The Selous Scouts Regimental Association
The Selous Scouts Association was formed on the 1st December 1981 in Johannesburg. The aim and objectives of the association were set out, and these were to bring together as many former Selous Scouts members as possible and to set up a communication network for ex-Scouts now spreading all over the world. One of its main aims was also to start to raise funds with a view to supporting any ex-Scouts who fall on hard times. The association’s founder members were Ron Reid Daly, Pat Armstrong and Chris Gough, and a legally drafted constitution was produced. Chris left South Africa for the USA soon after the formation of the association, so never actually served on a committee.
The first Head Quarters were in a Joburg pub on the premises of Security Specialist International, called Lobengula’s Lair, in memory of Captain Rob Warracker SCR, killed in action 12/1/1977.
In July 1983, the association was moved to Umtata, Transkei. At this time the committee consisted of Ron Reid Daly (Chairman), Tim Bax (Secretary) with Liaison Officers Ian Scott (Natal), Chris Schulenburg (Transvaal), Geoff Atkinson (Northern Transvaal), Bobby Gibbons (Cape), Piet van der Riet (Transkei) and Di Wilson took over as Treasurer from Sally Ferguson. There were 34 paid up members.
The first official sitting of the SSA Committee was on the 18th of September 1984 in Umtata with the following in attendance; Ron Reid Daly [Chairman], Tim Bax [Secretary] and Members; Willie Divine, Pete Wilson, Andy Samuels and Keith Samler. This was followed by the very first Annual General Meeting on the 6th October 1984 at a Durban Sports Club.
After a few years of activity, mainly in the Transkei, the association then went dormant, until ‘resurrected’ on the 14th July 1989 at the Johannesburg Moth Club, with a new committee of Ron Reid Daly [Chairman], Tom Thomas [Secretary], Willie van der Riet [Treasurer] and Liaison Officers Charlie Krause / Vancy Meyers [Transvaal], Bobby Gibbons / Piet van der Riet [Cape] and Ian Scott / Tommy Topp [Natal].
At an AGM/Dinner on the 23rd February 1990, The Hon P K van der Byl was inducted as Honorary President, Bruce Fitzsimmons was appointed as Liaison Officer for Northern Transvaal, and Wingnut Van Rensburg for Eastern Transvaal. The Standard was also paraded and displayed by members of 5 Reconnaissance Regiment.
In 1991 Mike Kerr joined Bobby Gibbons to run the Cape Province.
At a committee meeting on the 6th February 1992, Life Membership of the association was bestowed upon all the ‘Founders of The Selous Scouts’. It was proposed (and approved unanimously at the next AGM 31/10/1992) that the ‘Founders’ were those members who were in the experimental team before it became an official army regiment.
Honorary Membership was also given to all widows or next of kin of deceased Selous Scouts.
At the AGM of 31st October 1992 Peter Stanton joined the committee for the Transvaal Region, and at the AGM of 13 May 1995 John Ashburner took over as Liaison Officer for the Natal Region.
On the 2nd May 1998 at The Grey Goose Farm Lodge, Newcastle, KwaZulu Natal, the association said farewell to The Standard before it left for the Imperial War Museum in London.
The Association Honorary President, The Hon. P K van der Byl passed away in November 1999. It was unanimously agreed at the AGM of 29 April 2000, to elect Lt. Colonel Ron Reid Daly as the new President of The Association. At this same meeting, Tom Thomas was elected to take over as Chairman, and Willie van der Riet assumed both the Secretary and Treasurer Port folios. It was also decided, in view of growing membership from overseas, that Jim Schneeberger (UK) joins the committee as “Liaison Officer for Overseas’.
Due to the ever growing membership and activities of the association, Winston Hart joined the committee to support Bobby Gibbons in The Cape in 2001 and in 2002 Steve Gordon was brought in to assist Bruce Fitzsimmons in the Limpopo Province (Formally Northern Transvaal), Dale Collett was brought in to handle ‘The Rest of Africa’, Gerry Rossouw – ‘Special Assignments’ and John Cannon ‘Fund Raising’ – [with a sub-committee of Charles Campbell, Nigel Nimmo and Kevin Taylor].
In 2004, it was again decided because of growing membership and association activities, particularly in overseas, to increase the size of the committee. David Scott-Donelan (Nevada) was appointed as Liaison Officer for North & South America, leaving Jim Schneeberger to concentrate on the UK and Europe. John Ashburner moved from Durban to Johannesburg and his position as Liaison Officer for KwaZulu Natal was filled by Aubrey Brooks. John joined Gerry Rossouw in Special Assignments.
In 2005 it was decided to create a sub-committee in Australia, due to growing membership in Australasia. The following posts were confirmed at the AGM of 24th September; Secretary - Charlee (Doc) Griffiths, Treasurer - Ken Palmer and Honorary Chairman - Wally Insch.
In the past few years John Ashburner and Aubrey Brooks have both resigned, due to their moves to the United Kingdom and The Isle of Man respectively. George Mitchell has taken over as Liaison Officer for KwaZulu Natal, Barbara Bresler and Jimmy Ley have joined the UK/Europe Region, and Winston Hart has moved from Cape Town to New Zealand.
As of May 2009 total membership is at 182, which excludes next of kin of deceased members. Contact with members is maintained through regular newsletters (3 to 7 a year) as well as constant communication through the e-mail. Regular communication of mutual benefit is also kept up with the SAS, the BSAP, the RLI and Air Force Associations. The majority of membership comes from South Africa, but it also has members in England, Ireland, Scotland, The Isle of Man, USA, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Austria, Albania, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Ghana and Tanzania. At this stage ‘radio silence’ is observed with members from Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The association gets involved in many different activities during the year, but the main event remains the Annual General Meeting & Dinner. These have become very popular get-to-gethers not just for association members and their wives / partners, but also many guests, such as representatives the SAS Association, RLI, BSAP, SADF and other dignitaries and ‘friends of the association’. Most comment on the casual, relaxed and friendly way in which our annual gatherings are conducted and enjoyed, confirming the unique camaraderie which existed in the Selous Scouts and continues to exist within this association.
As a fund raising exercise, but also as a service to its members, the association acquires and has produced, various items of memorabilia such as shirts, caps, badges, plaques, mugs, pendants, CD’s, books and certificates of service.
The Current Association Committee [which will be up-dated if/when necessary]
||Ron Reid Daly
||Willie van der Riet
||Charlie Krause / Peter Stanton
||Alan Van Rensburg
|Rest of Africa
||Jim Schneeberger / Barbara Bresler / Jimmy Ley
||Charlee Griffiths / Wally Insch
|North & South America
||Dave Scott Donelan