History of Marshall Smuts Shellhole


Cape Midlands Provincial Dugout: “For many years the only Shellhole right out in the country was Plum and Apple, with Kelly’s Eye Shellhole at Goodwood closer to Cape Town. We really were the country cousins, way out in Paarl. Both Shellholes were established during 1928 and were part of District Five of Cape Western Dugout.

Then came the War and shortly after the blokes were demobbed; Shellholes were being formed all over the place. In 1944 a resuscitation of Mothdom occurred in the Western Cape and Helwan Shellhole in Vasco [08 August] and Bomb Alley Shellhole in Bellville [04 November] received their Charters. During 1945 another two Shellholes came into being with the establishment of Buq-Buq [Wellington] on the 2nd of August and Timrad [Worcester] on the 7th of October. In 1946, another two Shellholes established: At Somerset West Marshal Smuts was founded and a few months later Tommy Rendle VC was opened in Rugby.

All these Shellholes were still being controlled by Cape Western and at a District Dugout meeting at Paarl it was decided to bring application for a new Provincial Dugout to be formed. On the 1st of July 1947, the Cape Midlands Provincial Dugout came into being.

The next Shellhole to be established was No 9 at Robertson during 1950 but unfortunately it closed down in 1959. On the 13th of September 1953 Gremlin Shellhole was established at Langebaan AFB and on the 9th of December 1956 Kitbag Shellhole was formed in De Doorns. During the 1960s Springbok Shellhole existed in the town of Springbok but closed down before the end of the decade. A founding member of Kitbag retired to the town of Hermanus and was instrumental in forming Seagull Shellhole on the 31st of October 1970.”1 After a lapse of 31 years, Blaauwberg Cuca Shellhole, a break-away from Tommy Rendle VC, opened in Table View when their Charter was issued on the 12th of August 2001.

During the first decade of the new millennium, Plum and Apple first combined with Buq-Buq before Timrad and Kitbag were absorbed to form the new Shellhole of Komesho. Gremlin became defunct and a new Shellhole, Weskus Quartel was later formed. Bomb Alley, Helwan and Kelly’s Eye all had to sell their properties and of the three, Bomb Alley is the only one still in existence.

During August 2009, the Cape Midlands Provincial Dugout disappeared into the annals of history when it amalgamated with the Cape Western Provincial Dugout. Somehow though, like a good batsman, Marshal Smuts Shellhole has managed to survive.


31 August 1945
First nominal roll with 57 names filed at GHQ

17 November 1945
Shellhole Charter issued by GHQ

07 April 1946
Opening meeting chaired by POB Moth Bert Honor

13 March 1949
General Smuts visits Shellhole and attends Sunset Call Service

September 1956
Founding Old Bill Moth Johnny Farrell accompanies Moth “0” to the MOTH Convention held at Livingstone [Northern Rhodesia]

Spetember 1963
Moth Johnny Farrell appointed as Old Bill of the Order at the MOTH Convention held in Paarl

01 March 1971
Takes occupancy of 105 Drama Street after signing a 25 year Lease agreement with the Somerset West Municipality, valued at 10c per annum; a most important breakthrough to ensure the future of the Shellhole

06 July 1973
Moth Johnny Farrell answers the Sunset Call

15 October 1973
Old Bill’s Chair donated by Cape Midlands Ladies Auxiliary in memory of Moth Johnny Farrell

20 July 1974
Receive M3 Honey Tank on permanent loan from S.A.D.F.

17 February 1976
Shellhole donates R25.00 towards the Southern Cross Fund

18 July 1976
Moth Nel becomes the first third generation member to be inducted at the Shellhole. Membership stands at 38

21 February 1977
The Johnny Farrell Memorial Gates conscecrated by Old Bill Bill Paris and the Reverend Moth Rose

30 April 1979
With much trepidation, extension of Ladies Auxiliary Lounge completed to the building

17 March 1980
A record 40 Moths on Parade, including 5 out of 6 over 80 members and the first female member to transfer to the Shellhole, Moth B. O’Laughlin. Membership stands at 63

September 1980
Moth Bill Paris appointed as Old Bill of the Order at the MOTH Convention held at Germiston

21 January 1981
Floor informed that the word “White” has been elimanted from the MOTH Constitution

28 February 1981
Shellhole approaches local Municipalities for donation of land to build a MOTH Cottage Scheme for the Hottentots-Holland, unfortunately no land available

30 May 1981
Sub-let agreement signed with Funtime Playschool

17 July 1981
Shelter built to protect front door at a cost of R87.00

15 September 1981
Old Bill Taffy Lloyd “Numerically we are the largest Shellhole in the Cape Midlands Dugout [66], concern can however be felt in the fact that we are not attracting the new generation of ex- servicemen, without whom there can only be, in time, one result, and that is the end of Marshal Smuts Shellhole.”

