Danny organised a night fly, and invited other clubs to join us. We had a great time, and the lads enjoyed a braai afterwards.
Some some solar runway lights were put up to make the landings a bit easier, and they worked great! Some of the guys even camped out for the night, in caravans and tents. By early afternoon everything was set for a great evening. Late afternoon the guys from HRF joined us in a bit of flying.
After the flying, everyone gathered around the fireside, and the stories grew taller late into the night!
Thank you Danny for organising the event, this will definitely become a more popular thing to do in the future! See you all at the next NIGHT-FLY.
By John Calefato
I first met Willie at an air show in Saldanha. T.M.F.C. members consisting of Doc Malan (Chairman), Nico Smit, Gert Verf and John Calefato were invited to a week-end of aerial sports to celebrate the opening of the new Saldanha civil field. Lots of flying took place over the 2 days with excellent spectator support from the West Coast inhabitants. One of the interested spectators was Willie Krynauw and his group of friends from Vredendal. It was not long before Willie and his group bought their planes. R/C flying started to grow in Vredendal. They progressed rapidly and soon formed their own club under the energetic and watchful eye of Willie. They all soon became proficient pilots and every year we (T.M.F.C.) were invited to participate with our models at the annual agriculture show. Year after year we would fly together at this event. These were memorable occasions of flying, bragging, eating and drinking some of the best West Coast wines. Our hosts, under the leadership of Willie, were fantastic. Many a tall story was told and every year the stories got taller and taller.
The years were to pass before Willie re-located to Brackenfell to take up the post of Chief at the Western Cape Traffic Dept. He immediately joined T.M.F.C and soon became an integral part of our flying community, bringing lots of enthusiasm and energy. It was not long before he became Club Chairman. The Club grew rapidly under his chairmanship. Willie lead by example and loved leading from the front. He was often seen (stoksiel-alleen) mowing the grass, painting, repairing and generally keeping our runway, pit area and club house spick and span. He was instrumental in enlarging our runways and the building of our shaded pit area. He started and edited The Flying Tyger magazine which was always eagerly awaited.
During his leadership the Club grew to one of the biggest in South Africa. His association with S.A.M.A.A. and particularly with Bob Skinner, was highly successful. He also became instrumental in rounding up all the chairmen of registered R/C flying clubs in the region (gliding included) and formed the Western Province Model Flying Association with all the chairmen forming his committee. This was a huge coupe as they affiliated the Association to the Dept. of Sports and Recreation, so doing Western Province colours could be awarded. Soon inter-provincials were taking place at a central venue in Bloemfontein. The inter-provincials became a top event in South Africa with pilots feverishly competing for places in their respective provinces. The competing provinces, being Northern Transvaal (2 teams), Southern Transvaal (3 teams), Free State (1 team), Border (1 team), Western Province (3 teams), Eastern Province (1 team). All these provinces and teams met annually in Bloemfontein to see who would be the country’s provincial and individual champions, very reminiscent of the old Currie Cup format (rugby, cricket, etc.). Willie was a very happy and proud person to see all these developments put into place. He too obtained his Western Province colours for aerobatics, a feat he is very proud of.
During his time as Chairman, Willie was very pleased and proud that T.M.F.C. regularly produced the bulk of the Western Province team (6 to 7 pilots out of 9) resulting in the Western Province A team winning the South African Inter-provincial Tournament twice and also the individual title, twice. During these years T.M.F.C. pilots were dominating major events nation-wide and locally. Pilots such as the late Greg Casson, Johan Cronje and Johnny Calefato, regularly came home with silverware. They were very well supported on the podiums by further T.M.F.C. pilots like Ian Goodall, Andre Baird, Ernie Smith, Roger Ingerfield, Brian Devine and Willie Krynauw. In the junior categories T.M.F.C. pilots often filled 2 out of the top 3 places. All these successes were by-and-large due to Willie’s introduction of good instructing, motivation, sportsmanship and rule of conduct. Discipline amongst the pilots was paramount in Willie’s eyes. Often, if a pilot exceeded two warnings, Willie would immediately bring him in front of the disciplinary committee. The problem would immediately be sorted out and everybody was happy afterwards.
Every year we would have a ‘Flying Circus’. Lots of hard work and preparations had to be done. Willie would lead from the front. He would invite prominent pilots from other local clubs plus top pilots from Johannesburg. The local Mayor and his wife would be there. Eddie Goldberg of Radio Good Hope and Radio 5 would be there commentating on proceedings. Invited full size pilots would join-up and fly with us. One year our V.I.P. guest was Kallie Knoetze, our boxing champion. That year the traffic department had to help out with the traffic congestion at the gate to the field. Mr. Brink, owner of the farm we flew on, was called in so as to open up a back road for cars to exit out of the flying field. Spekenham was running a Braai en Beer Garden that ran out of booze and some foods by midday. Lots of money was generated from these ‘Flying Circuses’ , which helped us to develop our growing Club further. There was a stage when we were regarded as the most active and winningest club in South Africa. On two occasions the Club was honoured when one of our senior members would be invited to South West Africa to assist in organising, supervising and C.D.-ing the South West African National Championships. All expenses were paid for.
During Willie’s many successful years as Chairman, the Club produced numerous national and provincial champions, including three Springboks namely Greg Casson, Ian Goodall and John Calefato, and for the record, the entire Cape Province had produced only 6 Springboks.
To sum up my good friend, colleague, flying buddy, caller and fellow life member, was a highly successful Chairman, leader, motivator, worker and disciplinarian.
Willie is now happily retired in Bonnievale and regularly comes in to attend meetings; always having the Club at heart.
Willie! you made us all proud.