HISTORY OF IMPALA SHOOTING CLUB
BY A.J. McLean
The Durban Pistol Club (as it was then called), was started in 1948 by Dick Powell, myself and a chap from England whose name I canít remember. He was only involved for about 9 - 12 months, and then returned to England.
Dick put an advert in the paper, and a meeting was held, which elicited a surprising response, about 20 people arrived, and the Durban Pistol Club was started. Our main problem was a range, and for quite a while we used to shoot over at the Bluff, behind where the Oil Refinery is. It was a vacant plot of land, and our activities were quite illegal, but no one was interested!!!
Then, the owner of the quarry on the Westville road, just past Sherwood, offered us a site in the quarry, and a very nice range was built. We used this range for about two years, but then the quarry owner came to our A.G.M., and told us that he wanted a friend of his elected as chairman. Most of us had never seen the chap, and at the meeting he was not elected, so the quarry owner then informed us that we could no longer use the range. This was a setback, but about a month later one of our members informed us that the owner(1) of Coedmore(2) quarry had heard about this, and had offered us a site at his quarry. He was absolutely wonderful, showed us the site and asked what we required. He then spent a month leveling the site and building a backstop. I removed the shooting bay from our original site, re-erecting it at Coedmore. This range was next to where the boom is presently sited, about 100m from the road.
We used this range for many years, and the club prospered and grew in membership, and competitive shooting did very well, so much so at one occasion we held a postal shoot with a club in America. (We won!!!)
Then, we were told that the site we were on had to be used for quarrying, but not to worry, we could have another site further down. This was where the range is sited today, and again, the quarry owner was really marvelous, he had his bulldozers in to clear the site, put up a backstop, and built the access road. We really owed him one.
In 1965, I went to England, and worked there until 1990. When I returned, I found that the club was now called Impala. I donít know what prompted the change in name, but as Impala it has prospered. I had to give up shooting not long after I returned, as my eyes gave up, and I canít see the gun sights any more!! Hope that this information, for what it is worth, will give you an insight into the origins of our club.
1. The owner of the Quarry was Mr. Charles Mowat.
2. Please read Clairwood Quarry or Mowat Quarry for Coedmore.
ISC 70's team