Monday, June 11, 2007

1966-68 Apartheid Durban, Northlands Boys HS Sports and Cadets

1967-1968. Mark Esslemont, Scrumhalf for third & fourth rugby teams , Northlands Boys HS. Coach Mnr Grobelaar. (Bird & Leeney)

Charlie and I smaaked Kings Park rugby matches, sitting on the white stands, behind goal posts. Outcast non-whites sat on separate stand sections. We watched provincial matches and test matches, before international sports boycotts. I remember booing nasty French players booting fallen Boks. SATV didn't show such skullduggery yet. We persuaded a Zulu refreshment-seller that French for "Peanuts and Popcorn" was, "I'macuntcunt." Zulu then strode around Kings Park calling, "Peanuts! Popcorn! I'ma..."

I kept fit by running along Northway, across the old concrete-bridge, over a valley, and up Ellis Park Drive. Along the way, I saw umfaans sitting chatting on pavements, smoking thin hand-rolled cigarettes. Some played murabaraba in sand. I ran to Robina Stores, turned back along Northway, past S bends, back home. Ursula, St. Martins chick, lived along the way. I hoped she'd notice me. She never did. For years, I ran barefoot, until I stood on glass near the Umgeni. I ran home, and soaked my bleeding foot in bath water. "Jesus Christ!..." the ol' lady screeched, and rushed me to Addington, where a doctor stitched my foot without anaesthetic. Pain.

During school cross-countries, boys ran from Northlands to Beachwood, along the beach from Rocket Hut to Virginia Airport, back to school. I came tenth in my matric year (year 12). Adults and youths competed in Milk Marathons: walking races from town to Glenashley sugarcane fields and back to town. I again came tenth in my matric year.

We bought a fox terrier, Spartan, from SPCA. Spartan barked at kaffirs and coolies, and was a car-chaser. A neighbour walked his Dachshund and Alsation past our gate, causing trouble. Spartan ripped an ear off the Dachshund. The Alsation tore the skin off Spartan's tail. Wagging tail bones tapped thereafter. Another neighbour was Glenwood's headmaster, whose wife was paralysed. One night, he stood outside our dining-room shouting, "Spartan's barking keeps my wife awake. I'm gunna shoot him!..." Fraser and I watched him until he left. The ol' lady sniggered.

I played hooker for Northlands U15C team. We never won a match. I then played scrum-half for third and fourth teams, and we won some matches. I played some second team matches, but got thumped, as I was too small. Kaydee coached our first team, which never won a match. Northlands war cry didn't help:

"Brown and white. Chivalrous Knight.
Northland High will always fight.

After refereeing matches, kinky Kaydee preened in showers, comparing his long cock with boys' cocks. Kaydee walked on his hands on sports fields and chatted up lady staff. Kaydee sent cadets trekking by slow milk-train to 'Maritzburg cadet camps, where we camped in army tents, ate army food, and threw bouncy meat. Cadets inspected pubic growth in communal showers, while lathering with Lifebuoy soap.

Polishing was rife. Skelm said, "Jislaaik! My cock's small, as it was accidently severed, then doctors sewed it back on." On our return trek to Durbs, Skelm wysed, "While AWOLling, I shagged three cherries. Baba-baba-boo!"

I became bugler staff sergeant, then warrant officer, coached bugle playing to juniors, yelled at them to bone their boots and polish their brass, swing their arms shoulder height, and keep their dressing. We continued to come last at band competitions. DHS continued to win, followed by Newcastle and Glenwood. In my matric year, when we came second to last, we cheered.

1968. Mark Esslemont, Milk Marathon, Durban.


Mark JS Esslemont said...

Exchange of emails with a USA expat, ex Durban North, about our Northlands Boys High School cadets:

"Mark, How I ended up with this photo, who knows, never was in the band so hopefully you will be able to enlarge this without losing too much detail..."

Me: "I'll try to enlarge it. I think I'm sitting on the ground next to NS drum major and Mnr. Bonthuys with Mnr. Jimmy Booyens next to him. Dunno if that's you next to JB? Or are you next to Mr. Holcroft on the right? Snap is a bit grainy. Will try to clarify after asking son's advice. Was it 1968 year, as that was the year when NS was drum major after LC was drum major for several years? And there's headmaster Cecil McFarquhar of course!..."

USA Expat: "Mark, I believe that it was 1967, and I was not in the photo, that year I was SO of the drill platoon, and GL was Senior SO. 68 was the year I was the Co. Commander of A Co. and Drill Platoon Drill Sergeant, and MW was SSO..."

Me: "Still haven't enlarged the snap. GL lived round the corner from me nearer Broadway. Still haven't hear of MW, who according to LJ is in NZ. I did biology with MW in 68, taught by 'Flash' Gordon. All that marching, marching, marching, and practising and polishing of boots and brass to come last 3 yrs in a row in band competitions: last in 67, 2nd to last in 68. Glenwood, DHS or Newcastle HS took the honours.

Forty years later, I've still got a white ring scar inside my lips from all the bugle blasting. My bro Fraser was in one of the drill squads, but I think after your drill sarge time. How snaps bring back memories eh?..."

Mark JS Esslemont said...

Received an email from Brian B, Northlands Old Boy, now living in Canada. Brian reminisced about teachers, friends & schoolboy slang. He knew about "scaling" at Astra Cafe, Broadway.