50 years ago, in 1969 three Hilton boys along with teacher and head of the Enterprise Club Rob van Heerden set off on an epic adventure.
The boys were Jonathan Anderson, Martin Walker and John Schwikkard, and they were only 16 years old when they mapped out their cycle from Salisbury (Harare) to Cape Town.
They assembled their bikes on the platform of the train station at Salisbury (Rob quickly putting together his single speed) and set off wearing rugby shorts, T-shirts and takkies; carrying only one change of clothes, a sleeping bag, puncture repair kit and toiletries.
Feature image: Hilton’s Border 2 Beach 2019… L to R – Lyle Anderson, Simon Clayton, Struan Anderson, Gareth Myles, Pete Walker.
They stretched their budget of R1.50 per day by buying a bath at a hotel for 50c, all taking turns to bath in the water and then washing their clothes for the next day.
They slept in the homes of people they met en route – where they were treated like royalty – or slept in empty cells in prison stations… as they did on Christmas Eve in Richmond.
Relatives of then headmaster Raymond Slater put them up for a rest day in Beaufort West and they arrived, as scheduled, in Cape Town after 3 gruelling weeks of cycling, averaging 10 hours a day in the saddle – and without a single puncture!
Jonathan Anderson sadly passed away from dementia last year and his sons Struan and Lyle Anderson took up the challenge to cycle from Zimbabwe to Cape Town to honour their dad, as well as raise funds for Alzheimer’s SA to train caregivers.
Hilton College Old Boy Peter Walker (son of the late Martin Walker, who passed away in 2004 when his microlight crashed in South America during a round the world charity flight) was able to join the guys for the first two legs of the ride.
Please support these guys in their efforts by following @border2beach on Facebook and Instagram and please consider donating to their back-a-buddy fund to help their fundraising efforts.
Every R2500 equals one more trained caregiver – and the guys are aiming to raise 200K.
You can donate on the link below;
Source: Hilton College
* Rob van Heerden taught me Afrikaans at Maritzburg College in the late 1970s/early 80s and I remember an immaculately dressed gentleman with a somewhat military bearing and a strong sense of right and wrong. Underneath, it was clear that Rob had a heart of gold. He was passionate in his role as the go-to man in Maritzburg College squash. (JC)