Help restore the Salem Hall

14593219_10154638783218478_281764973_nBUILT in 1878, the Salem Hall is now in need of serious renovation and the community, through the Salem Cricket Club, is holding a fundraising dinner to raise money to bring this dream into reality.

“The event was the idea of my husband Cuan,” said Charmaine King, who still farms on the original King farm, allocated to the King Family in 1829.

The fundraiser is a one-off event including a three course meal and some interesting guest speakers.14593343_10154638781473478_1903597635_n

The main guest speaker will be Adi Birrell, assistant Protea cricket coach, with former SA cricket player Hugh Page as the MC. Well-known and loved local comedians Boet and Swaer will present a show on the history of Salem.

There will also be an auction including a few signed articles from the Protea’s cricket side, a wildebeest hunt and a deep sea outing for four people.

The Salem Club is the beneficiary for the restoration fund for the hall. Prior to this a wattle and daub building was used as the hall on the same site.

Charmaine King is the organiser of this event, along with assistance from her husband and children, Leard and Zinta, Spencer Hill, the Salem Commitee, Cathy Braans and many of the ladies from the community.

Salem itself was founded in 1820 by a group of British Settlers led by a Hezikiah Sephton. The original hall we are restoring was built in 1878. There have been additions onto the original hall over the years.

Salem cricket has a first and second team, along with tennis and squash facilities.

“The cricket club has produced some fine provincial cricketers,” said King. “The most remarkable fact is that seven SA Schools players have been produced in Salem, and they all attended the local Salem School.

“These include Neale and Lorrie Wilmot, Cuan King, Peter and Phillip Amm, Grant Long and Peter Emslie.”

The Bi Annual Salem Family cricket six-a-side, held in September every alternate year, is a huge celebration and very competitive tournament where old and young come to compete.

Howard Emslie and Peter Long coached cricket to the boys at the Salem School on a Tuesday afternoon. A remarkable feat was when three local boys in 1978 were cricket captains in Grahamstown: John Berriman of Graeme College, Grant Long of Kingswood, and Mark Ford of St Andrews.

“Of course, there are many stalwarts such as Rex Amm and Peter Wilmot, and who would ever forget Ian Long who used to be the life and soul and stalwart of Salem Cricket,” said King.

“As they used to say in Salem; there are only two seasons and they are hunting and cricket season.”

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