St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
St George's Park - Chapter 1 - Introduction
Racial discrimination since the occupation of the Cape by the Dutch and the British doomed the indigenous people and the Coloured community to perpetual serfdom.
The Nonquase incident destroyed the Xhosa people and accorded Sir George Grey the opportunity to introduce a new economic system geared at keeping the disadvantaged people in bondage from which there was no escape. He, however, realised that a degree of education was necessary in order to succeed and utilised the missionaries to establish schools to transform the cheap labour reservoir into useful pawns and to ensure that the newly introduced economic system would prosper.
The discovery of diamonds at Kimberley attracted people from all over the world. The Xhosa labourers who went to Kimberley introduced rugby, cricket and tennis to the indigenous peoples. There was also a Coloured community who also played these codes. The White colonists did not allow the indigenous people to belong to their clubs. The Black communities played on their own.
International tours to South Africa inspired the White codes to establish national organisations which in turn organised provincial tournaments from which their national teams were selected. During the 1891/2 cricket season, the Malays had the distinction of being the first ever Black South African side to play against an overseas touring side. WW Readís English team played an extra game over two days against the Malays at Newlands in Cape Town. The fact that they were easily beaten is unimportant.