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How PEDSAC was Birthed and Formed

So it falls on my lot being the oldest of the oldies to tell you briefly of how PEDSAC started which include some stories.

It all happened on board a charter boat that took out fishermen over the week ends called the "AMPERE". The Skipper was the owner of the boat and was "Bert Thomas". He spent most of his fishing time at sea sitting in the cabin, eating sandwiches and reading the week end papers, his favorite items being the comic strips. Many regulars got to know each other quite well when one day somebody suggested forming a Club.

They decided to put a notice in the paper asking any deep sea fishermen interested to attend an inaugural meeting at the Griffon Hotel. This was in the year of our Lord 1959. The main instigators being Les Mallon, Dave Bickle, Natie Barris, Graham Tait, and Jim Pendrich.

The meeting was very well attended and the club was formed with Les Mallon as Chairman, Graham Tait as secretary and Jim Pendrich as treasurer. The subs were fixed at 1 Pound per year. It was decided to charter the Ampere once a month for club outings. Rules were formulated, one being that fishing only with rod and reel would be allowed. This upset quite a few members. Later it was suggested that a handline section be formed. This was squashed.

Only two of us possessed boats. John Baine with a ski and myself with a 31 ft deck boat which I bought from Irvine & Johnson. It was powered by a 14hp Petrol/Paraffin Kelvin engine. True it had a set of sails, sweeps and a maximum speed of 7 to 8 knots with a clean bottom. For some time I was out of the picture having my own boat and doing my own things. I am very hazy about the club outings but I do know that it was very easy to trace the direction the Ampere took by following the trail of empty bottles.

This went on until 1965 when I was asked if I would like to fish in the S. A. Championships in Durban. So a team of Nattie Barris, Anton Brooker, Freddy Deyzel and myself duly set off. It took us two days to get there and seven days to get back for various reasons best known to ourselves. The usual draw for boats took place and we drew the "Pax" skippered by one Reg Nipper. Now you all know the magnificent boats that were tied up in the yacht basin, so, next morning down we go inspecting each boat tied stern on to the jetty with it's Zulu gillie all smartly dressed in white.
BUT no Pax. We were then told that our boat was moored further up the river and would pick us up in due course. All the other boats pushed off and at last around the end of the wall came the Pax. It was a commercial deck boat same as mine only a little larger and a bit more powerful engine. What a let down we thought but how wrong we were. While the other boats went miles up and down the coast we stuck to the bay and caught Cuta and won the competition. Here I go wandering away from what I am supposed to write about.

The year is 1964. We were still only a Deep Sea Club affiliated to the S. A. Game Fish association. The Ski Boat association had not yet been formed. This year Les Mallon became Chairman of the Anglers Union and vocated the chair which was taken over by Natie Barris with a new committee. Things now started to stir. We thought it was a good idea to start a small boat section and pull in runabouts. So a meeting was duly called for all those with runabouts who were interested in a launching ramp at the Red Windmill to attend. Again we had a full house, recruiting many members and then formed a ramp committee and got cracking with the council. 1965 now and I took over the chair from Natie Barris. We now had 145 members and 45 boats, mostly runabouts. We got the slip at the Red Windmill and one at Sardinia Bay. These are for all small boats and not for Club members only. 1966 and still in the Chair. We at last managed to get walkie talkies after battling for some 18 months to get a Club licence. This year we affiliated to the Ski Boat Association. We now had 156 members and 55 boats which were increasing in size. The Club applied to the S. A. Railways for a site to put down a ramp and gear room in the harbour, this was granted and great assistance was given by Mr. Pizzaghelle the harbour engineer. Charles Elliott took the brunt of the organizing and scheming. It was completed in 1965 in time for the National Ski Boat championships.

During this year we had outings at Cape St Francis where we trailed down our boats for the weekend. We stayed at Leyton Uylett's place and launched off the beach. I can still remember Charlie Blom coming to grief going out in his rubber dingy and losing his walkie talkie. On another occasion we ran a competition giving the competitors free bait all nicely wrapped up in shoe box, and not to be opened until they were at sea. It cosisted of 2 inches of squid and 1 small fly hook and half a brick to make up weight. The idea being to catch your own bait. We had several boxes left over when along comes Pop Grieves and a mate wanting to go fishing but having no bait, so a box was given to them "On the house". About an hour later back comes their boat. It wasn't the fastest in the harbour doing about six knots, tied up at the moorings. The two get into their dingy and come ashore. Pop is a very portly gentleman sitting in the rear with his mate rowing. There was a bit of a surge running that morning and when the dingy came up on the slip the mate jumped out and the dingy moved to one side, and, with Pops weight on the stern turned over throwing him into the water, his mate trying to rescue him followed. When they got out they angrily approached the competitions officer bitterly complaining about the hoax and treatened to sue the club demanding fuel replacement. 1969 Chairman Charles Elliott. The Marlins head was establised. A Club house in the old Drole building in Jetty street where some wonderfull evenings were held. A jetty was built next to the slip at the cost of R1300-00. A base radio was was established at Cape Recife lighthouse. 1970 Chairman Hilton Trollip We built the gear room which was opened by Mr. Huisna. Hilton was Chairman up till 1973. This was the end of the pioneering period and from then on the work has been carried on by the folks. Most of us know there have been many unnamed backroom boys who like Sister Anna still carry the cans.

Kindly contributed by the late Mr Evans
Presented to us on it's original paper by Mr Alf Cadle