been condemned by certain ANC supporters because his mother achieved athletic prowess through the infrastructure and facilities provided by the former NP Government! In the days of civilized rule South Africa was of course a sporting super-power on a par with Australia. Today such a comparison is laughable, and can only be revived once civilized rule is restored to the nation as a whole.
But for Brazil itself the 2016 Games must have the happiest memories. For a nation beset by economic woes and endemic corruption in government they were not only an uplifting distraction, but also produced the highest level of Olympic success ever for the nation (a total of 19 medals, including 7 Golds). Brazil of course was a Portuguese colony up until 1822, and from then until well into the 20th Century could be regarded – using modern parlance – as a first-world country. Sadly as the 20th Century progressed multi-culturalism also increased (slavery wasn’t abolished in Brazil until 1888), and as a result the county declined economically, socially and as far as law and order was concerned. Today therefore Brazil can no longer be regarded as a first-world nation – perhaps not quite as bad as the third-world basket-cases of Africa and Asia, but sadly seemingly heading in that direction. Watching the 2016 Olympics, however, it was noticeable how many White faces were in evidence, maybe not so much among the competitors themselves, but certainly among officials and spectators. Brazil therefore still has the potential to rejoin the civilized first-world nations around the globe. The Caetano government of Portugal during the early 1970s enthusiastically tried to establish a Lusitanian Commonwealth, which would basically have been an alliance between the two great Portuguese speaking nations of the world. Perhaps, if “Pexit” can ever come about, such an idea can be resuscitated, with Portuguese input and assistance helping to restore the fortunes of the Brazilian nation after decades of political corruption and decline. Viva Portugal – Viva Brasil!
SPRINGBOK CLUB NEWS
Alas the Springbok Club’s problematic year continued last month. Regrettably the organisation’s planned guest speaker for August, Mr. Johnny Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, was taken ill during his overseas tour, and as a result the meeting which he was to have address had to be postponed. We say postponed rather than cancelled because during a ‘phone conversation towards the end of his trip, by which time he had happily made a fine recovery, he informed us that he would be visiting the UK again next year during a follow-up overseas tour, and confirmed that he definitely hoped to speak for the organization again then.
Unfortunately also contact with the global yachtsman who it was anticipated would address the Kent Branch of the Springbok Club last month was lost (no doubt he has been away on his travels again!), but needless to say once contact has been re-established we hope that an informal gathering for him to tell the Branch a bit about his journeys to Britain’s overseas territories and other places in the Caribbean will be re-planned.
In view of these recent unavoidable problems it therefore seems more important than ever that a good contingent of Springbok Club members and supporters attend the annual Raising of the Flag Memorial Gathering in Norfolk (celebrating the day when Southern Rhodesia, “The Jewel of the Crown”, was founded), to which the organization has again been most honoured to be invited to participate in. The details of this year’s event are as follows :-
Date : Sunday 11th September 2016
Times : Gathering to commence with a convivial buffet meal and drinks at 12.00 hrs, actual flag-raising ceremony to commence at 14.30 hrs
Venue : SOUTHREPPS HALL, Southrepps, Norfolk, NR11 8TG
This event celebrates the founding of Rhodesia by the raising of the Union Flag at what became Salisbury on 13th September 1890. This event was re-enacted every year thereafter at Cecil Square, Salisbury, until the advent of the ZANU-PF regime in 1980. Thereafter, however, it has continued to be re-enacted in the grounds of Southrepps Hall in Norfolk. As well as the re-enactment of the raising of the Union Flag this event will also include speeches about Cecil John Rhodes and Rhodesia, a short religious service, the playing of both the British and the Rhodesian national anthems by the Cromer and Sheringham Brass Band, and the firing of a 21-gun salute. Buffet food and drinks will be served to all attendees prior to the main event, and teas and light refreshments afterwards.
We hope that as many Springbok Club members and supporters as possible will be able to journey to Norfolk to attend this most inspiring and uplifting ceremony. Southrepps Hall is situated not far from Cromer, where overnight accommodation can always be arranged. The nearest train station is Gunton, from where onward transport can be organized if arrangements are made in advance. For more details please either e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or 'phone: 07711188430.
