Researching the involvement of the late Mr Jimmy Bellows with Westville Old boys Sports Club, Mr Stan Foley from the Pinetown Lions Club shared theses memories with us. “Jimmy lived for the 50th anniversary of the fall of Tobruk were he was taken prisoner in June 1942. As a prisoner in Italy he asked a Italian guard for an Italian novel and an English/Italian dictionary, it took him a day to read the first page. He eventually became proficient enough in the Italian language to get by as an Italian while on the run in Italy after escaping twice from POW camps.
Jimmy was a Father Christmas during the Christmas period virtually every day. One morning I was driving down Park Lane after a haircut and as I stopped at the Stop Street, Jimmy was driving by in School Lane, he stopped his car and in his Father Christmas jumped out the car and came over to speak to me, either his handbrake was not too good or he forgot to engage it, as suddenly his car started moving slowly down School Lane and it was quite a sight seeing Father Christmas chasing the car.
Jimmy was a dedicated Lion who spent most of his waking hours helping the less fortunate in our community. I have memories of sorting out the food collected from swap-a-choc into food parcels in his garage, loading my bakkie and with Jimmy delivering the food parcels to those in need.”
20th November 1992 Highway Mail Obituary for Mr Jimmy Bellows
Lions Club Called to a higher Service
A Walk Down Memory Lane
Jimmy Bellows presenting a Trophy to Rory Baker 1970
History of how Rugby Started at WOB
In the early 90’s Jacques de Marigny, the Chairman of the Westville Football club managed to secure a 99 years lease on the Jimmy Bellows Sports fields ( Main field, small field on top used for junior soccer & hockey field ). Soon after securing this lease it was learnt that the government was considering dis-continueing offering grants to sports clubs and that should a club have a lease in place than it would be up to the club to take over the running costs including lights, maintenance etc. In order to prepare the club for this change.
The committee decided to maximise the use of all the fields by trying to bring rugby to the club. It started with the juniors and Geoff Little did a great job there ! Than the attention was turned to senior rugby. The hope in getting senior rugby up & running as quickly as the junior rugby was soon “squashed” as our first application to the NRU was turned down on the strength that there were already two clubs in the Highway area, Pinetown and Hillcrest. At that time Westville had many players playing 1st div and lower as well as under 21 for Collegians, and Rovers, so the club kept on applying to NRU but with no success
Then in 1995, it was rumoured that the NRU was now looking for more clubs and so we took this opportunity to once again re-apply. This time we got accepted and it all happened very quickly after this, NRU paid for the poles, We entered a team in the 5th division, Charles Baarth was our 1st Rugby Chairman, The 1st Rugby Coach was a gentleman by the name of Mr Morgan Senior ( who had played for test rugby for Wales ). The club managed to get Mr Price as a sponsor and they provided the team with a kit. The first game was at home against Crusaders. We had arranged to mark the field the night before.
That night the heavens opened and the ground was flooded, so we had to re-mark the field on the saturday morning after the kids had finished practicing soccer, we did it and at 3 p.m our team took to the field to some tremendous support and lot of pride, history was being made, they were part of it, Tim knox was fly half, he scored our first points, a penalty, and then we went to win by a large margin 56-3. History had been made and Rugby was “alive” in Westville. Since than the club did move up as high as the 3rd Division but was never able to reach the desired level of 1st Division. In fact, since 2001 most of the Management, Sponsors, Coaches & Players have moved on leaving the club with 1 social team.