The Chad & Mel Fairytale
The Chad & Mel Fairytale; Martin Erwee – the only man on the planet to chauffer an Olympic Gold medalist to a Matric Farewell two years after Chad Le Clos had to cut his own Matric Farewell short due to swimming obligations.
By Michelle Erwee
Martin Erwee – the only man on the planet to chauffer an Olympic Gold medalist to a Matric Farewell two years after Chad Le Clos had to cut his own Matric Farewell short due to swimming obligations. Martin Erwee offered to drive Melanie and Chad to her Matric Dance in a Lexus is 250 coupe after he heard on Highveld 94.7 that she had been waiting for Chad at the airport the day they returned from the Olympics’. She held up a big poster asking him to the Matric Dance and he agreed: “If my schedule permits,” he said. Martin Erwee is a constant pillar in the Boksburg community and a Toyota Knight for the past 16 years. He has managed to hold on the prestigious title of “Knight of the Year” for the past 5 years consecutively and as I know him could not let this opportunity slip through his fingers. He is innovative and modest, making him the perfect man to carry such an elite title. A true role model for all future Toyota Knight!
Chad arrived in Johannesburg O.R Tambo airport at 15h15 on Saturday 29 September and was equally modest about his recent accomplishments. With his boyish charms and quirky sense of humor I knew that Melanie Olhaus was in for a treat!
When asked whether he was excited, Chad replied: “I’m so nervous! I don’t want to spoil her evening for her! I’m just so nervous!” In my opinion that is the traits of a true gentleman.
Chad comes from a large family: “I have two brothers and a sister,” he said. Chad told Martin on their way to the Olhaus residence: “I want to be here for the people. I want to show the people that you can be an Olympic Champion and still be a normal guy!” Martin later commented: “I know I liked him from the moment I met him. He is so down to earth and modest.”
Chad had a signing in Durban earlier that day and would fly to Dubai on Sunday 30 September for the world series, which made it all the more special that he took the time to do this! His aunt Didie handed him a corsage she had arranged with Melanie’s name on it, “What is it?” he asked and we all burst out laughing, “sorry, I’m just so nervous!”
After a few minutes of debate over a tie, it was unanimous and we left his aunt’s house with him wearing the red one. On arrival at the Olhaus residence in Bassonia, Melanie’s mother had arranged for a “small” private function before the Matric Dance as well as a private photo shoot.
Melanie walked toward him, looking exquisite and like absolute royalty. He stepped back when he saw her and said: “Whoa!”
She looked so beautiful with her dreamy eyes and dress made for the red carpet! Gert-Johan Coetzee designed her dress. Both Mel and Chad handled the Press and photographers like pros!
JRD supplied the private security and convoy to the dance and I have to mention how professional and sufficient they were.
Finally on our way to the dance, Chad was very impressed to discover that Mel was also a swimmer. They talked like old friends and Martin finally relaxed, assured that the two of them would get along just fine. “I feel like a father, dropping off my daughter,” said Martin; in an over protective tone only a parent can understand.
Arriving at Birchwood in Boksburg, sitting on the back of the Lexus coupe we were once more overwhelmed by Press.
Martin stopped in front of the red carpet rolled out for them and Chad – being the gentleman – lifted Melanie out of the car and gently placed his lovely date down.
Afterward Martin smiled and I asked him what he was thinking: “I wonder … they seemed so in tune, I wonder if this might become more than just a dance for them.” Who knows?