Besides his day job (no, calling) as a teacher, he was also an excellent sports administrator. Ask any Square Hill Cricket Club member, any umpire at any level and those who paved the way to making sport an integral part of our struggle.
After he left EC School (closed due to Group Areas Act) he went to teach at Square Hill Primary, close to his home. He was, in the 1970's, the secretary of the Western Province Umpires Association. When umpiring, he was always impeccably dressed and wore those white lab coats that umpires used to wear and a hat. Always on the 'A' field at William Herbert.
In 1970, the ICC voted to suspend South Africa from international Cricket indefinitely because of the government's apartheid policy. Under this policy South Africa would play only against white nations (England, Australia, New Zealand), and field only white players. This was called the period of sports isolation. The IOC had banned SA from participating in the 1970 Olympics and FIFA in 1963. After there was a flurry of schemes by the South African Cricket Association that were hatched to circumvent the ICC boycott so that that Barry Richards, Mike Proctor, Graham Pollock and the like would not lose out. Mr Farrell was the first person to 'nail his colours" to the mast that stood in strong opposition to these tours and ultimately to apartheid. His actions drew the ire of the government.
Just before Xmas in 1981 Mr Farrell received a letter from the minister of Coloured Affairs, Chris Heunis, informing him of his posting to a school in Sutherland, 300km from his home. In his letter Heunis advised Mr Farrell that he would never be allowed to teach at a school in a metropolitan area. He taught for 3 months and left because, inter alia, he was responsible for getting the children ready because the baas was coming to pick the children up (supposedly to work on his farm).
He returned to Cape Town, gave up teaching and cut ties with cricket. Its practices were at odds with his principles and were starting to act in favour of the very thing he opposed and was censured for. He found a job at Kentucky Fried Chicken selling fried chicken. I bumped into him in Johannesburg in the mid 1990's. He still working for KFC, still soft spoken, principled and the most decent bloke. He still wore a tie in the store.
I cringe when I watch cricket being played at Wanderers and I see Joe Pamenski sitting in the Presidents box. And I think to myself, You actively worked with the apartheid government to get around the sports boycotts. Your name came up when the Special Branch started paying attention to the administrators of our swimming association. You sit there like royalty, wallowing in your privilege. A few miles away Vincent Farrell used to slave in fried chicken store because he had the balls to put a spanner in your sanction busting works.
We the evicted people from Simon's Town will remember Vincent Farrell.