Durbanville Hockey




The idea of forming a club in the first place was hatched among a few of the members of the cricket club.  On approaching the end of the cricket season in 1965, the question was asked “what are we going to do during the winter season?”

Except for the girls from the Girls Institute in Queen Street, Durbanville,  it is estimated that before 1966 no hockey was played in Durbanville. The Girls Institute were provided with a well set out hockey field on their premises.  The aim of this provision was not fulfilled as the girls, while individually some were keen on playing, as a group they were not in favour of more discipline.

This field in Queen Street was the only one in Durbanville available to Durbanville Hockey Club in our first year, 1966.  A condition was that we coach the girls with the view of reviving the sport at the Institute.  We used their field for practice for the first few years.  As the Institute girls had to attend church services on Sunday mornings, they recognised the Rev Charles Carter from the Anglican Church who was also one of our founding members.  We were known as “The Christians” because of this.


John Veglia

Vic Penrose

Rob Muller

Collins Wesson

Charles Carter

Hugh Macey

Brian Hynes

Nico Knoop

Andrew George

Steven George

Peter Colebank

The club applied for playing membership of the Western Province Hockey Association,  affiliation was granted and we were entered in the fourth league in 1966. 

Durbanville Hockey Club 1966 Inaugural Team

1966 winners of 4B league taken at the Girls Institute, Durbanville:
Back L to R:  Andre Hefer; Andrew George; Wyrley Wyrley-Birch; Peter Colebank; Steven George
Middle L to R: John Collins; Brian Hynes; Geoff Merryweather; Collin Wesson
Front L to R: John Veglia; Nico Knoop; Rob Muller; Vic Penrose; Ted Puhar
Inset top left: Rev Charles Carter
Inset top right: Hugh Macey

At the start of the season club colours had not been accepted by the WPHA.  It was agreed that khaki stockings, khaki shorts and white shirts would be acceptable to start.  In June 1966 our official colours of orange and black quarters for shirts, orange socks with black tops and black shorts were agreed to.

Although affiliated to WPHA we had no home field of our own.  John Veglia was tireless in his efforts to get the Durbanville Municipality to grant us hockey facilities.  The council agreed in writing that “arrangements would be made for provision of the facilities requested.”  This was indeed great news.

In these early years the ages of our members ranged from 15 years (Andrew George) to 40 years (Charles Carter).

When we had enough players an appropriate end to the season was an “over 30” versus “under 30” clash.  A copper shield was presented by Brenda Penrose as a floating trophy.

In 1968 we entered a second team in the WP fourth league and ended seventh out of thirteen teams.

1967: 1st team – winners of 3C league taken at YMCA, Claremont:
Back: Rev Charles Carter;  Vic Penrose;  Wyrley Wyrley-Birch;  Hennie Veer;  Eddie Puhar
Front: Peter Coelbank;  Vernon Schreuder;  Ronnie Matthews;  Nic Andrews;  Pat Collins;  Geoff Yates

On the acquisition of our new fields in 1972 we were able, with very generous help and loans from the Municipality, to build our club house, which has served us handsomely for forty years plus. These facilities were provided for cricket, men’s’ and ladies hockey and table tennis.  Logically we formed the Durbanville Sports Club, incorporating these sports.  Within a few years the men’s and ladies hockey sections amalgamated and formed the Durbanville Hockey Club.

Sadly John Veglia was not able to reap the benefits of the dogged push for new fields as he was transferred to the Transvaal at this time.  We were, however, able to hold a farewell function for John and Maureen at the Holiday Inn in Bellville on Friday, 15 September 1972.  This tied in with the hockey club awards dinner.  As luck would have it the next day, 16 September, our new fields were playable.  John Veglia’s invitation side of old slatwarts beat his opposition 2 – 1.

16 September 1972 - John Veglia Invitation side

(taken at Durbanville Hockey Club)

Back: Hanie Hanekom;  Syd Harrison;  Nic Andrews;  Barry Engelbrecht;  Vic Penrose;  Maurice Pollet (Town Engineer)

Front: Ronnie Mathews;  Vic de Minc (WPHA);  John Veglia;  Richard Thomson;  John Collins

16 September 1972 - John Veglia Invitation side opposition

(taken at Durbanville Hockey Club)

Back: Basil Peacey;  Paul Evans;  Stan MacDougall;  Mike Puttergill;  Tom Cheneworth;  William (Bill) Mukheiber

Front: Ossie Crafford;  Mike Obrien;  John Laros;  Denver Wright;  Norman Gilman

Ken Skelding joined us in about 1975.  Having previously been playing hockey in George we were invited to take part in their Easter tournament that year.  Ken felt we should reciprocate and invite George and Saasveld to Durbanville for the 1976 Easter weekend.  Invitations were sent out to at least four other clubs.  The cost to all participating members was R2-00 which covered “Saturday night dinner dance and a contribution towards the costs of meat for the visitors as well as other expenses which the club would incur”.

