James Douglas Logan (courtesy: The Heritage Portal)
James Douglas Logan (courtesy: The Heritage Portal)

“We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours.” — Dag Hammarskjold.

Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland describes Reston as being a village in the Coldingham parish, Berwickshire, near the right bank of the Eye Water. It is situated in the southeast of Scotland, in the Scottish Borders Region, on the main East coast road from Edinburgh into England.

In the 1600s, the area used to consist of two farms, known as East and West Reston. By the 1750s, the farms had been amalgamated into a single settlement. The area developed rapidly after the North British Railway reached this corner of Scotland in the early 1840s. Reston Station, officially opened on June 22, 1846, became a hub for the livestock trade of the surrounding areas.

Our story begins on November 26, 1857 with the birth of a son in the family of James Logan, a man employed as a ticket clerk at the station, and his wife Elizabeth. The lad was christened James Douglas, and was sent to Reston House School. Coming from an economically challenged background, like most other families of the region, James was encouraged to seek employment in North British Railway and to join his father at the Reston station by the time he was 14. The fascinating story of this enterprising youth is told in considerable detail by Dean Allen in Empire, War & Cricket.

By dint of hard work and application, James Jr soon caught the eyes of the powers that be in North British Railway. It was not long before he was being considered for a promotion. Logan, however, had his eyes on a wider horizon, with stories of the rapid expansion of the British Empire and the opportunities that the Colonies had to offer to young men of mettle filtering back to the Motherland.

Logan felt “cabined, cribbed, and confined” by the strict norms of the prevalent Victorian society of the times. He had heard stories that in the Colonies, there was no aristocracy and no social class. There was money for the making for the steadfast of heart, and it was money that led to class and social prestige. It was as if a guiding spirit was enjoining him to break the shackles and to confront the challenges of the far-flung outposts of the Empire.

Having heard of the rapidly expanding settlements in the Antipodes, the 19-year old Logan travelled to London, the centre and gateway of the British Empire to ponder over his next move. He thought it prudent to work his way to Australia by signing up as an apprentice on the 437-ton sailing ship Rockhampton, sailing on February 12, 1877 from the Port of London with a general cargo and a number of emigrants on board, and bound for Queensland. The Almighty, however, had other plans for the young man.

The voyage was marred by severe storms near the Cape of Good Hope as the vessel was rounding the southern tip of Africa. The ship took a battering from powerful winds and high seas, the condition known locally, as “revolving storms,” with the direction of the winds changing around frequently, often in an extremely erratic manner. Not being in a fit condition to continue the voyage, the Rockhampton had to seek refuge at the British Naval Base at Simonstown (or Simon’s Town, named after Governor Simon van der Stel in 1687) for running repairs.

A restless soul, the enforced delay was frustrating for Logan. There was also the uncertainty about when he could again be on the way. He spoke to the captain of his ship on May 23 and negotiated an official discharge from his duties. Free again, and doubtlessly guided by his Guardian Angel, Logan made his way to the nearby port city and bustling business hub of Cape Town, as legend has it, with only £5 in his pocket.

Ever since the founding of Cape Town by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, the economy and the prosperity of the region had been founded on shipping and agriculture. As there had been no alternative route for ships plying between Europe and Asia and betweenthe Atlantic and the Pacific oceans prior to the construction of the Suez Canal in 1869, the lucrative spice trade had made it mandatory for all merchant shipping to transit through the Cape Colony. Cape Town had hence been an important centre of commerce with ships needing to be stocked and supplied with fresh provisions, food and wine, and these products being available locally. Much of the prosperity of the Colony had ben dependant on slave labour.

With the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833, the main staples of export of the Cape Colony became agricultural produce, wine, and brandy. In 1845, wool became another important export item. Share investment from copper mining added to the economic prosperity of the region in the 1850s, and by the 1860s, there were 23 banks operating in 15 towns in the region. By 1865, there were nine towns with a population in excess of 2,000. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 put a temporary damper in the economic growth of the region as shipping through the Cape diminished to a considerable level.

