Birthday Bash : 2 – 5
April 2010, Witbank Skydiving Club
By Linda Steyn
Witbank Skydiving Club was established
in May 1980 as Witbank Sport Parachute
The first article calling for the establishment
of a Skydiving Club in Witbank was placed
by Lawrence Rowe from Klerksdorp Skydiving
Club, into the Witbank News in May 1980.
Due to an excellent response, a meeting
was called at the Moth Club which 26
people attended and students were recruited
for a first jump course.
In June 1980, the very first group of
first timers was trained at Witbank by
Instructor Willie Scroobie and travelled
to Westonaria to perform their jump out
of that club's Dakota as Witbank did
not yet have an aircraft. This group
included David McCafferty who at the
age of 15 obtained a waiver to jump by
his father, Jack, who at that stage had
already done several jumps.
The founder of the club, Lawrence Rowe,
was killed in a car accident in November
1981 and his wife generously donated
all the equipment to the club that consisted
of a number of round parachutes, front-mounted
reserves and helmets.
The club nearly closed down during this
interval and most members frequented
Wonderboom Skydiving Club until a group
of enthusiasts, which included the notorious
Mike Stanton, took up the reigns.
The club hired in
an aircraft until Kobus Campher bought
a Cessna 205, ZS-DRP in 1982 which he
flew until he retired in 2000. DRiP,
as she is affectionately named, is still
active in the club today and was refurbished
with a 'new' engine in 1998.
Witbank Skydiving Club
Witbank Skydiving Club recently celebrated
their 30th Birthday Bash and Reunion
over the Easter Weekend 2010 and skydivers
from the past to the present came to
enjoy the festivities. Allan Murray (Muggy)
flew in from New Zealand, Nigel Peart
flew in from the UK, David McCafferty
flew in from Australia, and many other
members from the early 1980s and 1990s
travelled from far and wide to celebrate
the day, a few of them getting retrained
and doing a jump too. Founder member,
Jana Meyer, attended the day and still
supports the club as Manifest Officer.
First load Old
After what was threatening to be a miserable
rainy day, the skies opened up at 09h00
giving us the perfect day to play like
only skydivers know how to.
The Bell 205 was kept very busy indeed
with jumpers going up to 10 000ft AGL
and low flying chopper flips for passengers.
Children were heard screaming with delight
from the jumping castle all day as well
as being kept busy hunting all day for
the hundreds of Easter Eggs dropped from
the chopper for them.
RIP Mike Stanton
of the founding members, Mike Stanton,
born 5 April 1932, passed away peacefully
on 16 February 2010. A chopper load
of old friends went up and, in a moving
flight over Witbank Skydiving Club’s airfield, Mikes
ashes were scattered. A befitting farewell
and resting place for a colourful character
in Witbank Skydiving Club’s history
and who was loved and respected by so
(Photographs: Linda Meyering Steyn)