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Sam Smith - GW representative for cricket, bowls and rugby.

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 10 SEPTEMBER

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10 September 1874, The first Good Templars Hall in South Africa opens in Kimberley.
10 September 1910, 1600 African miners arrested by the police following the Wesselton mine strike.
10 September 1972, “Singing” Sam Smith, GW representative for cricket, bowls and rugby, dies.

Sam Smith (pictured), who was born in Kimberley and educated at Christian Brothers College, died in Kimberley on Sunday 10 September 1972.

Known to all and sundry as “Singing Sam”, he commenced work with De Beers Consolidated Mines in January 1930 and spent most of his working life in the Share Transfer Department. With 31 years’ experience in the department he was appointed the Share Transfer Secretary in succession to Ian Watson.

During World War II he served with the Kimberley Regiment on active service.

Sam is probably better remembered as a sportsman – representing Griqualand West in rugby, cricket and in bowls.

He was a Life Member of the De Beers Rugby Club.

His top score in cricket was 52 runs against Eastern province in November 1938.

In bowls he was a member of the Griqualand West Executive Council and won the GW Pairs Trophy on at least five occasions.

Sam was married to Mary (nee McCarthy), herself a member of a well-known sporting family, her brothers Jerry and Paddy having achieved fame in swimming and rugby. Paddy was a Junior Springbok in 1932.

The union produced two daughters, Joyce and Marion. Joyce entered the Church as Sister John Mary, while Marion – Head Student at the Convent – married Noel Heale, also well-known in sporting circles.

10 September 1874, The first Good Templars Hall in South Africa opens in Kimberley.
10 September 1910, 1600 African miners arrested by the police following the Wesselton mine strike.
10 September 1972, “Singing” Sam Smith, GW representative for cricket, bowls and rugby, dies.

DID YOU KNOW

A few Kimberley quotes:

Arthur HJ Bourne, Principal of KHS 1904-1917, in April 1937: “The history of Kimberley would appear remarkable to any stranger who could not fail to think that some supermind was behind its destinies. In so short a time it has grown from bare veld.”

Bobby Locke, golfer, (pictured) DFA 15 February 1964: “I’ve heard so much about the [Kimberley] course that I was left in no doubt as to what it was like. I spoke to Gary Player a week after he played here and he told me it was one of the best courses he had ever been on.”

Harry Oppenheimer to Ken Anderson (from the book “…and so they talked”), 1963: “Have I any preference between diamonds and gold, you ask me. Yes, diamonds every time. I think people buy diamonds out of vanity and they buy gold because they’re too stupid to think of any other monetary system which will work – and I think vanity is probably a more attractive motive than stupidity.”

George Paton, in a letter to his wife, circa 1872: “…under the very gloomiest auspices, with a raging dust storm in full blast, and Kimberley in a dust storm is just about as vile a place as you can find in this world.”

Chamber of Commerce President, B.B. Eaton, 1946: “Kimberley may be likened to Rip van Winkle. The city has been asleep, or may be just dozing for many years, but now it is awakening…do not look for quick results…a country’s greatest asset is its people, regardless of the language they speak or the colour of their skins.”

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

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