January 1985
For a period of two years and approved by the NEC, the Shellhole publishes monthly articles in the District Mail under the title “MOTH Diary” compiled by Moth Doc Dockrall

18 September 1985
Moth Pierre Olivier becomes the first third generation Moth to be elected as Wee Bill

15 November 1986
Garden shed and waste-newspaper room completed

16 June 1991
With the formation of a MOTHWA Shellhole on the cards, the Executive Committee supported by a majority of Floor members does not allow MOTHWA to use the Shellhole name. Lady Billy Peggy Joubert approaches her old Shellhole Remembrance and obtains permission to use their name. Throughout its 13 year existence, relations between the two Shellholes were always strained and the Remembrance MOTHWA Shellhole mostly met at the Lions Club hall. Most of the Shellhole’s crockery, cutlery and linen actually comes from the defunct Remembrance MOTHWA Shellhole.

21 September 1992
Moth Brian May becomes the first third generation Old Bill and Moth Ian Meldrum the first third generation Adjutant of the Shellhole.

11 November 1992
MOTH Shrine on the premises conscecrated

23 May 1993
Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band performs at the Jan Smuts Memorial Parade hosted by the Shellhole on the premises

20 July 1993
The last founding member, Moth Bill Coyne answers the Sunset Call [only 16 founding members answered the Sunset Call as serving members of the Shellhole].

25 July 1993
Braai-area completed

01 August 1993
New Lease agreement with Somerset West Municipality takes effect, valid for 25 years and valued at R500 payable in advance for the period

11 August 1993
Shellhole files a letter with the Somerset West Municipality; requesting that the property be transfered by deed of gift or purchased at an affordable price [second lease on life]

18 August 1993
The Somerset West Town Clerk files a letter with the Shellhole which reads: “I shall be pleased to learn whether your organisation would be interested to acquire portion 2 of erf 2442 as depicted on the attached plan ‘A’ at a nominal purchase price of R25, 00 subject to Council’s standard exclusion clause?”

20 August 1993
Shellhole files letter with Cape Midlands Provincial Dugout requesting permission to continue negotiations with the Municipality

30 August 1993
Cape Midlands Dugout files a letter with MOTH Office requesting approval from the National Executive Committee

09 September 1993
MOTH General Secretary M.G. Rainforth confirms approval by the National Executive Committee

21 February 1994
A proposal by the Executive Committee that the Shellhole applies for a Liquor Licence is defeated by 28 votes to 12. Membership stands at 79.

07 March 1994
The Somerset West Town Clerk files a letter with the Shellhole which reads: “Proposed alienation of Portion 2 of Erf 2442, Drama Street Somerset West. I refer to previous correspondence in this regard and wish to advise that the Council on 28 February 1994 resolved that the remainder (portion 2) of Erf 2442 will be rezoned from local government purposes to single residential and private parking purposes with the Council’s special consent for the use of the portion in question as a place of instruction and assembly of youth and service organisations. The Council’s surveyors have accordingly been instructed to proceed with the drawing up of diagrams whereafter transfer will be effected.”

01 September 1994
Moth Frank Joubert opens LCD account 101 [Liquor purchases]

19 September 1994
Moth Brian May defeated on second round ballot by one vote, to be replaced as Old Bill by Moth Eddie de Kock, a second generation Moth. Shellhole Work Committee of Moths Peddie [Welfare], MacKenzie [Quartermaster] and Joubert [Custodian] resign in protest. After having to deal with numerous arguments with the older generation, Moth May resigns from the Shellhole; informing the members that they don’t understand or live according to the Three Ideals. He does however complete the property purchase deal on behalf of the Shellhole. To date can’t detect his current whereabouts.

28 September 1994
Deed of transfer lodged at the Deeds Office

11 October 1994
Deed of transfer relodged at the Deeds Office

19 October 1994
Deed of transfer registered at the Deeds Office [T79064/1994]. Total account payable to Attorneys Havenga and Smith-Symms amounts to R4, 310.25. Certified copy of the Deed of transfer filed at FNB Somerset West Branch.

18 September 1995
Moth Duncan MacKenzie elected as Old Bill and membership of the Shellhole peaks at 93

31 March 1996
Garden of Remembrance conscecrated by Bishop Stevens

13 April 1996
50th birthday celebrations in the form of an Afternoon Tea

15 December 2000
Gardiner lounge extention completed

16 September 2002
Liquor Licence WCP 031372 issued under the Club name Oom Jannie’s

19 August 2005
Following a particularly bad run of arguments, resignations and general conduct unbecoming of Moths; the Shellhole is on the verge of closing down [only 7 present at the June meeting]. At the AGM attended by POB Moth Pat Tate and Provincial Adjutant Moth Brian Porter, Moth Stanway Crawford agrees to stay on as Old Bill, bring in new blood to serve on the Executive and in the process saved the Shellhole from becoming defunct.

