Members of the SA Legion UK and Europe successfully completed their Three Point Challenge on 25 November in support of the SA Legion veterans who were victims of the recent storm and floods that hit Durban on October 10.
Particularly hard hit were the SA Legion flats at BESL Court in Umbilo, which suffered the loss of their roof and water damage to the flats and contents below.
This Marching for Others team effort, organised by SA Legion England Chairman Lgr Claudio Chiste, SA Legion England Secretary Lgr Craig Esterhuizen and SA Legion Committee Member Tony Povey, builds on a successful individual effort earlier in the year undertaken by Lgr Chiste. This ‘vasbyt’ raising £1,000 funds for fellow veterans in need.
South African military veterans started the Three Point Challenge by mustering at South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, moving on to the second point at Parliament Square, then to the third and final point, the SA Cenotaph at Richmond cemetery. The distance covered was 19.3km and the target was to achieve this in less than three hours walking time, excluding a few refreshment stops along the way.
In addition to military marching kit, there was also a weighted kettlebell passed around to promote teamwork and the GV feeling.
That kettlebell… teamwork with a smile
Along the route, there were pit stops where each time a toast was had to our fellow legionnaires and a moment to share a laugh or two. Of course, the pit stop would not be complete without the Saffa vital ingredient of biltong and dröe wors (kindly sponsored by Andrew and Lee, owners of Best Biltong, Kingston-upon-Thames).
Paying our respects at the graves of our SA fallen with the SA Richmond Cenotaph behind. A flower was placed on each grave of an SA soldier.
After a long day, a surprise awaited participants as there was a braai, with a small ceremony where certificates and badges were awarded for successfully completing the Three Point Challenge. On hand to present this award was the Guest of Honour, Clr Margaret Buter, Councillor for Richmond representing the local government. Prior to presenting the awards, Clr Buter gave an inspirational speech emphasising the significance of the occasion, commending all participants for their “sense of community” and praising them for the difference they are making to the elderly folk badly affected by the recent Durban floods.
Awards Ceremony. Guest of Honour Clr Margaret Buter about to address all successful legionnaires who completed the challenge.
SA Legion UK & Europe Regional Chair, Lgr Cameron Kinnear added: “The motto ‘Not for Ourselves but for Others’ has a deep resonance for veterans who offered themselves as trained and motivated servicemen and women. Members of the SA Legion, UK & Europe have once again shown that they pay homage to that motto by embarking on another Marching for Others event to raise awareness and much needed funds for veterans in need.”
The appreciation from South Africa was strong and forthcoming.
SA Legion Durban Chair, Lgr Rick Andries stated: “What an excellent idea – and a wonderful experience for those who took part, to raise funds… and for us (well you know what I mean). Wow, £1000, that translates into about R18 000… Truly amazing! It will be put to very good use. On behalf of the residents of BESL Court I thank you so very much, those affected by the recent storm will be truly grateful.”