CLUB ORIGINS

Our Club in Johannesburg was originally an offshoot of the Royal Air Force Officers' Club in Cape Town which was formed in 1947 and is still active today. 

In the early 1960s, some Cape Town members when on a business trip to the Highveld used to meet, informally, colleagues living in Johannesburg who shared an RAF background. This was usually at the Aero Club. From these informal meetings sprang the idea of forming an independent club in Johannesburg. 


A single advertisement was placed in a Johannesburg newspaper and the response was such that the Royal Air Force Officers' Club, Johannesburg, was formed on 3 October 1963 at a meeting held at the Aero Club in Loveday Street. 
 
The first committee comprised:-
Grp. Capt. R Foley (President) 
Sqn. Ldr. P Banahan (Treasurer) 
Flt. Lt. W Sabido (Secretary) 
Sqn. Ldr. A W Bennell 
Flt. Lt. F Duro 
Sqn. Ldr. J V Males 
Wg. Cdr. H.A.O. Wootton 
 
Of these founder members, Peter Banahan survived until April 2004, over 40 years after the Club was established.
 
Regular lunches were held at the Aero Club in those early years when about thirty members and their guests attended. The annual dinners were held at the Rand Club, the first being on 14 November 1963. It was a black-tie affair and the cost was R6 a head, including all drinks! The meetings moved to the Johannesburg Country Club in Auckland Park until 1974 when the Club moved to the Inanda Club. It remained there until 2007 when, because of circumstances beyond its control, it moved to the Wanderers.
 
A report of the Club's first balance sheet dated 31 August 1964 showed that the total assets amounted to R456.58, and the net surplus after its first year of operation was R232.83. Membership grew steadily and by 1975 there were 150 members. By 1985 this increased to 210. It comprised former officers of the RAF and the SAAF and attachés from the various embassies, etc. This list included 21 members of the rank of Group Captain, or equivalent. There was an Air Marshal, one Air Vice-Marshal and a Major General.
 
Over the past 22 years, natural attrition and relocations have reduced our numbers to 122. Inevitably, we have lost almost all those members who were senior officers or officers of air force rank at that time. On the other hand, since 1997, we have recruited a number of affiliate members who have not served either in the RAF or the SAAF but who make an important contribution to the Club by reason of their background or by prominent service in related spheres. Four of our present committee are affiliate members.  
 
Whilst we do not have as many members as we had in the 1970’s, thirty years on, we are a thriving, healthy body. A numerical table of our membership is contained in the NEWS section under the Chairmans report. 
 
Our members are the lifeblood of the Royal Air Force Officers' Club and we welcome new members to share the re-created atmosphere of an Officers' Mess and the camaraderie of our regular lunch functions. Usually our lunches are held on the first Friday of each month, so please refer to our Calendar of Events page for details.
 
We also publish a monthly Newsletter which is also available on this web site and post the Newsletter to those members who do not have Internet access.  
 
Records prior to 1974 are unavailable
 
Year  President  Chairman
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006 to Date....
Post non-existent
Post non-existent
Post non-existent
Post non-existent
Frank Hall
Frank Hall
Frank Hall
Frank Hall
Frank Hall
Frank Hall
Stanley Walters
Stanley Walters
Stanley Walters
Stanley Walters
Stanley Walters
Stanley Walters
Bill Bennell
Bill Bennell
Bill Bennell
Post vacant
Ian Haggie
Ian Haggie
Ian Haggie
Ian Haggie
Spencer Whiting
Spencer Whiting
Spencer Whiting
Spencer Whiting
Spencer Whiting
Spencer Whiting
Spencer Whiting
David Mackinnon-Little
David Mackinnon-Little
Hugh Wootton
Hugh Wootton
Hugh Wootton
Ron Nightingale
Ron Nightingale
Ron Nightingale
Richard Havard
Richard Havard
Richard Havard
Richard Havard
Richard Havard
Richard Havard
Harold Hawkins
Harold Hawkins
Stan Tarlton
Stan Tarlton
Stan Tarlton
David Lake
David Lake
David Lake
Ivan Spring
Ivan Spring
David Lake
David Mackinnon-Little
David Mackinnon-Little
David Mackinnon-Little
David Mackinnon-Little
David Mackinnon-Little
David Mackinnon-Little
Geoff Quick
Geoff Quick
Stan Smith
Bruce Harrison
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