St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Grounds St George's Park - Frielinghaus Stand and Gate
Frielinghaus Stand and Gate

There was great excitement when, on April 16, 1938, the Frielinghaus Stand was officially opened.

Owned jointly by the PECC and the Crusaders Rugby Club, it was named in honour of H 0 "Chappie" Frielinghaus - the sitting member of Parliament for Port Elizabeth South, at a cost 12,000.

Between 8,000 and 9,000 spectators could be seated in the stand, which was designed by Eaton and Merrifield and built by Murray and Stewart.
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The Frielinghaus Pavilion plaque

It was a magnificent structure for its time and had modern dressing rooms and a fine lounge and was home to the Eastern Province Cricket Union.

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HO "Chappie" Frielinghaus
"Chappie" had been a great enthusiast as a player both for the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club and Crusaders. When his playing days were over, he became an administrator of note and was appointed manager of "Mummy" Deane's touring team to England in 1929. He later became President of the Eastern Province Rugby Union.

Many people today are not old enough to know who "Chappie" Frielinghaus was and why the gates and stand were named after him.

HO Frielinghaus was born in Cradock on April 14, 1888 and came to Port Elizabeth with his parents, Heinrich and Maria, at the age of six.

He was educated at St Andrew's College in Grahamstown and went on to Rhodes University for a while before going up to Rhodesia to join the Bank of Africa, now First National Bank.

Two years with the bank were followed by a spell with a stockbroking firm and a mining house.

The Frielinghaus Gate
Then came the outbreak of World War I. Frielinghaus joined the 2nd Rhodesians, obtained his commission and fought in East Africa and France. On one of his leaves he married Queenstown born Eileen Webb in Bulawayo.

After the war he joined his father in the wool business in Port Elizabeth.

His love of cricket and rugby drew him into community service which later expanded in all directions.

He was President of the Port Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, the Wool Buyers' Federation, the EP Woolbuyers' Association, the EP Rugby Union, the EP Cricket Union, the Port Elizabeth Club, the BESI (PE), and the Crusader Football Club.

He was a member of the South African Shipping Board, the Post Office Consultative Committee, the Port Elizabeth Harbour Advisory Board, the Executive of the Chambers of Commerce of South Africa, the South African Rugby Board, the SA Cricket Board of Control, a steward of the PE Turf Club, honorary manager of the SA cricket team to England in 1929 and chief honorary defence liaison officer (PE Fortress Command) during World War II.
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The Frielinghaus Stand on the left

He started off his membership of the United Party in the 1920s. In 1935 he became a provincial councillor for Port Elizabeth South.
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The Frielinghaus Stand - Present Day

Thirteen years later the constituency sent him to Parliament. He was an MP for the next 13 years, retiring from politics in 1961.
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Derrick Nesbit with the 1884 panel.

In 2003 two specially designed translucent panels were place in the old ticket booth windows as part of the upgrading of St George's Park. They were designed free-of-charge by Derrick Nesbit, a local Port Elizabeth artist. One of the scenes depicted, with the players dressed in "whites", is of the Champion Bat Tournament that was held in St George's Park in 1884.This was the first time that Port Elizabeth had won the competition. This Tournament was the first inter-town cricket competition held in South Africa. In the background the first pavilion, which was specially built for the occasion, can be seen.

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The 2003 panel indicating that St George's Park is the home of Eastern Province cricket and the home of the visiting English side.

The second window is a dynamic design that reflects the modern game. The fielding side in red indicates that this is the home of Eastern Province, while the blue of the batting side is in honour of the fact that Port Elizabeth was chosen as the English cricket home base during the Cricket World Cup 2003. In the background is the award winning Duckpond Pavilion.

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The old scoreboard is moved to its new position on top of the Frielinghaus Pavilion just before the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

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