A piece of SACGB history
At the first SACGB General Meeting, which was held on the 25th January 1953 at the Hannafore point Hotel in Looe, the minutes of the meeting record that, “ a magnificent trophy has been presented by Mr Mitchell-Hedges for Annual Competition”. It was agreed at the same meeting that Mr F A Mitchell-Hedges, in addition to his position of President of the SACGB, was also made an Honorary Member.
This is the same trophy which is awarded each year for the Best Shark of the season
Mr F A Mitchell-Hedges was an adventurer, traveller and writer who allegedly found a crystal skull in a Mayan ruin in the 1920’s although he never announced the find until the late 1940’s. Recent testing of the skull however now dates it as post Columbus era. There are many crystal skulls but this one was unique in that it had a moving lower jaw and was of exceptional quality. The story goes that he could see the skull deep in a ruin but the only way to retrieve it was to lower his 6 year old adopted daughter into the ruin. Her birthname was Anne Marie Le Guillon and she is mentioned in later SACGB minutes after Mitchell-Hedges death.
The current trophy for the best Porbeagle Shark of the season is not the first one for the SACGB. The original best Porbeagle Shark trophy was donated by a Mr D P Case. Minutes of the meeting on 8th November 1958 record that Mr Case had decided to withdraw the trophy. There is no reason given but it is clear from the notes that the club were unhappy about this. At a later meeting on the 25th April 1959, Mitchell-Hedges donated a trophy to replace the one Mr D P Case had withdrawn. It was agreed it would be called the Sammy Porbeagle Trophy. I recall when I first saw the name of this trophy that I found it unusual but after a little research we may have identified how its name came about
On googling Anna Mitchell Hedges (her adopted name) its clear that Anna and Mitchell Hedges were close. On one occasion, she did something silly and Mitchell-Hedges jokingly said “You silly Sammy”. The nickname stuck and Anna became known as Sammy.
There is no confirmation in any minutes that the Sammy Porbeagle trophy was named thus in honour of his daughter but it looks likely.