21 October 2005
A visit by Past Old Bill of the Order Moth Doug Charles

20 July 2007
Moth Gail Jordaan becomes the first female Old Bill and implements new ideas and energy to rectify matters.

18 July 2008
Shellhole trophies awarded at the Annual General Meeting. Moth Porter proposed the idea and Moth Olivier manufactured the trophies.

17 July 2009
With a wealth of experience behind him, Moth Brian Porter takes over as Old Bill and continues to rebuild the Shellhole to former glory

11 November 2009
Project Lagesen successfully completed

15 January 2010
Old Bill of the Order Moth Ola Grinaker visits the Shellhole

01 February 2010
Moth Brian Porter co-opted to serve on the National Executive Committee

01 August 2010
Shellhole successfully applies for a property tax rebate from the City of Cape Town

22 August 2010
Shellhole awarded Best Recruitment prize for Category B Shellholes in the Cape Western Provincial Dugout.

14 November 2010
Shellhole takes over responsibility from the SA Legion Strand Branch in organising the Helderberg Remembrance Sunday Memorial Parade and Service

18 February 2011
Moth Olivier donates a permanent wreath [MOTH emblem] made out of brass to the Shellhole

12 March 2011
Shellhole 65th birthday celebrated with a Memorial Parade and Service attended by Old Bill of the Order Moth Mookie Wantenaar. Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band performs the National Anthem on pipes, the first time ever in public.

15 July 2011
Adopts new Shellhole Standing Orders and files first budget. Moth Philip McLachlan becomes the first Shellhole Old Bill born during the 1960s and who completed National Service during the 1980s.

28 August 2011
Out of jealousy and fear, awarded the Mickey Mouse trophy by the Cape Western Provincial Dugout.

20 November 2011
Moth Brian Porter elected to serve full term as National Excecutive Committee member

16 March 2012
Adopts Shellhole Constitution and applies for Public Benefit Organisation status

06 May 2012
Hosts the Cape Western MOTH 85 celebrations to which all other Shellholes are invited

15 June 2012
St John Helderberg celebrates 70 years of service to the local community and is adopted as the Shellhole’s charity of choice

26 August 2012
Awarded the Cape Western Provincial Dugout Shellhole of the Year award as well as the best overall recruitment trophy [11 recruits]. Since July 2009 membership have grown from 22 to 38.

06 September 2012
Registered as PBO 930039604

15 March 2013
Best attendance [30 Moths and 14 visitors] at a meeting since 1992

06 to 09 June 2013
Hosts Rhodesia Intake 146 re-union weekend; including a braai, formal dinner, Memorial Service and Sunday lunch, all prepared and provided for by Shellhole members

25 August 2013
Awarded the Cape Western Provincial Dugout Shellhole of the Year award as well as the best overall recruitment trophy [10 recruits]

31 January 2014
Old Bill of the Order Moth Mike Soutter visits the Shellhole

18 July 2014
Moth Chantèl Marais becomes the first full time serving member of the S.A.N.D.F. to be elected as Old Bill

10 April 2015
Old Bill of the Order Moth Norman Edwards visits the Shellhole

18 September 2015
Moth Malcolm Bouwer receives special 50 years of membership at the Shellhole award from POB Moth Dave Revell

01 October 2015
After listening for three years of complaints by Moth Fitz Henry, the Shellhole opens proper investment accounts at FNB

13 March 2016
Moth Malcolm Bouwer completes 70 years of unbroken service of the Order
Our founding Old Bill, Moth Johnny Farrell was inducted into the Order at Plum and Apple Shellhole during 1944. His father, John Farrell snr was the founder member of the Boy Scouts in Somerset West.

Johnny Farrell lived at 19 Bright Street ‘Rosarel’ and worked for AE and CI as a locomotive driver; he was a good footballer who played for the De Beers Club. All accounts of his personal history, indicates, like that of Moth ‘0’, to him being a quite ordinary man. When he passed away, neither the Shellhole, nor Cape Midlands Provincial Dugout, nor GHQ could even be bothered to publish news related to this in Home Front Magazine. But we do not blame those individuals responsible. They had most propably never done anything great in their lives, therefore, a total lack of understanding was experienced when confronted with greatness.

Tonight though, the legacy of this ordinary man who did extra-ordinary things, have come full circle. Like the words of the famous song; Johnny Farrell always believed that we’ll meet again some sunny day, and we may safely assume that: “TONIGHT IT FEELS GOOD TO BE MOTH JOHNNY FARRELL.”

I thank you – 19489 Moth Philip McLachlan