The Oaks Club, a Club within the Western Province Cricket Club, was founded in 1974, with 146 members, appropriately being the address of the original WPCC, 146 Campground Road, Newlands. Our current membership stands at just 400. Since The Oaks inauguration, there have only been four Chairmen, and the Committee has never met formally.
The mission of The Oaks has always been to support the Club and various sporting sections of the WPCC (Cricket, Bowls, Hockey, Squash, Tennis, & Running) in a meaningful way, with ongoing projects of a non-capex nature.
The Oaks have over the years invited celebrity speakers from all sporting codes, as well as the media, and are very proud of the fact that we have never remunerated a speaker. More recently the trend has been to award our speakers with Honorary Membership of the WPCC and this gesture has been very well received. The speakers are encouraged to share their experiences, serious and humorous, and also include a short question time from the floor. The current trend is to have a well known commentator / journalist do a Q & A session with the speaker. This is always highly entertaining and thought provoking, and this has proved to be very popular means of driving an interview.
The Oaks meetings are held generally on a Monday night in the Bowls Clubhouse, and we strive to have 8-10 meetings a year. We had 8 meetings in 2019, and approximately 1400 attendees, with a record 238 to listen to Matt Pearce and Hanyani Shimange who shared with us their 2019 Rugby World Cup experiences, as Supersport Commentators. Our record turnout of 363, was when we were privileged to have Tony Greig addressing us shortly after the Kerry Packer series in Australia. This has been threatened once or twice.
Our year always closed with the traditional ‘Members Only Breweries Bash held at the SAB InBev, Letterstedt Pub at their home in Newlands. This tradition was unfortunately terminated in 2019, and was replaced with a cocktail party at the club. Our thanks must go to ABInBev for hosting us, for 40 plus years, at this very special function, initiated in the 70’s during the legendary days when Doug Hopwood was SA Breweries, Regional Sales Manager.
Our members pay a small annual subscription, and a nominal attendance fee at meetings, whilst guests, who are always very welcome, pay a higher charge.
Recent speakers have been Protea Cricketer J.P.Duminy, Rugby journalist Dan Retief, Springbok Rugby Coach Allister Coetzee, ICC World No1 umpire Marais Erasmus, Author and Historian Prof Dean Allen, Neil Powell Springbok 7s Coach, Michael Holding, Andy Pycroft, Jeremy Fredericks, Vince van der Bijl, and more recently in 2019, Mickey Arthur, Dr Sherylle Calder, Brad Bing, Toks Van De Linde, Tony Irish, Dale Steyn, Corne Krige, Matt Pearce with Hanyani Shimange, and early 2020 Shaun Pollock, and David Gower together with Mike Gatting before the 2020 pandemic. We did manage two meetings in 2021 with Schalk Burger (Senior) and Matt Pearce, once again, who gave us an outstanding evening with a roundup of the Springbok campaigns of 2021. Our speaker in January, to start 2022, was Mark Nicholas, arguably the world’s best cricket commentator, who shared with us some of his wonderful stories and experiences of The Beautiful Game.