A notable fancier emerged to take over the reins and reshape the roller sport in South Africa dramatically. Petroon Van Staden, also known today as the “Grandfather” of the local roller pigeon, advocated 1 extra point for grouping and the removal of the maximum of 5 points awarded for a roll of 60 feet or over.
But to do this another method of judging had to be found. Petroon Van Staden formed his Professional Roller Club, PRO, in 1979 and at the same time introduced a revolutionary new method of judging. Instead of using the traditional method of measuring the bird’s depth of roll in feet, Petroon made use of a stop watch to measure the depth of roll, allocating 1 point for every second of roll by the bird. Many of the remaining EDRS members either joined his club or formed clubs with the same principles. These clubs differed from the clubs established a few years earlier because they allocated unlimited points for depth of roll.
Many of these birds would fly in the clouds and start rolling and only stop just before reaching the ground. Such spectacles were not often seen as it took an experienced breeder and many roll-downs to produce safe rollers of this depth. Rollers of this nature normally roll only once in 20 minutes, and have a slower roll action than that of the kit performer but still possess the ability to return to the kit after rolling.
The logo on the left was the 1st SARPF logo and was designed sometime in the 1980s; the logo on the right is the new SARPF logo and was introduced in 2001
In the years that followed, many other clubs joined the SARPF while some also left or were disbanded. The SARPF stopped functioning many times over the years due to unresolved disputes. However, in June of 1998, three clubs, one in the North West Province, Fochville Roller Club (FOCH-RC) and two clubs in the Gauteng Province viz. ‘Elsburg Roller Vereeninging’ (ERV) and ‘Wesrand Roller Duif Vereeniging’ (WRDV) came together and decided to revive the South African Roller Pigeon Federation. Barry Rohland was elected as chairman and 74 active flying members took part in competitions based on the original rules and constitution of the SARPF. In 2000 Carel Laufs was elected as the new Chairman of the SARPF, and like Petroon van Staden, he saw the need for the local roller sport to grow in South Africa but, to do that, disputes left unresolved had to be addressed and resolved. He suggested that each affiliated club nominate a club representative and then joined by his Club Chairman would be invited to meetings with the Executive Committee of the SARPF to resolve disputes. This method turned out to be very effective and successful.
In the months that followed, many such meetings took place and eventually by the end of 2000 a set of rules that everybody accepted was agreed upon, a new Constitution in both Afrikaans and English was drafted and accepted by all. A new Logo and score sheet was also designed for the SARPF.
In 2002 a Newsletter called THE ROLLER PIGEON was first introduced to the members and was chosen as the official mouthpiece of the SARPF. Minutes of meetings, competition results and articles sent in by members to the Editor were published in THE ROLLER PIGEON each month.
Newsletter and Constitution
Examples of the Newsletter THE ROLLER PIGEON left and the South African Roller Pigeon Federation CONSTITUTION on the right.
SA Distance Roller Pigeon
The pigeon WRDV 597/1997 that was selected to represent the Standard of the SA Distance Roller Pigeon.
Carel Laufs continued as the Chairman of the SARDF until the end of 2010 when he took a decision to step down with the hope that someone new with fresh ideas would take over and carry on with what he had been doing for the last 11 years and ultimately take the SARPF to the next level. This decision turned out to be a mistake which resulted in the disbanding of the SARPF in early 2011.
As in the past, clubs continued and changed the original set of rules to suit their club. This continued up until the end of 2016 when two fanciers, Johan Drotskie and Wouter Gerber, decided it was time to revive the SARPF. After some investigation they were pointed in the direction of the former Chairman Carel Laufs.
After they had made contact with him and explained their plan, some discussions took place as to where they wanted to go with the Federation. It seemed like history was repeating itself and as in the past, their biggest challenge was to get all the clubs still flying distance rollers together. Most importantly, to get them all to accept one set of rules based on the previous Federation rules. This proved to be the biggest challenge as clubs had been flying their own sets of rules for the past 6 years. Their reluctance to change was understandable. However, in order to revive the federation, it was crucial that everybody agreed on the same principals and rules.
Naomi Murray, the first lady to ever serve on the Federation Executive Committee.
The new SADRF logos designed in 2017.
SADRF Dress Code
On the left is Johan Drotskie wearing the dress code for the Executive Committee. And on the right is Dirk Badenhorst wearing the dress code for the Sub-Committee.
The old SARDF rings (purple) were used up until 2010 and the new SADRF rings (yellow) supplied by SANPO and introduced in 2017.
This partnership with the Association grew to the point where a decision by the federation`s Annual General Meeting in February 2018 was made to affiliate with the association, therefore allowing the federation to get to the next level that it always sought to be. This was the first step to get the federation and the SA Distance Roller Pigeon recognized nationally as well as internationally. So, on 10 March 2018, during the Annual General Meeting of the South African National Pigeon Association held in Bloemfontein in the Free State Province, the application from the federation to become an affiliate of the association was accepted. Another first in the history of the SA Distance Roller Pigeon and the federation in becoming the first roller pigeon institution to form part of SANPO.
In 2018 more clubs joined the federation and the membership more than doubled from the previous year giving an indication that the federation is on the right track to once again represent the SA Distance Roller Pigeon in South Africa.
SADRF with SANPO
On 10 March 2018 the SADRF was officially accepted as an affiliate of SANPO. On the left is Carel Laufs (SADRF Chairman) in the centre, Fadiel Hendricks (SANPO President) and on the right Naomi Murray (SADRF Secretary).