During this time, the local population began to depend on the raising of angora goats and ostriches and to trade in the mohair and feathers as their principal export items.There was a monumental shift in the fortunes of the Cape Colony when Erasmus Jacobs, a farmer’s boy, found a small, brilliant stone on the banks of the Orange river in 1866 leading to the discovery of untold quantities of diamonds in South Africa. Things got even more interesting when one Esau Damoense (or Damon), a cook for a prospecting group, found diamonds in 1871 and took them to the de Beer brothers for evaluation. This sparked of the New Rush of eager prospectors and had the area booming with new-found wealth.The area was first called New Rush, the name later being changed to Kimberley.

With this sudden change in the fortunes of the region, an effective communication and transport system became imperative for the area. There was a drastic need for an improved rail and transport system from the interior to the port cities. The Cape Town to Wellington line, built by the Cape Town Rail and Dock Company, had become operational in 1859. In 1872, the Cape Government purchased the Cape Town-Wellington and the Salt River-Wynberg Railways and began to convert them gradually to dual gauge lines. All this upgradation and improvement required men of sufficient proficiency and expertise in railway work. Destiny found a man for the mission in the young Logan.

The young visionary found employment with the Cape Province Railway Service in 1877, being engaged as a porter at Cape Town’s new railway station for a nominal wage of about 5 shillings a day. With his past experience of working in the North British Railways, his promotions came quickly. Within a week he was promoted to the clerical department of the Salt River station. Within a short time, young Logan found himself holding the post of Station Master at Cape Town Railway Station.

Shortly after this he was promoted to become the Superintendent of the railway section between Hex River (75 miles north-east of Cape Town) to Prince Albert, a small town in the Western Cape and historically, a part of the Cape Colony, in the remote hinterland of Karoo (described in the Encyclopaedia Britannica as being an arid to semiarid geographic region ), a dry and desolate area. He was to be posted at the desolate Montagu Road. His appointment at the lonely Karoo carried a somewhat unusual caveat, however. He was required to be married within three months of being appointed.

Undaunted, he set about finding a wife.Within three months, he met and wooed an Emma Haylett, daughter of Christopher Haylett, proprietor of the White House Hotel at Cape Town, and his wife, who was descended from one of the most respected families of Dutch descent, the de Villiers of Villiersdorp. He spoke of the beauty and charm of this semiarid region to Emma, saying: “The Karoo is beautiful, Emma, I could live there quite happily forever.” The words were to prove prophetic. Just over a year after he had met his sweetheart, Logan married Emma. He was only 21 at the time, and she was a shy 19. They moved to the Karoo on August 5, 1879. Both their children were born there, James Jr in 1880 and Gertrude in 1882.

The village of Matjiesfontein (“fountain of little reeds”) in Karoo derives its name from a variety of reed or rush known locally as “matjiesgoed,” from which mats used to be made. Logan’s first sight of the area, an inconspicuous railway siding 34 miles north of River Touws, appealed to him. There was little more than a single iron shed and makeshift platform of loose Karoo stones. Because of the remoteness of the place, land was cheap in 1883, and Logan purchased 2,888 hectares for £400. He gradually built up his personal finances through questionable diamond deals and shady insider trading. By the time he was 26, he felt the time had come for him to strike out on his own. In 1883, Logan resigned his position in the Railways.

Logan was awarded a contract to open a refreshment room for the railway travellers in March 1884. In later years it was Logan’s boast that he served two different varieties of breakfast in his refreshment room: “One is for ‘high society’ and costs 3/6d a serving, the second is for ‘other customers’ at only half-a-crown a head.” With time he cornered all the railway catering contracts between Cape Town and Bulawayo, some of them by devious means. It was not long before his catering and refreshments concessions spread over 2,250 miles of rail track.