SWINTON CIRCLE NEWS
As reported in last month’s SCN, the Swinton Circle was successfully re-established at a meeting in June, and plans are now well afoot to stage a re-launch meeting in the form of an Autumn Buffet featuring a prominent personality from the “Vote Leave”” campaign in October. For more information please e-mail: email@example.com
Unfortunately, however, it must be reported that Mr. Paul Griffin, the former Committee member of the Swinton Circle who revealed himself as being a far-Right infiltrator whose aim was either to destroy or to take over the organization on behalf of extremist elements, has been up to his dirty tricks again. As most readers will probably recall, following the disruption and wrecking of the disastrous Swinton Circle meeting of 31st July 2015 Mr. Griffin made contact with another Committee member of the organisation, Mr. Paul Symons, and induced him also to resign his membership. It is uncertain whether Mr. Griffin did this by smearing and bad-mouthing other Committee members of the Swinton Circle, or simply by putting the “frighteners” on Mr. Symons. Now alas comes news that two leading members of the Springbok Club have resigned following apparent similar advances made by Mr. Griffin. As the Springbok Club is not a political organization and has no direct connection to the Swinton Circle, we therefore wonder just what Mr. Griffin’s game is. Needless to say we would be very interested to learn precisely what Mr. Griffin has been saying in order to induce leading members to leave the two organizations, for if his words turn out to be slanderous then he will certainly be hearing from our lawyers. Needless to say, any information which can be provided in this respect will be treated with utmost confidence.
APPEAL FROM “NETWORK FOR ANIMALS”
We have recently received the following appeal for help from the Network for Animals organisation :-
“Two years ago Gail Basson sold her house and together with Shireen Williams bought a desolate piece of land in South Africa and formed Fallen Angels, a search and rescue mission for injured and abandoned dogs and cats.
“Today Fallen Angels is home to 255 dogs and 40 sick cats. Dogs like Jagger, who was bred as a fighting dog. When he became sick, a vicious thug threw acid over his face, blinding him in one eye and leaving huge wounds on his face. Then the monster cut off Jagger’s ears.
“Fallen Angels rescued Jagger, paid for his medical care and gave him refuge in their sanctuary. Jagger is one of hundreds of dogs that Fallen Angels has rescued in its short existence. People who spot an injured, abandoned dog or cat call Fallen Angels and no matter what time, day or night, Shireen and her team go and rescue them in a huge area around Melkbosstrand in South Africa’s Western Cape. They take them to the sanctuary, feed and provide medical care, love and pamper them and wherever possible find them homes.
“To the dogs and cats who find themselves in Fallen Angels, Shireen and her team are saints and the dogs reward them by showing their love in wagging tails and happy barks. Shireen and her team do all this for love of the animals. None of them draw salaries. Their lives are devoted to animals.
“They ask nothing for themselves but what they need desperately is a vehicle. They have no car of their own and rely on volunteers with cars to come to the aid of the dogs and cats in need. But sometimes in the early hours of the morning no volunteer can be found. So Fallen Angels has been saving to buy a pick-up truck with a canopy that can be based at the sanctuary and used to rescue animals no matter what the time is.
“Fallen Angels is doing tremendous work on a shoe-string budget led by a determined team and backed by volunteers, many from local schools.
“Will you help Network for Animals help the Fallen Angels? Network has promised to ask our supporters to make a donation and be as generous as you can today, not only to help buy a rescue vehicle, but provide food and medical care for the dogs and cats of Fallen Angels.
