UMR plans to restore military vehicles

This is a Ferrett military vehicle also used during the regiment's history.

UMVOTI Mounted Rifles celebrates its 150th anniversary next year.

To mark this auspicious occasion, the Umvoti Mounted Rifles has been given free entry, the freedom of the city, into Pietermaritzburg and eThekwini (Durban) for its national parade next year. The regiment was formed in 1864.

According to Lt Col William Patrick Titlestad, officer commanding Umvoti Mounted Rifles, the national parade means the regiment will be marching through the two cities, with regiment flags flying high, bands playing and bayonets fixed.

“The parade will consist of a marching column, horse mounted column and a vehicle mounted column, showing that we started as foot soldiers, then rode horses and now we have fighting vehicles,” said Lt Col Titlestad.

In preparation of the 150 year celebrations, the regiment is hosting an open day on Saturday 26 October at its headquarters at the intersection of Pine Street and 7th Avenue in Pinetown from 9am. This event includes a static military display of the regiments military vehicles, and the presentation of the Rooikat armoured vehicle.

There will be food stalls, beer garden, paintball, craft markets, jumping castles for the kiddies, gumboot dancing and two Zulu dancers (pending confirmation).

The popular Umvoti Mounted Rifles history book as well as memorabilia will also be on sale.

Umvoti Mounted Rifles are the Nottingham Road games champions in tug-o-war and they are challenging the community to test their strength at the open day.

Kent Motor GWM/Mahindra, one of the sponsors, will exhibit its vehicles, Premier Foods will provide entertainment via its sound truck, Kloof and Highway SPCA will be chatting to the public, SAPS Hillcrest and Shongweni K9 Dog Unit are hosting a dog show/drill, and the Ashley Residents’ Neighbourhood Watch are running the paintball games.

The regiment is trying desperately to restore their former fighting vehicles to glory and hope to have all seven vehicles, a Buffel, a Marmin Herrington, two Ferretts, two Eland 60mm and a Eland 90mm, operational for the parade next year.

Anyone with mechanical experience, who would like to assist the regiment to restore these former fighting machines, can contact the office on 031 700 1860. The Umvoti Mounted Rifles meet on the third Monday every month at 6pm.

  AUTHOR
Deshni Ramkissoon-Pillay
Journalist

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