Alan Malan Curson – A Tribute by Charles Mason, KCC Chairman (1984)
“Doc” officiated on the Umkomaas 13 times between 1968 and 1983.
His calm authority at the starts invariably kept things under control. Numerous compliments in this regard were paid by both top and bunch paddlers.
Doc’s assistance was universally available to all and was never confined to his own club or province. All paddlers were equal in his eyes. During one Dusi when Rob Stewart and Doc’s son Clive were duelling for the lead with Graeme Pope-Ellis and partner, Rob was overheard reminding Doc which team he was supposed to be seconding!
Whilst Doc’s “riverside manner” might not have always met with everyone’s approval, he maintained that canoe races were not the time for ‘kid gloves’ medical treatment. Judging from the number of people who sought his assistance, his help was highly valued.
In 1982 Doc was made an honorary Life Member of Kingfisher, and the 1984 marathon was dedicated to him in memory of his service to the club and the race.
Doc Curson aka ‘snake bite’ was for years The Umko Doctor. One never got sick when he was around as his treatment was somewhat harsh to say the least. He was a great “PR” man and made friends with Chief Vella of the valley whose kraal was situated close to the old overnight stop.
Vella claimed he was a church man and did not imbibe in the demon liquor. However when he (the Chief) spied a half jack of Old Buck in Doc’s tin trunk of medical supplies he claimed that that was the correct medicine! And so the rapid was named and for years afterwards we had to take “medicine” to the Chief every year – he certainly did not rub it on wounds!!