“It’s amazing how kind human beings can be. Shireen and her team give their lives to the animals. They deserve your support, Please help ”
To assist Network fro Animals and Fallen Angels go to –
DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENTS CONCERNING THE 1995 RUGBY WORLD CUP
Ever since the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup in the “new” South Africa rumours have abounded that the mysterious last-minute illnesses experienced by several members of the All Blacks team were the result of deliberate poisoning. Although invariably dismissed by the pro-ANC Left as an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory, a recently-published book written by a very unlikely person, namely a certain Rory Steyn who acted as a bodyguard to the terrorist leader Mandela at that time, asserts that the deliberate poisoning theory was in fact true! Although Steyn intimates that this poisoning was arranged at the behest of a Far Eastern betting-syndicate, all the circumstantial evidence seems to indicate that it was in fact ordered by the “new” South African authorities who wished to portray the terrorist Mandela in a good light, and thereby to entrench his grip on power. The report in question can be accessed at :-
Following the revelation that Lance Armstrong systematically took performance-enhancing drugs during his Cycling career, all of his victories in the Tour de France and other major competitions have been annulled. We believe, however, that the deliberately poisoning of your opponents is a far more serious crime than personal drug usage. We therefore call upon the International Rugby Football Board (World Rugby) to investigate the matter thoroughly, and if, as seems likely, it is confirmed that deliberate poisoning did take place (for whatever reason) to annul the result of the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
ANGLO-BOER WAR COMMEMORATIONS IN AUSTRALIA
We were most inspired when we learnt recently that two events had been held in Tasmania, Australia, during June (one in Launceston and the other in Hobart) in order to commemorate all Tasmanians who served in the second Anglo-Boer War. These events were organised by Mr. Reg Watson of the Anglo-Saxon-Keltic Society. We congratulate Mr. Watson and the organization which he represents on their initiative in this regard, fuller details of which can be found by accessing :-
LATEST NEWS FROM PEGIDA
We have recently received the following most interesting report from Pegida UK :-
“Pegida UK, led by Paul Weston, Anne Marie Waters, and Tommy Robinson staged a silent walk through the town centre of Rotherham on June 4th 2016 in protest at the appalling injustices suffered by children and families in that town, and at the continuing sexual abuse by predatory gangs of Muslim men across England to this day.
“The town of Rotherham has now become synonymous with the grooming, rape, and prostitution of young girls by organized gangs throughout the country – gangs comprised almost exclusively of Muslims. Pegida UK believes that such men have acted with virtual impunity for decades because a culture of ‘political correctness’ and fear of ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’ labels has prevented firm action from being taken.
“Public bodies – including the police and social services – looked away and took no action to tackle these appalling crimes in order to avoid causing offence to Islamic communities, or risking the ire of so-called 'community leaders'. Political leaders also feared upsetting voting blocs, or admitting that their multicultural project may not in fact have been working.
“Pegida UK reached out to the ordinary men and women of Britain and asked them to join them in a peaceful silent walk in Rotherham, and to show politicians and other leaders that we are tired of the two-tier justice system that is forming in our country. Rapists should be punished and our children should be protected.
“False accusations of 'Islamophobia' will no longer silence the British people.
“The Pegida UK event was a peaceful, no-alcohol, silent march of protest. Families and people from all backgrounds were welcomed to join patriots from all over the country in Rotherham. Homophobes, Nazis, racists and anti-Semites, however, were not welcome. Pegida UK was in Rotherham to demand people’s rights are protected, that people receive justice, and that all are treated equally under one British law.”
REVEALING REPORT FROM HNP
The HNP has recently sent us the following brief but most revealing report about what really happened in South Africa during the late 1980s under the NP Government of PW Botha. Translated it reads as follows :-
“Niël Barnard was the head of National Intelligence (NI) in the 1980s. He was instructed by PW Botha, then President of South Africa, to have secret talks with the communist Nelson Mandela about his (Mandela's) release and a one-man one-vote election and the transfer of political power to the ANC. PW Botha’s Cabinet of was not aware of this.
“Niël Barnard published these facts in his book Secret Revolution: Memoirs of a Spymaster.
“These facts were discussed on 22nd to 24th February on Pretoria FM (104.2 FM).”
SEARCH SERVICES FOR THOSE SEEKING LOST RELATIVES
Find any South African, even those who have emigrated. We also search Botswana, Namibia and ex-Rhodesia/Zimbabwe.
Please use the search request form at :-
Also check the list of South African expatriates/emigrants web-sites, which can be found at :-
"LIEUTENANT COLONEL ALFRED JAMES TOMLINSON: MEMOIRS OF AN AFRICAN PIONEER AND BSAP OFFICER" is now available at Amazon.com, and can be shipped to anywhere in the world. This book contains excerpts from Lieut. Tomlinson's writings detailing his experiences as a member of the BSAP in Southern Rhodesia, where he rose from the rank of an ordinary trooper to retire as the commanding officer. It also includes the personal story of Majaqaba Ncube, a man who was enslaved by Lobengula when his entire village was massacred by the chief's soldiers. After he escaped, Lieut. Tomlinson saved him from certain death and gave him a job. They lost contact and were reunited after 45 years, when Majaqaba presented Lieut. Tomlinson with an earthenware jar.
