Federated Board of Homing Unions
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Article by CJ Richter
Article Published: 18 Feb 2008

In writing this article on the single biggest pigeon racing organization in South Africa, namely the Federated Board of Homing Unions (FBHU) in the Western Cape.

I will strive to give an historical insight into this vibrant and fiercely contested racing organization which was established in 1953. Through the years many individuals played an enormous role in sculpturing the Federated Board of Homing Unions into what it is today. An organization consisting of no less than 12 affiliate unions with a membership total of 800 fanciers, plying there trade fiercely over a racing programme of 23 races from June to October.

12 Unions

Marmesbury and District Homing Union (MDHU)
During 1949 a group of fanciers formed a “8 bird club” where every fancier could only race 8 birds. Later on a few fanciers from neighboring town of Abbotsdale joined and thus Marmesbury and District Homing Union was formed.

Cape Peninsula Homing Union (CPHU)
From the earliest years of pigeon racing in the Cape fanciers competed against each other in the shadows of Table Mountain. Basketting and ringouts were held at the old Cape Town Market. With the advent of the Group Areas Act and the start of forced removals in the 60’s culminating in the birth of a new body – The Northern Suburban Homing Union.

Northern Suburban Homing Union (NSHU)
Established in 1932 for many years the largest Union in the FBHU.

Groot Drakenstein Homing Union “ Pniel” (GDHU)
The first racing pigeon club established in 1926. During 1949 a second club was formed and thus the GDHU was established.

Hawston Homing Union
Established in 1961

Paarl and District Homing Union (PDHU)
Since the 1930’s consisting of two clubs in its formative years. Currently the excepted Head Quarters of the FBHU.

Stellenbosch Homing Union
Consisted of two clubs – Stellenbosch Flying Club and Stellenbosch Homing Club. Joined the FBHU in 1953.

The Strand and District Homing Union (SDHU)
Started in 1952 with three clubs, namely Strand Homing Club, Somerset West Homing Club and Sir Lowry’s Pass Pigeon Club.

Wynberg and District Homing Union
Established in 1992.

Blackheath District Homing Union
Established in 2002.

Cape Flats Homing Union (CFHU)

Mitchellsplain Homing Union
Established in 1981

In conclusion I would like to quote the Chairman of the FBHU Mr. Ysuf Moerat “I have been privileged to serve the Federated Board of Homing Unions for 18 years and have seen it grow from two hundred to eight hundred members. This phenomenal growth is a direct result of the indefatigable sacrifices of our pioneers who had the vision for the future for our beloved sport.

Whilst pigeon racing is considered to be on the wane in other regions, the Board has shown a consistent growth over the past decade. The Federated Board played a fundamental role in the formation of the first united pigeon racing body in the country SANPO, in the year 200. The success of our organization could be attributed to a number of factors. We believe in keeping the cost of pigeon racing as affordable as possible, as most of our members are drawn from the economically underprivileged sector of the community. Another fact is the excitement generated by our Board races where fanciers throughout the Western Cape get an opportunity to compete, mingle and generally fraternizes with one another with good-natured banter.

My vision for the sport in the Western Cape is to see that all fanciers belong to a single organization and not the many splinter factions we have currently. With a single united body we could keep the escalating cost of the sport down to an affordable level for all fanciers.” References Federated Board of Homing Unions Year Book.

Article by CJ Richter

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