The confectioner who became president

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AMATEUR athletics had presidents of various persuasions down the years when athletics had been organised at venues such as Green Point Track, Athlone Stadium and the Vygieskraal Stadium.

Mostly, they ruled with a firm hand, leaving very little scope for delegates seated on the opposite side of the executive.

Ultimately, the union came first.

Syd B Lotter
The president of the WPA&Cycling Association Syd B Lotter hands over the Sportsman of the Year trophy to star sprinter Terrence Smith of South Peninsula Amateur Athletics Club in 1973.

Chairpersons such as Syd B Lotter and Leslie Lykert were leaders of the Western Province Athletic and Cycling Association (WPA&CA).

Later, Robin April took over as chairperson of the Western Province Amateur Athletics Union (WPAAU).

In subsequent years, cycling and athletics had become independent organisations.

“I was the sports secretary of the Western Province Amateur Athletics Union from 1971 to 1977 at which time I succeeded Leslie Lykert as chairperson,” says April.

April served the union up until 1989.

Alex Marshall led the WPAAU in the dying stages of Sacos’ existence.

This photograph of Sydney Basil Lotter and his Western Province Athletic and Cycling Association executive was taken in 1973.

Lotter sits in a chair fit for his position, if not for the king. The rest are seated in standard chairs and the officials are standing in the back row.

The officials in the back row are, from left, HD Abrahams (Secretary), RT April (Sports Secretary), J Voss (Trustee), C Anders (Race Walk Secretary).

The seated office bearers are, from left, G Jacobs (Convenor SAAAB Championships), SB Lotter (Chairman), SA van Sensie (Vice Chairman), C Blauws (Treasurer).

Seated in the middle, is the chairman, Lotter, who was born in District Six and later lived in Lansdowne.

Syd B Lotter
The officials are back row, left, H.D. Abrahams (Secretary), R.T. April (Sports Secretary), J Voss (Trustee), C Anders (Race Walk Secretary). Seated, from left, G Jacobs (Convenor SAAAB Championships), S.B Lotter (Chairman), S.A. van Sensie (Vice Chairman), C Blauws (Treasurer).

He later lived in Lansdowne.

Lotter was a confectioner by trade and served as secretary of the Bakery Workers’ Union.

He was also the first president of the South African Table Tennis Board, an administrator in Western Province Cricket, and the president of the Alliance Soccer Union in Rosmead.

Lotter not only served as president of the WPA&CA, he also served as president of the South African Amateur Athletics Board.

Lotter died on the day of his golden wedding anniversary, in February 1982. His daughter, Valerie, flew in from Vancouver, Canada, for the anniversary, instead, she came to bury her father.

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