South African Servas started about 1975. A student, Wendy Davies from Zimbabwe became a contact in Cape Town. In 1976 she left for the U.K. to get married ( and became a host in Wales ). Glen and I were recruited as hosts by an English friend and Wendy asked us to take over and that's how it all started and stayed. Since Servas principles are Peace and Friendship irrespective of colour, class and creed. We had to ensure that any host or outgoing travellers had these ideals at heart since there were laws of discrimination in this country. Over the years Servas in South Africa was sometimes probed to see if it was a subversive organisation. However, it stayed and we hosted people of different colours both Servas and non-Servas.

At one stage there was a motion in Servas to exclude South Africa because of its Government policy of Apartheid. We felt that this would have been a negative move and as I mentioned in the last Congress that we did appreciate the people who supported us in what we were trying to do and especially Reva King. Although we have more travellers and hosts than other African countries, travel is still expensive for us so we get many more incoming than outgoing travellers.

Gwen McLarenCape TownGwen McLaren