Combat Training Centre, Lohatla, Northern Cape.
The SA Army Artillery Formation is currently refurbishing the Artillery Club House at the Combat Training Centre in Lohatlha. This extensive refurbishment includes replacing the expensive to maintain thatched roof with tiles. The ablution facilities are being modernised and the building fully rewired.
The Artillery Club House is more commonly known as the “Grasdak” in the Artillery Mobilisation Area at Combat Training Centre, Lohatlha
In 1978 shortly after the Army Battle School (now Combat Training Centre) opened near Lohatlha, the idea of building permanent messing and canteen facilities for Gunners units was born.
A design was drawn by Sgt MacPherson of the then Transvaal Horse Artillery (now Sandfontein Artillery Regiment) and was approved by the original committee.
Due to the enormity of the project, the Gunners’ Association soon became involved and shortly thereafter a committee consisting of serving Gunners and members of the Board of Trustees of the Gunners’ Association was established under the chairmanship of Gunner Andersen to build the “Artillery Club House”.
Initial quotes from private enterprise indicated that the cost of construction would be in the region of R250 000. Suffice to say by the use of Gunneringenuity and by exploiting the contacts available to the Association and the Citizen Force (now Reserve Force) units, the building was completed in 1984 at a cost of R90 000. The construction team was led by
Lt Rodney Ward of 7 Medium Regiment.
The Club House, which is used by Officers, NCOs and gunners, was opened by the then Chief of the SADF, General Constand Viljoen SSA SOE SM (himself a Gunner) on 11 September 1984.
Gunners look forward to again being able to use the Club House later in 2023.