Van der Velde "Duiker"

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Vandervelde Duiker.png

2/9/1921 - 14/4/1991

HERMANUS JOHANNES VAN DER VELDE ‘DUIKER’ as he preferred to be called and known as, was at times also known as ‘Herman’, ‘Titch’ and ‘Shorty’ to some adults, but the name ‘Duiker’ was by far better known to all, especially to Cubs, Scouts, Scouters and lay alike.

Duiker was Group Scouter in 2nd Bellville and one of the Group’s founder members from before it’s opening in 1964 to about 1978, moving on to District Scouter in the Kanonkop (CW22) District to 1984, then out of the area to Hermanus (no pun intended here), continuing his Scouting career as District Scouter in the Hermanus area until his passing.

Many Scouting highlights, too many to recall or mention, were achieved during all this time as Scouter with Cubs and Scouts, countless camps from the old Gilcape to various other places in the Peninsula, hikes, Troop holidays and tours to Oudtshoorn 1968, South West Africa (Namibia) 1969 and the highlight Transvaal (Gauteng) Troop holiday of 1971. He played a major role in putting together the1986 Hermanus Mini-Jamboree involving Troops from Hermanus and the Cape. Duiker lived for Scouting and attended virtually every Pack and Troop meeting as well as all events going down through the years. He was highly supported by his wife Celia Lysbeth (Duminy), an ardent bird-watcher (29-12-1925 to 20-9-2008) and daughter ‘Billie’ in all his Scouting adventures.

In earlier years as a Scout, Duiker attended the 1937 World Scout Jamboree in Holland, producing a hand typed descriptive diary of the daily events from departure to return to SA, together with other memorabilia today in the Western Cape Scout Heritage Centre. Duiker will also be remembered by many Scouts and Scouters for his famous Campfire Blanket, for which Scouts at the time wanted to die for.

One incident that has stuck with me for years, was on a camp at the old ‘Lions Campsite’ on Hazendal Farm outside Kuils River, my first Scout camp. We were all told to bring our first lunch meal to camp and the rest of the meals would be supplied. I never heard this announced and by late afternoon I was starving, eventually being forced to tell Duiker of the predicament and ask for some food. To my relief, he assured me that it was no problem, went into our heavily guarded ‘grub tent’ and came out smiling, handed me a large onion and said, “Here - this should keep you going until supper!”

Duiker achieved the Cub Camping Permit in 1966, Group Scouters Wood Badge 1967, Long Service Medal 1972, Long Service Bar 1983, Medal of Merit 1986 and 40 year Bar in 1991.

Upon the passing of Duikers wife Celia in September 2008, his daughter has since turned over all Duikers Scouting memorabilia to the Western Cape Scout Heritage Centre consisting of books, records, scarves, uniform and many slides now slowly being converted to digital.

Andre Foot
Ex-2nd Bellville
Cape Heritage Team 2011