Who are we?
We are a formal club focused on showcasing the wonders of the mountains to our members.
What do we do?
We are out in the mountains on a regular basis hiking, rock climbing, kloofing, or caving. We either do day trips, weekend or multi-day excursions.
Why do we do it?
This is a very long debate where no final consensus has been reached, but what we can say is that we all have a passion for mountains!
The Stellenbosch Section was established in 1893, shortly after the Cape Section. After a few years, however, it gradually died out and was re-established in 1953. The history is described in the article by Ernst Lotz in Journal no. 86 of 1983, p.12 -15, entitled “Dertig jaar is ‘n leeftyd”.
The first commitee members after the re-establishment of the Section were:
Dr T.B. Scheffler
Mr E. v.d.S. Lotz (onse Ernst)
Mr C.A. Smith (or Oom Tjaain)
Mr W. Martley
The first outing was: The Cathedrals on Saturday, October 24, 1953.
(Interestingly, the first Circular (October 1953) calls it "The Cathedrals" and not as it is now known as "The Cathedral".)
The meeting place was: 6 a.m. promptly, at the corner of Jonkershoek Road and Van der Stel Street (the fork at the willowtree)
(if we were to meet there now it would cause a huge traffic problem (sic))
Transportation: "Prospective participants must please contact one of the committee members before Friday, 5 pm so that the possibility of providing transport can be investigated. If this does not happen we will go by bike."
(And now we've only offered two bike trips over the past few years!)
The outing report mentions that 13 members were present, including three of the four board members. Uncle Tjaain Smith was the leader.
The Stellenbosch Division has, however, also caused a stir with a language struggle. Ernst Lotz relates in the 1983 journal how the mountain club badge, in circular number 3, on the front page was the first one with Afrikaans wording! I quote:
“Omsendbrief nommer 3 het skaars in Kaapstad grondgevat, of die duiwel was los. Afrikaans op die wapen! Ongehoord, onvanpas, en totaal onaanvaarbaar!"
The next Central Management meeting sparked a fierce debate, but in the end Afrikaans got the green light!