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From: "sharon marshall" <>
Subject: [ZA-IB] Quenstown and the AA
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2003 15:14:40 +0200


More from Tell me of Komani by Alan Greaves:

The first motor car to brought to SA was a Benz, which was exhibited in Pretoria in Dec 1896. In the early 1900s Mr RM WRIGHT became the first citizen of Queenstown to own a car, an MMC. (lengthy description of journey from Pretoria follows)
It was not long before other people emulated Dr Wright (Up to this point he is called Mr, so not sure if this is a typo - anyone know?) and also imported cars. One of those enthusiasts, Mr FA VISSER, then got the town council to construct a road for motors which led to Fincham's Nek, turned west, mad joined the Whittlesea road near Blackwoods farm. The drive was named the Via Visseria.
There were enough cars in Queenstown by 1914 to warrant talk of the desirability of forming a motoring club, and in 1915 the Queenstown Automobile Club cam einto being. Its first outing was to Mr T FINCHAM's property, Imvani Farm, with 25 cars taking part.
By then motoring clubs had been formed in several other centres in SA. They worked together in a loose federation, but in 1916 an attempt was made, at a meeting of club representatives in Cape Town, to unite them in a single organisation. DrH LEWIS and Mr GLOVER attended as delegates from the Queenstown Automobile Club and strongly supported unification. The meeting concluded that the time had not yet arrived for the clubs to amalgamate.
By 1920 the QAC had 150 members, whose cars sported what was to become the famous Q brass badge of the Club. The Q badge was kept, when, in 1921, the club changed its name to the Eastern and midlands Automobile Club. By 1928 membership of the EMAC stood at 1544, and in that year the Club supplied 520 direction signs an d170 other traffic signs to places as far apart as Vryburg in the north and Tulbagh in the south, Kimberley in the west and Kokstad in the east..
The Club Committee consisted then of Dr CG FREE (chairman), TH GLOVER (vice-c), CA LOWE (hon sec), Dr H LEWIS, and Messrs J TERRY-LLOYD, AC GAYLARD, EH McCONNELL, AK McPHERSON, GR HORNE, WA EDMONDS, GN EBDEN and CH ROSE.
The secretary, Mr LOWE, was widely known as "Kerol" Lowe because he was the local agent for the animal disinfectant of that name. he had come to SA from Australia for health reasons and had settled in Queenstown, where he made the QAC his hobby. He produced the QAC route book that was on sale in most bookshops, he worked constantly to improve conditions for motorists, and he was for many years motoring correspondent for the Daily Representative.
...Negotiations with the AA in Britain had led to the eastern and Midlands Automobile Club in Queenstown being authorised to use the AA badge; but at a stormy meeting of the Federation in Queenstown in October 1928 it was resolved that the Queenstown club were to cease negotiating with the AA, and that title to the badge was to be handed over to the Federation. Queenstown promptly resigned from the Federation, ordered 2000 AA badges, and prepared to go ahead on their own.
Later the discomfited Federation persuaded Queenstown to withdraw their resignation and, after a great deal of correspondence, a meeting was held in 1929, this time in Port Elizabeth, at which Dr FREER and Mr GLOVER put the case for amalgamation. It was decided, on a unanimous vote, to go ahead with preparations for uniting all the country's motoring clubs into the AA of SA. In 1933 the Association came into being with headquarters in Durban, which were moved in 1936 to Johannesburg.

Ah didn't know that...
Sharon




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