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Our first Building and the building of the Slipway

The Port Elizabeth Deep Sea Angling Club was established in 1945. The first meetings were held in the Criterion Hotel, in Queen Street which was then owned by Sheffer Katz. Queen Street was then the section West of Main Street. Charles Elliot, Natie Barris, John Evans were among the founding members of the club.

At this time pleasure boats were moored off where the clubhouse now stands. To the West, opposite the yacht club, were some Swedish built wooden hulled "30" meter racing sail boats, and some assorted other sailing craft.

It was evident that there was a need for a slip as there was no place in Port Elizabeth where a larger boat could be safely and conveniently launched. The SAR and H were approached by PEDSAC and they agreed to allow a slip to be built. There was no major problem allowing this construction to go ahead, as charts showed that this approximate area was set aside for a pleasure boat harbour. Permission was granted and the PEDSAC slip was built.

From where the present slip is now located, was landfill to the East. To the West was some beach extending to a short wall running into the harbour. On the far side of this wall was the side slip which was used to haul commercial fishing craft (P.E.A) for repairs. This side slip also became the place where the smaller boats were launched from during the construction of our slipway. It was difficult to manoeuver our vehicles here for it was a very confined space.

It must have been in the late 50's that I was issued with P.E.Y 43 by the Port Captain. Probably 15 years later sand washed out from under the end of the slip and expensive repairs were undertaken, the slip was also lengthened at the same time, the jetty was also extended. The concrete pylons were 44 gallon drums opened on both ends welded together and filled with concrete.

There was now more interest taken in the Club because of the slipway now was giving access to the water, and larger premises were needed for meetings. A lengthy write up in "The "Herald" brought some 40 anglers to the first meeting to be held in the Palmeston Hotel. The club meetings eventually moved from the Criterion Hotel, to the Palmeston Hotel on the corner of Jetty and Strand Streets in 1962. This hotel was owned by the Meyer family. We were given a large meeting room and membership soon swelled . The meeting room was allowed to be used free of charge as there was a pub on the same floor which more than covered the hotel expenses. We remained here for approximately 18 months and then moved to "SEEI " buildings, on the corner of Baakens Street and Military Road where the members met for approximately six months before we moved once again to the "Drake Building"on the corner of Jetty Street and Commerce Street in 1964.
These were good premises, old but they had an elevator and we had our pub.

It was in 1965 that I took over as treasurer a post which I retained for 17 years upto 1982. It was around 1964 that we decided to build a Clubhouse, this was arranged with the Port Authorities, but it was not to be called a Clubhouse therefore we named it "The Gear Room." S.A.R. and H. would not allow a "Clubhouse "on railway property.

We had no money but we would still build, and find the money later. We requested the members make a special effort with generous contributions, they did, and we soon had paid for the clubhouse, which was completed around 1966 a single story with the upper floor to be added at a later stage. We then moved our meetings to the "The Gear Room" (clubhouse.) The hand rail was added to the clubhouse stairs for Dr.Theo Rabie who had lost a leg and had problems getting upstairs . As the membership grew we were unable once again to hold the AGM in the clubhouse due to space restrictions and we then moved these meetings to the Roy Lombards beach hotel.

Kindly contributed by
Ernest de Leef
(One of the early members of our club and now a life member who is currently living in Houston.)