Trish also writes romantic suspense and romantic comedy fiction. www.trishjaxon.com
"BLUE WATCH" by Gwyn Fford-Osborne
Rhodesia, in 1975 and a bloody vicious civil war is at its height. A war between the White minority supported by the Black majority and the ZAPU and ZANU terrorist groups, supported by Zambia and Mozambique. Kensington, a small town in the farming belt has been the subject of several terrorist attacks but with only a small police force for defence, the local T.A. unit having been called up for service on the Zambia border the situation appears grim. Until Iffor Meredith turns up on a pilgrimage to meet up with his wife and son of his old army buddy, recently murdered by terrorists. A deadly ambush on the "Dix" family and his escape from a land mine attack makes Iffor determined to offer resistance of some form or other to the terrorists. His application to join the Rhodesian Army has been accepted and he sets about forming a small militia. With all the fit men already on call up, who can he recruit from. Then he's invited to a darts match at the Moth Club and meets up with the remnants of the town's Fire Brigade, the men considered too old for call up. Blue Watch.
Available from: www.diadembooks.com
CREST PUBLISHING BOOKS
The latest book published by Crest Publishing is entitled: “BOWLS - QUIRKS, CHIRPS AND ANECDOTES". This is not an instruction manual but rather a cheerful, humourous and sometimes controversial chronicle about the game and its history worldwide. Written to celebrate 40 years in the sport by the author, Glenn MacAskill, it should be of interest to all bowlers and other sports enthusiasts.
For more information about all books published, or to make an order, please contact Crest Publishing at: P.O.Box, 4178, Honeydew, Johannesburg, 2040, South Africa, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Crest Publishing web-site at: www.crestpublishing.co.za. Special discounts are available to ex-servicemen, Rhodies and Springboks!
"THE SAINTS" – a unique documentary in support of the book on the brief history of the RLI.
DVD available along with other premium titles of historical interest from Msasa Enterprises. Visit www.rhodesianvideos.co.za or write to email@example.com for more information. UK contact telephone: 07415 753 340.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW ?
No.213 – Mr. DON GILLIAT of Durban
Don Gilliat was a leading member of The Sons of England, a patriotic organization for those specifically of English descent. He lived in Durban North and was a most friendly and affable man, and in 1988 gave a masterful speech to the Durban Parliamentary Debating Society about the history of the South African flag and why it was so important that its design should not be altered in any way, bringing with him a younger colleague from The Sons of England by the name of Mike Smith (no connection of course to the notorious Mike “Scruffy” Keith-Smith!). So impressed were we by the talk which Don Gilliat gave (which of course subsequently proved extremely relevant!) that it was re-printed in S.A.Patriot-in-Exile No.31. The Sons of England organization had evidently originated in Canada during the 19th Century, but had then spread to South Africa and Rhodesia where it gained greater support. Unfortunately our contact with this estimable body came somewhat too late, for we were forced to relocate operations to the UK very shortly after initial contact had been made, and before our movement could establish any firm links with them. Subsequent attempts to initiate long-distance communication with them have also alas failed, as it appears that the organization has floundered under the conditions of the “new” South Africa We would therefore be very keen to learn not only what has happened to Don Gilliat and Mike Smith personally, but also any news about The Sons of England as an organisation.
RECOMMENDED WEB-SITES OF THE MONTH
A supporter has recently recommended a a web-page from the Gates of Vienna web-site to us which features the epoch-marking speech recently delivered by Victor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary. It can be accessed at :-
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Can anybody explain why we have so many male hairdressers opening all around the country, way beyond the demand? A trip to London by bus reveals these places open for business way beyond normal hours, with young males lounging around. Am I seeing beyond the actual innocence of the situation?
MHGE, Crawley, Sussex, U.K.
