Reunion to celebrate Melville heritage

MELVILLE 40 years ago was a peaceful village surrounded by evergreen trees and a rippling river that flowed happily past the once admired Melville Sugar Mill.

The word “once” is used because it’s not loved anymore. The tears that were shed on August 31, 1978, when the announcement of the mill closure was made, has still not yet dried up.

However, the village has spawned many people who left after finding work elsewhere, their children went on to become successful professionals, intellectuals, businessmen, entrepreneurs, musicians and soccer stars.

On Saturday, September 8, a Melville 40th anniversary reunion will take place at the Stanger Siva Sungum Hall, commencing at 10 am, to galvanise the bond of past residents with the aim of celebrating the illustrious past of this community. Admission is free.

Melville was famous in the cultural circles, music and soccer. In the early 70’s, the Melville Temple Prayer Group rendered their services at funerals and memorial services across the north coast at no charge.

The name Dennis John and the “Fentons”, a band which won many accolades across the country and performed at the former Miss South Africa Penny Coelen’s wedding, will perform live at the reunion.

The Playmates and the Malerum Entertainers also brought honour to Melville.

Melville boys were also known as the “kings” of five-a-side soccer tournaments.

They dominated from generation to generation. However, it was the last generation that was most deadly, winning tournaments across the province. In one season, they won 31 tournaments and, even though the players were not living in Melville, they still kept the Melville flag flying high.

Melville produced some of the best players in Lower Tugela Soccer Federation over the years. Two of the players went on to play in the professional ranks, one of them also coached a professional team in the PSL.

According to chairman of the Melville Reunion Committee, Mervyn Krishna, the senior residents of Melville will be honoured and every family who lived in Melville and their extended families will be presented with a memorabilia.

For enquiries contact Andrew Athymoolan at 083 787 4869, Rajen Govender at 082 374 0038, Kumarin Muniapphen at 073 171 7284 or Mervyn Krishna at 061 460 9050.