A look back at Round Table Windhoek 34
When Bianca asked me to write something on the history of Windhoek 34, it was because (in her own words) “jy is die outste Windhoek 34’ger wat ek ken …
Since she uttered that words, many has changed. She has been able to chat to founder member Pix von Prittwitz (age 84), founder members and ex-chairmans, David Gamsu (1960, age 77 ) and Erno Muhr (1962, age 82 ).
I can now be counted amongst the younger of the 41’ers that she knows …
Tabling in Namibia goes a long way back, all the way to 1956 with the Charter of Windhoek 34 on the 26th of May.
To understand the unique spirit of 34, one has to know about the unique way the club was chartered.
Round Table Windhoek 34 was founded with-out a sponsor table and with blatant disregard to the rules of the Association.
In 1955 a group of six young men living in Windhoek – by name Hans Berker (a young attorney of note who would later become the first Judge President of Namibia), Mac Magnus, Joachim “Pix” von Prittwitz, David Gamsu, Helmuth Hoffmann and Erno Muhr – came to hear about the Round Table organization and recognized the need for such an organization to serve the Namibian community. They discussed the matter and decided to go ahead in founding a club.
After constituting themselves as an active club and following the principles of Round Table, the founders of our Table met regularly (every alternative Monday at 20:00 either at the Windhoek Club or Tabler homes) and engaged in fellowship and community service – as is still the case.
They called the club the Windhoek Round Table.
Soon there-after they were contacted by the ARTSA president, informing them they could not just up and start a club because there was a whole process leading up to chartering.
In the meantime John Newman who lived in Walvis Bay and was a Tabler in Cape Town 9, had also started a Table in Walvisbay. This encouraged a visit from ARTSA president, Hugh White.
The Club, ably led by Hans Berker (appointed chairman 1955) proceeded to explain to ARTSA that ARTSA could do what they liked. That they had already started the table and did not need anyone’s permission to do what was already done. What they need was a number as as there were only 33 other tables in ARTSA they would become Windhoek 34.
History does not record but it is probable that after a couple of cold ones with the ARTSA committee that this was decided to be an excellent solution. They them fell under the care of Cape Town 9 who acted as sponsor Table.
Since then the Table has seen its ups and downs in membership (with current members at 14) but has never lost its spirit and in that lies its strength.
Windhoek 34 has been responsible for some special projects over the years. Starting with the initial projects be-ing “Prisoner’s Rehabilitation” and “Children’s Home”.
Most memorable was those first “Pubnites” being held in the Cohen Hall (near the Polytechnic) when the Tablers and ladies had to sing live with or with-out a microphone and the audience was provided with peanuts to stimulate those singers who were false to get in tune.
Rednose Day, the first area project to break the quarter million dollars mark in funds raised was a Windhoek 34 inspired project from the mid 90’s.
In the mid 2000’s it was the very successful “Day at the Races” followed by “Black Bra” which won the area trophy for “Project of the year 2010”.
Service to the community while enjoying fellowship has always been a hallmark of Windhoek 34 Tabling and this tradition will surely carry on into the future.
At the same time Windhoek 34 has contributed significantly to Tabling in the area and at ARTSA level. 34 has delivered numerous Area Chairman and other ARTSA office bearers and can be very proud of the three ARTSA Presidents who come from the table namely John Kirkpatrick (1962), Peter Bottger (1977) and Danie Greeff (2008). John Kirkpatrick continued to progress to Chairman of World Council.
Not only has the table provided leaders. It can be really proud of the Fishing Boogie which now going into its 25th year is surely one of the longest running non-stop projects in the Tabling world. And with the latest Boogie carrying on the great tradition it is likely to continue even when there are no more fish to catch, because fellowship is fellowship.
May the spirit of Windhoek 34 continue to be strong and deliver young men who make a difference to their community.
(Any errors in the above can be blamed on old age and a fading memory)
Yours in Table
Koos du Toit