Charted Date: 25 March 1945
Charter Club: Paarl Rotary Club
Mollergren Park (Current)
Our Club was chartered by the Paarl Rotary Club on the 25th of March 1948. The Charter Dinner was held on the 11th of June 1948 at Luyt’s Corner, Marine Hotel.
|Jacques P. de Villiers
|Canon S.B. Hinchlife
|J R Barnard
|A Van Harmelen
|P A Beunderman
|E C Colbeck
|C G W Gillespie
|J H De Villiers
|A J Middleton
|C J Prillewitz
|E G Westcott
|A E Wilson
|P. De Villiers
|A. van Harmelen
|D de Wet
|D.J. de Villiers
|V. de Kock
|T.J. du Toit
|Jack Abel +
|Wena de Villiers
|Ian William Wallace
|Johan Augustyn +
|Paddy Morrison +
|Stuart J. Adendorff +
|Michael David Clark
|John Philip +
|Sheila Clark +
|Steve du Plessis
|Dawid De Villiers +
|Anthony E. T. Whitehead +
|Charlie Sim +
|William Flint +
|Beryl Gillespie +
|L Denbigh Smith +
|Stuart J. Adendorff +
|Goutche Smuts +
|Ian William Wallace
|Anton van Biljon
|Anthony E. T. Whitehead +
|Ann Elizabeth Wright
(+ Indicates Deceased)
The Club was founded in 1945 shortly before the end of the second World war. The annual golf day was started a few years after the inauguration of the club and was a major fundraising event for the next 25 years. Not active for many years there is a discussion on reviving this event.
The Club was involved in funding sections of the Hermanus Cliff Path and the placing of benches still in use today, provided paving for the playground adjacent to Hermanus High School, and in 1960 the Rotary Club of Hermanus was the major funder of the 3.5 km road along the mountain top overlooking Walker Bay. Still known as the Rotary Way today.
The Rotary Anns was established in 1954 and the Bargain Box charity shop opened in 1963 and is still going strong. The Club funded the start-up of the Hermanus NSRI station, providing money for the station building and boathouse in around 1978, and have continued along with other clubs to support this great organisation.
A Rotary member Mr AB Mollergren who owned 5 acres of seafront land had the vision of establishing assisted living accommodation for the elderly and bequeathed the land to Rotary and provided funding for this purpose. Mollergren Park is still used by the Rotary Club of Hermanus for their regular meetings and the development now houses around 36 residents in the complex, which also has a clinic on site.
Apart from Mr Mollergren, HR Hill and Rehna (Tiny) Cloete have been major benefactors of the club and their trusts and foundations provide annually significant funds for our various projects. The annual Carols by Candlelight was established in 1968 and is a landmark event held every year hosted by Rotarians at the Old Harbour.
Apart from the major projects referred to above over the years, Rotary has been involved in numerous projects covering a variety of social and community projects too numerous to detail here. They covered such areas as:
1. Education and student support
2. Early Childhood development
3. Care for the elderly of all races. Huis Lettie Theron and SOFCA
4. Children and family welfare support and literacy programs
5. Community and amenities programs
6. Business and enterprise development
The Club has hosted four District Conferences: 1951, 1971, 1977 and 1994, and two Mini Conferences in 1988 and 1994 as well as an International Golfing Fellowship of Rotary for one week in 1978.
A club was formed in 1989 with pupils of the Hermanus High School but it did not last very long. It was revived by Lizette Louw in 1997 and is going well at present.
We have hosted teams from Israel, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Nigeria and Sweden.
The Club has been involved with these tours since 1990. We have hosted incoming tours from Missouri, USA; Worcestershire/Gloucester; Derbyshire; Devon and Austria and have taken part in tours to Austria, Worcestershire/Gloucester, Australia and New Zealand.
Our CIub has been most fortunate to have had three main benefactors over the years, namely H R Hill, A B Mollergren and Rehna Cloete.
One of the Club’s main benefactors was Mr H R Hill and this was due to the considerable influence of Cyril Gillespie. A large sum of money was left in trust with one of the Banks’ with the direction that a proportion of the income had to be paid to the CIub to provide amenities for the people of Hermanus. He was a brilliant Consulting Mining Engineer with Union Corporation and moved permanently to Hermanus in the 194O’s. He had 3 children, 2 sons and a daughter. One son was killed during the last World War and the other died tragically afterwards. Mr Hill died in 1964.