By 1885 Logan was sufficiently solvent financially to be able to add three more properties to the south of Matjiesfontein, namely, Visagie’s Kraal, BestenWeg, and Pieter Meintjiesfontein, to his burgeoning ‘empire’. There was some initial difficulty regarding the availability of water in the arid area. Logan countered the shortage in 1886 by boring through several layers of solid rock, and reaching a permanent water course 600 feet below the surface. In 1887, Logan added another neighbouring property, “Boelhoven”, bordering on his homestead, to his growing holdings.

The booming economy of the region boosted his personal worth. Very early in his stay at Karoo, Logan’s Scottish instincts made him realisethat the very scarcity of water in the dry region might prove to be a financial boon for him. Being experienced in the working of the railways, he knew that every locomotive would require about 250,000 litres of water to cross the Karoo. He invested £1,000 in finding a suitable water source capable of delivering about 50,000 litres of water an hour and a means of piping it to Matjiesfontein. That provided more water than required for the railways. With the excess water, he opened a ‘Water World’ in the arid region.

Water World was inaugurated in November 1889 and a grand party was held. Hundreds of guests graced the magnificent occasion. Among the various activities that Logan arranged for the pleasure of his guests were cricket, clay pigeon shooting, billiards, croquet, and live music by the Worcester band. The project was inaugurated by Lady Sprigg, wife of the then Cape Prime Minister, Sir Gordon Sprigg. The local media reported that “the luncheon served in a decorated railway shed would have done justice to a first-rate London hotel.”

Despite his youth and vitality, Logan was afflicted by a hacking cough, and the hot, dry weather at Karoo proved beneficial to him. The little, unknown village of Matjiesfontein was soon converted, as if by a conjurer’s wand, to a model habitation and health resort. He laid out a farm and called it Tweedside in remembrance of his homeland, planted fruit trees, and built a Hotel in 1899 (which he named after the Governor of the Cape, Lord Milner) in the unlikely spot. A brochure of the Laingsburg Tourism Bureau states: “Not only did James Logan import the materials to build his little hotel and cottages, he also imported the builders. They were skilled Scottish and Irish stone masons. Most stayed on when their contracts expired and went on to build in other Karoo villages or to contracts on the Reef. Under Logan’s guiding hand Matjiesfontein leaped to fame.”

Under Logan’s dynamic drive, Matjiesfontein soon boasted a substantial wind-powered mill to crush wheat and generate electricity for his homestead, making Tweedside the very first private dwelling in South Africa to have electric lighting. His home had waterborne sewage, the first flushing toilets, and the first artesian well in the land. He laid a 20-km-long telephone line from Tweedside to his house in the village, the 13-room dwelling Logan named Tweedside Lodge, another first in South Africa. He established his private railway station at Tweedside and the produce from his cherry, pear, and peach orchards reached as far afield as Cape Town and the Kimberley diamond diggings.The village became the first in South Africa to have electric street lighting. No wonder, then, that he soon came to be known as the “Laird of Matjiesfontein”.

It seemed as if Logan had conjured up a little segment of his native Scotland and transplanted it to the middle of a desert with a magician’s dexterity. People vied with each other to visit this arid place where Lord Randolph Churchill “picked bluebells in the hills,” and Olive Schreiner (the first great South African author who wrote under the pseudonym Ralph Iron), who lived in the village from 1890 to 1892, served dinner to Cecil John Rhodes in a tiny cottage which still stands. Edgar Wallace wrote a poignant piece on the death of Queen Victoria while staying there, and General Haig gave parties in a small mess which had once been a laundry. Other notable visitors to Logan’s enchanted kingdom included the Duke of Hamilton, His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar, Lord Carrington, the Admirals Nicholson and Rawson, and the renowned astronomer Sir David Gill.

By the middle 1890s, in his mid-30s, the man who had taken his first footstep on South African soil with only £5 in his pocket, had come a long way and was now a wealthy man. Growing in stature as a man of means and as a prominent citizen, Logan was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1888. In January 1894, Logan became a Member of the Legislative Assembly for the constituency of Worcester. As his social importance grew by leaps and bounds, his fame spread beyond the Karoo.

