2_Free State / Vrystaat, 8_Nostalgia, sport

Bain of Harrismith

My granny Annie had an older brother Ginger. He was the oldest of the seven ‘Royal Bains’ and a great sportsman. They owned the Royal Hotel and were not to be confused with the ‘Central Bains’, who owned the Central Hotel!

Playing rugby for Hilton, ‘Bain of Harrismith’ became the ‘Bane of Michaelhouse’ in the first rugby game between these two toffee-nosed schools.

This old report was reprinted in the 1997 Hilton vs Michaelhouse sports day brochure: 

Hilton Ginger Bain_2

Drop goals were four points and tries were three in those distant days. I like that the one side was “smarter with their feet” . . and that that beat “pretty passing”.

A century later these rugby genes would shine again as Bain’s great-great-grandson also whipped Michaelhouse.

Lovely picture of the Michaelhouse scrum on top.


Rugby in Harrismith was full of Bains and Blands:

1921 Rugby Team Bains Blands


4 thoughts on “Bain of Harrismith”

  1. Very interesting. Found this blog while making updates to my family tree. Stewart Bain of Harrismith was named after my 2nd great grandfather, Stewart Bain who was drowned in 1853.


    1. Great! Katrina Duncan was doing the same when she found this blog. She’s on katrina.duncans@blueyonder.co.uk – I’d love to see what you have. Search on my blog under BAIN – I’ve written a few posts on the family’s Harrismith, Free State, South Africa descendants. Katrina’s in Scotland, where are you?


      1. Live in England, although I was born in Caithness. Reply directly to my email address and I can give you some more info.


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