ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OLD DALIAN UNION
The need to establish an Old Boys’ Club came from the first known and appointed Headmaster of the Non-denominational public School for Boys and the forerunner to Dale College. – John Samuels (1867 to 1875)
John Samuel returned for a visit to King William’s Town in 1880 on his way to England. He was hosted as guest of honour at a reunion dinner given in his honour by his former pupils. At the dinner, conceivably the first ever recorded Old Boys Reunion Dinner, the suggestion came from Mr Samuel to form an “Old Boys Club”. Those present at the Central Hotel that evening included Mr. Samuel’s successor, the Headmaster Robert Hart Fuller, James Wilson Weir who was chairman of the College Committee. Captain Cecil D’Arcy of the Cape Frontier Light Horse Regiment and who had won the Victoria Cross in the Ulundi Campaign a year earlier sent his apologies.
It was not till 24 July 1893 that the Union of Old Boys was formed. The Headmaster Rev Joseph George Sutton called a meeting in the College Hall (later to become the dining Hall of Sutton House). He was on his way back to the “Old Country” as England was called for a well-earned rest. J G Sutton wanted the Union to be modelled on that of the South African College School (SACS) who had a specific number of members by this date.
Under the genial influence of the fragrant weed (tobacco) combined with judicious refreshments and the enthusiastic oratory of the various speakers, the scheme took shape, culminating in the formation there and then of a Union. Over 50 names were immediately enrolled.