Historically, the first international exposure that the local South African cricketers had was when the Castle Line packet Roslin Castle arrived at Cape Town on December 14, 1888 carrying the first English cricket team, known as RG Wharton’s team. The motley English group comprised 7 amateurs and 7 professionals, and records indicate that 6 of the touring party had not played any English First-Class cricket in the 1888 domestic season. Out of the 20 matches played on the tour, only two were in the 11-a-side format, subsequently recognised as the very first First-Class cricket matches played in South African. Indeed, the two games have been designated as the first 2 Tests played in the African continent.

Logan’s interest in cricket drove him to lay out of a full-sized cricket square at Matjiesfontein in 1889 at a personal expenditure of £800 (the first cricket match being played on the wicket at the inauguration of the Water World). By the 1890s, Logan was host to several English and South African cricketers. It became a fashion for touring cricket sides to enjoy a peaceful interlude as Logan’s guests.

Logan realised quickly that association with cricket would not only be a means of keeping himself in the news but also in promoting his business interests. He felt that fostering cricket in South Africa would bring him closer to the well-known political circles of the time. Shrewd businessman that he was, Logan hit upon the idea of sponsoring cricket tours. His first sponsorship project was the English tour to South Africa under Walter Read in 1891-92.

It is a well-known fact that the 1891-92 was known to have had two separate England teams engaging themselves in touring two different regions. While WG Grace led his team out against South Australia at Adelaide on November 20, 1891, Read’s team began their tour of South Africa with a game against western Province at Cape Town on December 19.

The team under Grace was known on the Australian tour as Lord Sheffield’s team, the entire tour being personally sponsored by Henry Holroyd, otherwise known as the 3rd Earl of Sheffield. Although the Earl had suffered a financial loss to the tune of £2,000 on the tour, he was magnanimous enough to donate £150 to the New South Wales Cricket Association for the development of cricket in Australia. The bountiful gift was utilised to arrange a formal inter-state National Championship with a handsome trophy to go with it. The tournament and the trophy were named the Sheffield Shield.

The situation with the South African tour was entirely different. The 15-member England squad included 4 amateurs and 11 professionals. Two of them, JJ Ferris and Billy Murdoch had played Test cricket for Australia and had been selected purely on the grounds that they had been playing county cricket. It was felt that the team chosen had been far too strong for the local South African teams to put up any meaningful opposition. Indeed, of the 21 matches played on the tour, the Englishmen won 14 and drew 7. As to financial resources, the England team had arrived without any firm assurance as to player payments, travel, and accommodation costs.

Logan thought it prudent to step into this financial conundrum, deeming it to be an appropriate and lucrative business opportunity. He met the skipper, Surrey man Read, and Edwin ‘Daddy’ Ash, the tour secretary, to discuss the issue in December at Royal Hotel, Cape Town. Having considered all the angles of the situation, Logan agreed to loan the English cricket team £1,000 towards the cost of the tour “in the interests of cricket”. Ash offered to repay Logan 30% of the tour profit, but Logan said he only wanted his money back “with reasonable interest.”

Alas, the tour proved to be far from profitable for the Englishmen and Logan took Read and Ash to court for the non-repayment of his loan before their return to England. The English pair was arrested shortly before their scheduled departure and were released only upon their providing security pending legal action. In parentheses, it may be mentioned that only one 11-a-side match was played on the tour, at Newlands, Cape Town, from on March 19. England won by an innings and 189 runs. This match was later designated as the third overall Test ever played in South Africa.

George Lohmann, the England and Surrey stalwart, was to have been a part of the 1888-89 England team to South Africa but was advised rest for the winter by his doctors. It was much later that it was discovered that he had been going through the initial stages of tuberculosis. In those days, wintering in South Africa was not a new concept for English cricketers, and in 1893, the Surrey committee decided that a valuable player like Lohmann should receive proper support from his county. They sent him and Maurice Read on their way to the Cape Colony where they met Logan, who offered to defray all the expenditure for the rest cure of the duo. It was to be the beginning of a long friendship with Lohmann in particular.