We had quite a number of annual visits to George during the month of September and were almost always washed out.  The tournaments were changed to Easter and the venue changed to Durbanville.  Year after year these tournaments became more and more popular and successful.  Upwards of twenty invitation sides from all over the country took part.  We had sides from Windhoek, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Kleinzee, both ladies and men, who participated.  They really were very successful tournaments which benefited the financial coffers substantially.  Unfortunately rising costs began to put a break on the visiting teams and the tournament eventually petered out.

In the mid-seventies we were fortunately able to go ahead with the installation of overhead floodlights to our main hockey field.  Much of the investigation and ground works having been done by our secretary at the time, Sandy Veitch.  Three floodlight poles were erected on the one side of the field and could be termed permanent.  Unfortunately three poles had to be temporarily erected in line with the cricket pitch.  It was the task of the members to remove these three poles at the end of each playing season and before the start of the cricket season.  This procedure had to be reversed before the start of the next hockey season.  There were always enough willing hands to undertake these tasks.  Acquiring floodlights was certainly a godsend for the club.

The Durbanville Sports Club, viz. Cricket Club, mens’ and ladies hockey sections and Table Tennis were pushing our tiny clubhouse to its limit.  We only had two change rooms, one kitchen and one lounge where table tennis had to be played.

We always endeavoured to remain on friendly terms with the municipality who assisted us when they could.  Through their efforts, the Department of Sport and Recreation granted us R5,000-00 for extensions to the clubhouse.  In addition, a R2,000-00 loan from the Council was granted for labour.  At times we thought the municipality was slow in coming forward with help, but they really were on our side and interested in our progress.

To the earlier Town Clerk, Mr Sam Squires followed by Mr Dennis Smit, Mayors Gene Louw and Gideon Basson, town engineer Maurice Pollet with assistant John Potgieter, who was one of our playing members, we must say – “We could not have done it without you”.

The same thanks must go to our own playing member stalwarts, viz.  John Veglia (as previously mentioned), Brian Hynes, Ronnie Mathews, who kept the pressure on the municipality.

The new extensions to the clubhouse got underway – the municipality undertaking to do the building work, while many of our members were able to secure much of the material requirements at competitive prices.  All purchases were handled by the municipality.  Completion costs were within budget.

A cheese and wine official opening was arranged and invitations were sent to the then Minister of Sport, the honourable Pieter Koornhof and MP and Cape Administrator, Mr Gene Louw (who had been a former mayor of Durbanville).  Both happily accepted.  This was in May 1978.  Those who attended the function will remember it as an extremely happy and hilarious evening – both guests were in top form and had everyone in stitches.

1972 Ladies team - 1st game on new fields - 16 Sep

16 Sep 1972 – Ladies Team, taken at Durbanville Hockey Club

1973 Inaugural ladies team - winners 2nd reserve league

1973 –  Ladies Inaugural Team: Winners 2nd Reserve

1979 was a good season.  The men’s’ 1st team was promoted to town challenge league and the 2nd team at the half way stage had scored 80 goals.

The ladies 1st team were second in the third league;  2nd team were second in the sixth league;  3rd team were second in the seventh league and 4th team were midway in the eight league.

Some members of the men’s’ section during this period had been selected for WP Schools, WP Colts and WP Disas.  The crowning glory was the selection of Duncan Darlington for the under 21 Springbok team in 1977 (although not a member of the Durbanville Hockey Club at the time).  Then went on to play for the Springboks from 1981- 1985.

It was at this stage that most league playing clubs had no alternative but to pay for professional coaching.  Roy Howard filled the position for a number of years as did Des Yates.  One can say we reaped the rewards.

In 1979 two teams were entered in the WP indoor hockey league.  This was reasonably well supported but did entail regular travelling to all playing venues.

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