There was absolutely no justification for the Easter Rising of 1916. The Irish had full democratic rights and were if anything over-represented in the British Parliament. To rise against a democratic government which you're free to oppose, especially in wartime, is treason and deserves the death penalty. I would have been inclined to have the seven leaders hanged - not shot - for treason and murder and the rest given life sentences and left to rot in jail for decades, whether or not people were daft enough to elect them as MPs.
As for Partition - if Ireland had the right to secede from the UK, a part of it had the right to secede from Ireland and stay British. Looking at the history of post-partition Ireland, they'd have all been a lot better off as part of Britain rather than in what was for decades the most socially backward democracy in Western Europe.
Mark Taylor, London, U.K.
Where can I get more info about Aida Parker? How did she know so long ahead what was coming?
I spoke to an old woman from South America who worked in their South African embassy in 1984. She said that in 1984 they knew if de Klerk becomes president South Africa would be doomed. How did she know so long ahead what was coming?
Heinrich Koch, Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa.
“THE ROPER SET”
A number of readers have enquired in the past about what actually was “The Roper Set”, which has often been mentioned in the write-ups of those featured in our “Where are they now?” section.
“The Roper Set” was a celebrated ad hoc social grouping which was active in Durban during the 1970s and 80s, and was often compared to “The Happy Valley Set” which operated in Kenya during the 1920s and 30s – though without the adulterous excesses! Named after Paul Roper (see SCN April 2001), a 5 foot 2 inches only child from Bournemouth in the UK who had been blessed with charisma-plus, “The Roper Set” operated out of three successive communal houses, the first in Glenashley, Durban North, then on Blair Atholl Road, Westville, and finally in Glen Anil, Durban North. There were a succession of people who lived in these communal houses, though of course always including Paul Roper himself. During the final years at Glenashley during the late 1970s the other residents had however stabilised to Jean “Mumsy” Clements, Dawn Dorkin and John “Mr.Pastry” Hartnall. Shortly before the move to Westville Dawn Dorkin decided to move into her own plush flat in the Albert Park area (though she remained a leading figure in “The Set” itself), but this turned out to be very fortuitous as one existing residents at the new house, James “Jesse” Kinnell, didn’t wish to leave, and as a result became a keen addition to “The Set” himself.
People gravitated to Paul Roper and “The Roper Set” as if magnetized, with each weekend proving an “open house” which saw dozens of “members” turning up in order to partake of the idyllic atmosphere and joyful camaraderie. The main centre of activities was always in and around the swimming pool (there was one at all three venues), and an unofficial bar was constantly in operation, and always well stocked with an abundance of bottles of Lions and Castles! Most Sunday evenings saw “The Set” encamp to The Bell Inn, Durban North (then under the management of two other “members”, Tony and Elaine Long – although they subsequently moved on to manage Durban Collegians Club, another venue regularly patronized by “The Set”) where all partook of a very late Sunday “lunch”, which was invariably followed by a film show for all diners.
Most “members” of “The Set” were not South Africans however (certainly not most of the men), but were first-generation Pommie immigrants. “The Set” was also not overtly political (although it did include several of those involved with the publishing of S.A.Patriot), but as it functioned during the time of civilized rule in South Africa when the country was demonized by the Liberal/Left around the world, even to emigrate to the country at that time clearly meant making a political statement in favour of the existing status quo. All however were “gut patriots” in both the South African and British contexts, and during one trip which Paul Roper organized in a hired coach to the Wild Coast Casino at the time of the Falklands War the whole bus reverberated with patriotic songs for most of the journey!