The recovery period proved to be rather longer than expected, and it was not before 1894-95 that Lohmann felt well enough to take cricket again, turning out for Western Province in the Currie Cup final. He was to return to play Test cricket again. But having played his last Test, against Australia at Lord’s in 1896, he made his home permanently in South Africa from 1897.

It was Cecil Rhodes himself who had first mooted and supported the idea of the first ever South African cricket tour of England, projected for 1894. Seizing the opportune moment, Logan pledged £500 as financial support for the tour. Going another step ahead, Logan offered the use of his cricket facilities at Matjiesfontein for practice. The added incentive offered was the coaching advice from Lohmann, in station as Logan’s house guest.

As things turned out, however, when his two stipulations for the proposed tour, that the Afrikaans cricketer Krom Hendricks be selected and that his friend Harry Cadwallader be nominated manager of the team, were not met, he decided to withdraw his offer for financial assistance for the tour.

Under the leadership of HH Castens, the first ever South African touring team in England played 24 matches, none of them, however, of First-Class status. They won 12 games, drew 7 and lost 5. A beginning had been made and cricket relations between South Africa and England would go from strength to strength in later years.

On an annual ‘home’ visit in 1894, Logan used his close association to Lohmann as ice-breaker and sought to meet Lord Hawke at a time when the 1895-96 England tour of South Africa was being planned. He offered financial and logistic support for the tour. In the end tour went ahead as scheduled, Logan acting as the manager of the England, assisted by Lohmann, who had, by this time, become a very valuable member of the Western Province and Cape Town cricket clubs.

Having completed the first 3 matches of the tour, the English tourists were guests at Matjiesfontein in January, and Logan ensured that they received lavish hospitality. It was to be the first of several visits to Logan’s village for the England team. They were overwhelmed by the ambience of the place and the generosity of the host. CB Fry described Matjiesfontein in glowing terms, referring to Logan as the “stocky Scotsman with a long rectangular face and a pugnacious yellow moustache — a blend of genial hospitality, business-like energy and latent pugnacity”. The tour was unfortunately interrupted by the infamousJameson Raid on the Transvaal, and the tourists were held up in the Cape for longer than planned.

Lord Hawke was to make another visit to South Africa with another England team, in 1898-99. By now enjoying a decidedly enhanced influential stature in South African cricket, Logan was seen in the role of promoter for the tour, guaranteeing all expenditures, and pledging that any profits made on the tour would go to the South African Cricket Association.

Logan ensured that the Association was not burdened with any financial or organisational responsibility during the tour. When the England squad arrived at Cape Town aboard the Scot on December 20, they were met at the quayside by Lohmann. Lohmann, by now become a regular resident at Matjiesfontein, was finding the climate conducive to his health. Although he did not agree to play for the visitors on the tour, Lohmann was willing to take on the responsibility of the managerial duties for the tour.

According to deputy captain Plum Warner in his book Cricket in Many Climes, “We had a strong bowling side with a good deal of variety, and a sound if not brilliant lot of batsmen, while in the field we were up to, if not above, the average of county elevens.”

The 24 matches played on the tour included 2 exhibition games, at Kimberley and Matjiesfontein against a local XXII, Logan turning out for the local team in both games, with Lohmann also turning out for the XXII at Matjiesfontein. It is reported that after the match at Kimberley, Logan accompanied the England team north to Rhodesia, the railway having been extended as far as Bulawayo. England won both Tests, at Johannesburg and Cape Town, and went back with 16 wins on the tour.

