‘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!

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”.


Rugby in Harrismith was full of Bains and Blands:

1921 Rugby Team Bains Blands


Ginger Bain’s father Stewart, former mayor of Harrismith, died in 1939:

Stewart Bain 1939.jpg

Sister Sheila says he was known as ‘The Grand Old Man of Harrismith’.

I thought I remembered that, despite the fact that every dorp has a Royal Hotel, the Harrismith Royal Hotel was one of only two that could officially call itself ‘Royal’. Sheila has confirmed that I have a flawless memory. Well, something along those lines:

Royal Hotel article

This post on my other blog got a reply from a distant Bain relative in Scotland.

Author: bewilderbeast

It's about life, marriage, raising kids and travel in Africa . . . re-posting thoughts written over decades - at random, I'm afraid.

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