Alas “The Set” was often condemned as being purely “hedonistic” by several members of the “religious Right” in Durban (the “Willmerites”), but this criticism was grossly unfair. All “members” tended to work hard and to play hard. Jean Clements ran her own hairdressing salon and was once a South African champion hairdresser, Dawn Dorkin ran her own hugely successful debt-collecting agency, John “Pastry” was a highly qualified accountant who was “head-hunted” on several occasions, Tony Welch was a popular and top professional dentist practicing on The Bluff, and Paul Roper himself was a massively successful sales rep’ (travelling in ladies underwear - a description which often caused much amusement!) whose earnings were sufficient not only to keep the successive communal houses functioning, but also to buy himself a top-of-the-range Mercedes. Practically all of the male “members” of “The Set” were also leading sportsmen. Paul Roper had once won Currie Cup Soccer colours playing for The Transvaal, and seemed unbeatable in practically every ball-game which he turned his hand to. Several “members” played Soccer for Durban Collegians, and many regularly competed in the Comrades Marathon, with Keith Hulse once recording a time fast enough to gain a silver medal - and Paul Roper invariably finishing wearing a pair of ladies panties on his head! Alan Mountford, originally from Stoke-on-Trent and one of the leading “members” of “The Set”, was a fantastic all-round sportsman, excelling at Soccer and Lawn Tennis and even turning his hand to show-jumping, and his younger brother Peter once achieved the incredible performance of finishing in the top ten in the Duzi Canoe Marathon!
During the early 1980s Paul Roper staged amazing fancy dress parties to celebrate his birthday three years running – the final two of which involved hiring a coach and making a “pub crawl” with all attendees in full fancy dress to all of the hotels in the popular Gooderson’s chain around the city! Another regular feature when resident in Westville (where as well as a large swimming pool the house also contained a Lawn Tennis court) was the Blair Athol Grant Lawn Tennis Tournament (neatly combining the name of the road where it was situated with the name of S.A.Patriot’s sports correspondent). This consisted of eight pairs of doubles split into two leagues, with each pair playing all the others in each group over five games, which were played in full regardless of the score. The only snag was that after each game the winning pair (not the losers) had to drink a glass of champagne and orange juice each! The top two in each group then advanced to the semi-finals which consisting of a full set (winners of one group playing the runners-up in the other) with again a glass of champagne and orange juice having to be drunk after each game by the winners. The two winning teams then took part in the final – though this time without any champagne requirement! Paul Roper inevitable won this tournament (regardless of his partner), with Tony Welch seemingly equally inevitably being runner-up. These fantastic days of entertainment didn’t consist only of the tournament itself however. A book was made on the tournament result, and after the final a sumptuous braai was staged where drinks flowed freely, and with even a humourous poem being composed and read celebrating the day’s proceedings!
Unfortunately towards the end of the 1980s, as South Africa started to collapse under the sellout NP government, the activities of “The Roper Set” also started to decline. Paul Roper himself surprised everybody by eventually getting married (he had had a succession of most beautiful girlfriends throughout the years when “The Set” was at its height) and fathered a son. Once the final surrender to the ANC terrorists seemed inevitable, however, the majority of the “members” returned to the UK or onwardly re-emigrated (Tony Welch and “Big Hearted” Billy McCall apparently went to Australia and “Pinetown Pete” Jefferson-Green is believed to have gone to Canada), and sadly all subsequent attempts to re-contact leading members have proved unsuccessful.
Although not overtly political, “The Roper Set” provided one most vital source of strength for the patriotic movement in Durban. It provided a happy and exhilarating “home from home” where patriotic activists could relax and unwind, and thereby re-charge their batteries ready for more hard campaigning in the days ahead. This was something which the boring, moaning killjoys of the “religious Right” – the “Willmerites” – could never provide!
But “The Roper Set” also did something else far more long-term. It provided a “golden vision” of what Western men and women could still achieve even throughout the dark days of the second half of the 20th Century. Those who were “members” of “The Set” were of course of the same blood and DNA as those who three-quarters of a century earlier had created the greatest Empire which the world had ever seen. They were a continuum of the best virtues of “The Happy Valley Set”, though without its main faults. It would not be an exaggeration to state that “The Roper Set” fully epitomized Nietzsche’s Superman..
Perhaps most importantly, however, is the manner in which the glorious memory which those halcyon days continues to inspire the more politically-motivated of the “members”. In the adventurous and self-confident atmosphere of South Africa during the 1970s and 80s “The Roper Set” provided a lifestyle and spirit of joie de vivre which simply couldn’t be contemplated in their British homeland of that time. It is however a self-confident spirit which we detect is now at last re-emerging in Britain again after half-a-century of slumber – as the “Brexit” triumph and the glorious achievements at the Rio Olympics seem to indicate!
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