The Rhodesian trip (which lasted all of 55 hours of train travel in March) was to have an interesting denouement. Wishing to make his mark in Rhodesian cricket, James Logan had requested Hawke to purchase a suitable cup at Logan’s expense upon the latter’s return to England. In due course, the imposing 2 feet 6 inches tall solid silver trophy arrived and was inscribed with the following: “Presented by the Hon. ]. D. Logan, MLC, to the Rhodesian Cricket Association in commemoration of the first visit of an English team of Lord Hawke’s, March 1899.” Priced at 100 guineas at the time, the trophy was named the Logan Cup and is used for the premier First-Class domestic championships in Zimbabwe now.

Immediately upon the conclusion of the South Africa tour by Lord Hawke’s 1898-99 team, Logan put up a proposal to South African Cricket Association that he was willing to sponsor a reciprocal visit to England by a South African team in 1900. The team was to comprise only amateurs and was to be chosen by the Association. The proposal was approved and accepted in the AGM of August, and SACA sent a request to Hawke that the latter use his influence to arrange for a First-Class tour of England in 1900. Hawke, responding to the request in letter and spirit, made the requisite arrangement for a full tour. With the outbreak of the Boer War, however, a cable was sent to Hawke on March 2, informing him that the proposed tour was being, very reluctantly, cancelled.

A newsletter issued by The South African Military History Society states that with the war in South Africa almost a certainty, Logan had raised a company of mounted rifles at Matjiesfontein under his own command, and that the company had seen some action. Later, Logan had made his village available as a British base, and as many as 12,000 troops had been stationed there at one stage. The Matjiesfontein railhead assumed strategic importance when Lord Roberts used it to launch his advance north from that point, ultimately breaking the siege of Kimberley. A field hospital was commissioned Logan’s hotel, with a machine gun mounted on its turret, and a detachment of British troops was deployed to guard the railhead, a strategic supply line, against Boer attacks.

In Sport Past and Present in South Africa: (Trans) forming The Nation, Scarlett Cornelissen and Albert Grundlingh provide a background of sporting activities in South Africa during the troubled war years. The last meeting of the South African Cricket Association was held in August 1899, shortly before the outbreak of the war. The next meeting was to be held towards the end of 1902. This provided a window of opportunity for Logan to plan a cricket tour to England under his own auspices. Unhappy at the abandonment of the planned cricket tour to England in 1900 due to the outbreak of the Boer War, Logan set about arranging a cricket tour of the “home country” on his own.

Even as the Boer War (October 10, 1899 to May 31, 1902) raged between the British Empire and the two Boer states, the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and Orange Free State. As the balance of the war situation began to slowly swing England’s way, Logan made his pitch for the tour. He opened negotiations with MCC in general, and with Hawke on a personal level, for a tour schedule in the British summer of 1901. Logan, the master strategist, began to assemble a suitable team, with Murray Bisset, a close acquaintance, secretary and skipper of the Western Province Cricket Club, agreeing to captain the side. Scheduled to commence in May, the tour was officially announced by Hawke himself in The Times on December 1.

The announcement sparked off a raging debate about the propriety of such a venture at a time when the youth of both countries were opposed in mortal combat. Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the most vociferous objectors to the idea of cricket being played at such a time. Writing in the Spectator, he voiced his misgivings in no uncertain manner: “Sir, It is announced that a South African cricket team is about to visit this country. The statement would be incredible were it not that the names are published, and the date of sailing fixed. It is to be earnestly hoped that such a team will meet a very cold reception in this country, and that English cricketers will refuse to meet them.” The editor of the journal was also in hearty approval of the sentiment.

In the meantime, a meeting was convened at Lord’s on December 11 between representatives of the English counties and the mandarins of MCC. After extensive discussions, it was decided that “if the South African team came to England in 1901, the matches with the First-Class counties should rank as First-Class, and consequently be counted in the averages.”

The conclusion was, in a way, the final stamp of official approval for Logan’s England venture, considering that none of the matches played during South Africa’s inaugural England tour of 1894 had been accorded First-Class status. Wisden remarked that “a good list of matches was arranged for the South African team.”

