Exactly 70 years ago on March 25, 1938 the Pretoria Sub-union formally seceded from the Transvaal Rugby Football Union and the Northern Transvaal Rugby Union was born.
The SA Rugby Board was supposed to consider the Sub-union’s request to from a separate Union on February 18, 1938 but due to administrative difficulties the issue wasn’t discussed at this meeting.
Meanwhile the preparations to form a new Union went on but the people involved didn’t know whether this new Union will be beneficial to the game and in particular advantageous to the Transvaal Rugby Football Union, therefore a back door was left open for the Unions to combine again should things do not go as planned.
Even though the future relationship between the two Unions was still being discussed the SA Rugby Board accepted the proposal on March 25, 1938 that the Pretoria Sub-union should form a new independent Union.
Professor HB Davel, who was to become the first President of the Northern Transvaal Rugby Union, was the chairman of the Union’s first General Meeting held at the Imperial Hotel in Pretorius Street on Monday, the 11th of April 1938.
LC de Villiers, DW Magennis (both life vice-presidents), PG de Wit, G Pilditch, WW Rein, M Thiel (all vice-presidents of the Pretoria Sub-Union), PFE Muhl, JG Steyn, Capt Torrance (delegates of the Sub-union), KG Hill (referees) and three delegates each of Harlequins, Pretoria, Police and Pretoria University attended the first General Meeting.
Davel was also responsible for the light blue jersey which has become the colour of Northern Transvaal/Blue Bulls, while his wife, Nell, gave Northern Transvaal its emblem, the well-known Barberton daisy.
Two days prior to the first General Meeting the Northern Transvaal Rugby Union played trials and it is interesting to note that Davel was concerned about some of the players’ form.
He is quoted in the minutes of the meeting that he believes it is too early in the year for the players to be at their best form and he was from the very beginning adamant that one of the main responsibilities of the new Union is to foster the game in the country districts.
The first match was against Transvaal in Johannesburg on 18 April 1938 and the first match at Loftus was against the Free State on 28 May 1938.
Article courtesy of bluebull.co.zaTweet