Rehna (known as Tiny) Cloete was the wife of the renowned author, Stuart Cloete. She was very fond of animals and spent many years working for the Animal Welfare Society. She left a large sum of money to the Club to be used for the aged in the town.
Mr A B Mollergren was a retired owner of an engineering business in Benoni during the early 194O’s. He was a very keen motor car enthusiast and at one stage owned 7 motor cars. He used to drive a different one each day to Pretoria and back home to Benoni. More information about him appears further on in this write-up.
Rotary Youth Exchange inspires young leaders to serve as catalysts for peace and social justice in their local communities and throughout the world, long after their exchanges end. This program is possible because of the dedication, leadership, and passion of the tens of thousands of volunteers — Rotary members and nonmembers alike — who make this unique program so successful.
Our first incoming student arrived in February 1970. The Club worked with the following students:
Incoming Exchange Students:
Kim Hastwell from Busselton, W. Australia. Our first incoming exchange student, followed by:
Claire Neil, Adelaide, S. Australia;
Marta Salasporras, New Mexico, U.S.A.;
Olivia Lizagabow, Adelaide, S. Australia;
Rob Janus, Cessnock, N.S.W., Australia;
Co1in Smith, New York State, U.S.A.;
Christina Martin, Iowa, U.S.A.;
Jessica Conoplia, Queensland, Australia, and
Renata Aubreu, from Brazil-, S. America’
Luke McDonald, from Brisbane, Australia’
Outgoing Exchange Students:
Cheryl MacFarlane, who went to Slippery Rock, U.S.A. was the first outgoing student, followed by:
Lynn Christie-Smith, Muncy, U.S.A.;
Annatjie Scheepers, Timaru, New Zealand;
Vicki Erskine, Arizona, U.S.A.;
Cecile Burger, Busselton, W. Australia;
Dirk Currie, Denmark;
Bevan Pope, Colorado, U.S.A.; and
Elizabeth Lambrechts who is in Brazil, S. America.
Hermanus Rotary club today has a total of 36 members and 3 Honorary members. Our membership includes several overseas members who recently have not been able to visit our shores, and 7 residing in Greyton where we recently established a satellite club.
Thanks to the generosity of one of our members whose company included Hermanus Rotary in their CSI program, we were able to establish an NPO with a separate Board that assess funding opportunities for organisations and individuals, for small start-ups or existing businesses. Grootbos Foundation was the recipient of a grant in 2021 to support their enterprise development program.
Rotary remain very involved in community projects. Some of these are listed below:
1. SOFCA and Huis Lettie Theron continue to receive significant funding from Rotary most recently for new and refurbished beds, equipment and other facilities.
2. Pebbles projects restored barn for ECD school.
3. Camphill Farm and School: construction of a new toilet block and wheelchair access pathway for the disabled, Computers and other equipment supplied over the years of our close association with this organisation.
4. Overseas funding for school supplies, ( Pencil case wines project}. Linked to the sale of SA wine in the UK.
5. Feeding the poor: ongoing support for Food for Love with soup packs, and supplies of Feminine hygiene and Diaper products to the local community through the Provincial hospital and other community organisations. Infant formula porridge is distributed to clinics and creches through the Red Cross.
6. Knitting for Love: participation by Anns and Rotarians for knitting Beanies for kids.
7. Food gardens: several initiatives to build a training facility to enable Zwelihle residents to learn vegetable gardening and establish backyard food gardens. Working with Hermanus Night Shelter to establish a training facility on their premises.
8. Youth Projects: to establish a new Rotaract club at Varsity College and initiatives are underway to establish and build Interact clubs in several schools.
9. Support for educational endeavours through various grants and scholarships.
10. Numerous ad hoc projects falling under the broad umbrellas of the Elderly/ Aged Communities, PDG’s (previously disadvantaged groups), Education, Amenities and Youth.
Apart from extending a grant to Grootbos for their Entrepreneurial projects, the NPC (or Non Profit Company) has made grants available to various local businesses in and around Hermanus in 2020 and 2021. There is a growing need for mentors from the Rotary membership. Currently, there are 4 mentors assigned to different business owners and following the very successful mentoring workshop sponsored by Grootbos, it is hoped there will be more volunteers offering their mentoring skills to the community.
(The History of the Rotary Club of Hermanus 1948 – 1998. Written by Past President Bill Flint in 1998)