The personnel of the touring party were selected with meticulous care until an ideal mix of “socialite gentlemen cricketers” and genuinely “skilled players” was arrived at. In addition to Bisset, the list included Jimmy Sinclair and Barberton Halliwell, one of the best of the early wicketkeepers from South Africa, renowned for standing up to even the fastest bowlers of the time. It also included JJ Kotze, an Afrikaner, and one of the fastest bowlers to appear in South African First-Class cricket. Logan made a personal statement by including his son James in the party of 14, although he had no experience of First-Class cricket at the time. On the personal request of Logan, Lohmann agreed to accompany the team as manager (this was to be Lohmann’s last visit to England). In a masterstroke of diplomacy, Logan ensured that the team colours for the 1901 tour were red, blue, and orange, the identical colour scheme of the South Africa War Medal ribbon.

The timing of the tour was, in hindsight, not very appropriate. Logan’s privately organised English campaign came in for much criticism before and after the event. It began under inauspicious circumstances with Cape Town being affected by the bubonic plague at the time the team departed for the tour. Owing to the plague regulations in force in the dock area, the team was compelled to ship out without the customary ceremonial send-off.

Logan’s team arrived at Southampton on May 3. Of the 25 matches that Logan’s team played on the tour, 15 were accorded First-Class status. Of these, the tourists won 5, and lost 9 while the game Worcestershire was tied. The tour included games in Scotland and Ireland. One of the highlights of the tour for the visitors was the match against Cambridge at Fenner’s, where the tourists piled up a mammoth total of 692 (then the highest in South African cricket) with centuries by Maitland Hathorn (239) and Bertram Cooley (126*). This ensured an easy victory by an innings and 215 runs.

Though the overall performance of the visitors was affected by the unaccustomed turf wickets and the uncertain weather, the South Africans were well received in England and the hospitality was generous. The tour fulfilled a long dormant desire in Logan’s mind of leading a cricket tour to the home of the “Empire game”. Prior to his departure back to South Africa on the conclusion of the tour, Logan presented Hawke with a silver salver “on behalf of the Colonials as a token of gratitude for the arrangements made for the tour.”

Returning to the Cape at the end of the tour, for which he had accompanied the team as the manager, Lohmann fell gravely ill and succumbed to his nemesis on December 1, aged barely 36. Logan received the sad news by telegram at Cape Town and hurried back to Matjiesfontein on the night train to make the arrangements for the funeral. The funeral took place on December 2, and Lohmann was laid to rest in a graveyard about 10 km from Matjiesfontein.

Logan’s crowning glory came in July 1902 when he and his wife were invited to attend the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra at Westminster Abbey. This was followed by several social rounds including an invitation to the Colonial Reception at St James’s Palace, extended by the Prince and Princess of Wales. This trip to England proved to be the ultimate recognition of Logan’s contribution to British affairs in South Africa. By the end of the Boer War, James Douglas Logan, son of a railway clerk from Reston, had achieved the pinnacle of his social elevation.

A man of many parts, Logan was known to be an expert photographer, an amateur magician and member of the Magic Circle, a dentist, horse-breeder, boxer, and a keen sportsman. The development of cricket in South Africa owes much to this man. Indeed, it would not be paltering with the truth to refer to him as one of the founding fathers of South African cricket and as one who exerted himself relentlessly in his mission of bringing South African cricket up to international standards. Cecil Rhodes later said that he had met only two creators in South Africa, one being himself, and the other being Logan.

James Douglas Logan passed away at Matjiesfontein on July 30, 1920. The notification of his death appeared in the list of Wisden Obituaries in 1920. This was the entry: “LOGAN, THE HON. J.D, an enthusiastic supporter of South African Cricket, died in August. It was owing to his generosity that the South African team of 1901 visited us. He was the Laird of Matjiesfontein, where he had a private ground, and a member of the Cape Parliament.”

History remembers James Logan as the second of the three great benefactors and patrons of South African cricket, and places him in the august company of Sir Donald Currie (after whom the Currie Cup is named), the first great patron, and Abe Bailey, the third great benefactor.