Did you know that Wimpy was in South Africa before the first man walked on the moon? The first Wimpy opened on the 1st of September 1967 in Murchies Passage, Durban and now, 42 years on, Wimpy, South Africa’s favourite family restaurant, is now celebrating the opening of the 500th restaurant, situated in The Grove Shopping Centre in Pretoria.
If you have any interest in visiting the 500th Wimpy the head over to: The Grove Shopping Centre which is situated on the corner of Lynnwood road and Simon Vermooten road in Pretoria.
I think it’s an incredible achievement that a food chain has become a part of country. If you don’t agree with that sentence, tell me if you know anyone who hasn’t stopped at a Wimpy on a long drive somewhere (particularly for me, someone who has never stopped half way to Durban from JHB who’s had a Wimpy burger on the way). I know not one! Wimpy rocks.
Oh – and my little cousin has appeared in a Wimpy campaign too, so maybe he’s now a part of that legacy!
Tell us about your favourite Wimpy memory or share a photo – for the first 500 people who share their memories with us, Wimpy will donate R50 per person to the Wimpy Charitable Trust – proceeds go to charity!
In my previous entry I wrote about moments I consider pivotal in South Africa’s history. With our rich history, there are a number of other interesting moments worth mentioning (and I will not even begin to pretend that this list is conclusive):
Handled the ball
People make it into history books for different reasons. On the 5th January 1957, in a test cricket match between South Africa and England, Russell Endean made history by becoming the first batsman to be out “handled the ball”.
Master of the universe
In 1961 Gary Player became the first non-American to win the US Masters, and followed this up with further victories in 1974 and 1978. South Africa had to wait a further 30 years for Trevor Immelman to post its next victory in 2008.
Beatles are unbanned
On the 3rd March 1971 the SABC (for once showing some sense) unbanned the Beatles. The original ban had been imposed after Lennon had claimed that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus”. Presumably, the SABC had been convinced of the matter.
In 1967 the first South African Wimpy opened (in Durban), forever changing the country’s gastronomic landscape. Back then a Wimpy Burger with chips and coke would set you back 60c.
4 : 0
South Africa’s greatest ever cricket series victory over Australia, winning all four tests played (the closest Australia came was losing by 170 runs at Newlands). The victory was so emphatic that Australia refused to play South Africa for over 20 years.
15 : 12
On the 24th June 1995, the South African Springboks led by Francois Pienaar beat New Zealand’s All Blacks 15-12 to win the William Web-Ellis trophy. The All Blacks explain their defeat as being due to a waitress called Suzie having poisoned them.
On the 31st July 2003 South Africa signed the Kyoto Protocol. Little did we know how well Eskom would (unintentionally) enforce it.
On the 1st December 2006 Vernon Gibbs (38) and Tony Halls (52) make history by being the first gay couple to legally tie in the knot in South Africa. The couple get married at the home affairs offices in George (Western Cape province of South Africa). Even if being gay (in the homosexual sense) is not your thing, it’s liberating that we live in a country where it is tolerated.