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Autobiographies

Page history last edited by Chic Chamberlain 11 years, 6 months ago

Konrad Baerveldt

 

 

After matriculating in 1960, I attempted, for the next few years, to study chemical engineering at the University of Pretoria [Tukkies]; only to find that this was definitely not my forte. So, in 1964, after having spent three months in Indonesia I moved down to Durban to study economics at the University of Natal. Also at that time, I changed my name to Konrad [from Jan or Jannie, as I was better known].

 

Spent some time at Syfret’s Trust Company in Durban and then moved back to Johannesburg for a stint with Credcor Bank Limited. About a year later my father wanted to retire from the family business Electro Mechanical Construction Company (Pty) Ltd., so I decided to join him in 1970, rather than continue at Credcor Bank.

 

Electro Mechanical offered some interesting perspectives as the company was engaged in both the construction industry with the manufacture of a range of preformed sealants, the mining industry with a range of hydro-cyclones and the chemical industry with the supply of activated carbon.

 

Then around 1979, the Baerveldt's [including my parents and brothers, our wives and children] all immigrated to Canada or the United States. My older brother Matthew and I settled in Toronto, while my younger brother George moved to Los Angeles to become one of the foremost glaucoma surgeons in the United States.

 

Sight unseen, I started a company Emseal Corporation in Toronto to manufacture the same range of construction sealants that we manufactured in Johannesburg. I had no idea what cold meant, no idea what ‘freeze thaw’ cycling entailed and the vast difference between construction methods in Europe/Africa versus those in North America. I was attempting to introduce a range of preformed impregnated foam sealants into the North American market. Perhaps, because I lacked the essential North American know-how, I had to relearn everything that I was already supposed to know; which apparently in the end is a great teacher.

 

At any rate somehow we muddled through and a Natal University buddy of mine and I then formed a company in the United States to handle the marketing, distribution, and eventual manufacture, in that area. By the end of the 1980s we seem to have mastered most of the technology we needed-rather a case of you do, or you die!

 

I think we rather surprised ourselves as we started to develop new innovative products and I eventually found myself holding about six international patents in this sealant field largely dealing with composite material technology. The most interesting development was perhaps that for sealing large seismic expansion joints with new non-invasive techniques.

 

I was married in Johannesburg to Diana before leaving for Canada and sadly this marriage ended about 15 years later but with the joy of two lovely daughters, Gieselle and Oonagh and a son, Lawrence.

 

Around 1996, I left for almost a 12 year stint in Jakarta, Indonesia. Old family friends had requested that I advise them on a property development company that was experiencing difficulties. So, over this time I continued running both operations in North America and the property company in Jakarta. At that stage my older brother Matthew joined me in Toronto as vice chairman of the Emseal Group.

 

It was also in Jakarta that I met my wife Hannah, who had moved there from Portland in the United States and already spent some years in Indonesia.

This wonderful relationship with Hannah has continued ever since and we now regularly commute between Toronto, where two of my children live [plus one granddaughter], London where my other daughter lives and Jakarta, where I continue to have business interests.

 

In early 2008, just before things started to go badly wrong with the financial markets, I sold my controlling interest in the Emseal Group, which by this stage had two fairly large manufacturing plants in both Toronto and Westborough near Boston, to a private equity company.

 

I continue to fondly remember my time at St John’s and am always surprised at the memories that occur, those of Spike, Maxie, Jackie, KC, JP and of course our inimitable Headmaster, Hoof; let alone one’s classmates who endured one another, through the trials of schooling, only to seek a further re-union after so many years.


 

Ian Bates

 

                                                                                                                          

Ian Bates with grandchildren Johnathan, Christopher & Hayley

 

 

I am divorced, married in 1967, but still good friends with Carol who lives in Deal. I have one son (Shane, aged 36), a daughter-in-law Laurie and three grandchildren, Johnathan (10 years old), Christopher (9 years old) and Hayley (5 years old), shown in the above photo with me, taken in Cape May, on our way last year for a vacation in Virginia.

 

 

In 1960 I was articled to Peat Marwick Mitchell in Johannesburg, completed my CTA at Wits in 1963 and in 1964 passed my CA (SA) exams in articles. I completed my B. Comm at Wits in 1966, as well as the CMA examinations. I married in 1967 and shortly thereafter flew to the States to attend Columbia University (an Ivy League University) in New York City. At Columbia (ranked in top business schools in the  US and in the world) I completed my MBA (Deans Honors) and did Doctoral work in accounting.

 

 

I rejoined Peat Marwick Mitchell, working out of their Pine Street office in New York City. We now lived in Scarsdale, commuting daily into the City. In the 1970’s we moved to Mendham/Chester, New Jersey. For the past forty years I worked for various US pharmaceutical companies in their Corporate and International - Financial and Operational departments and also in consulting.

 

 

I was trained in consulting at McKinsey consulting in New York, and also worked as a consultant for Coopers & Lybrand and Deloittes in New York City. For the past six years I have had two concurrent jobs, the primary job is working on special projects for Verizon Wireless at their Baskingridge Headquarters, the other job is as a union employee at a distribution company. I intend retiring from both jobs in four years and should retire to the Lake District near Knoxville, Tennessee or to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

 

 

I have over the years obtained an MSc (Accounting) and an MSC (Taxation) from Fairleigh Dickinson University, the largest private University in New Jersey. Within the next three years I should complete two Masters Degrees in Taxation, one in International Taxation, the other in Corporate Taxation. I should also complete an MBA in International Business.

 

 

I have travelled extensively for business and pleasure throughout the States and Canada, as well as Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. I now speak German, Dutch and Spanish, as well as Afrikaans and Yiddish (main language of community where I was raised). Fall is here and I am enjoying classes in Mandarin Chinese at the local county college.I am learning to speak chinese and also to read and write in Pinyin and simplified characters.

 

I enjoy hiking, having hiked throughout the Appalachian trail from Georgia to Maine. Birding is another interest which I usually incorporate into my hiking trips. In November this year I will be hiking in the Skylands area of the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Next year I intend hiking the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the Copper Canyon in Mexico.


Peter Beart

 spent 1960 doing military training and attending Damelin night classes.

!961 to 1963 I was in England working and touring the Continent.

Returned to South Africa and joined Lever Bros. I also went back to Damelin night classes to study CIS and qualified in 1967.

In 1965 I met and later married Jill Keefe.

In 1967 I left Lever Bros and joined IBM where I worked until 1979

 

 

In 1980 Jill, I and the family traveled to Grahamstown  so I could attend St Paul’s Theological College where I trained to be an Anglican priest.

In 1982 I was ordained. I served in a number of churches and also spent 8 years as chaplain at St Johns College.

 

 

In 1989 Jill died of liver cancer which was devastating to me and the family

I re-married in 1993 to Ros and live extremely happily with her.

I have a daughter and two sons. Ros has a son and a daughter and between us we have 8 grandchildren.

I retired from the church in 1990 and have dabbled in small business ventures ever since.

 


Tim Bigg

 

My wife Lyn and I are retired after farming most of our lives.  We live in Pietermaritzburg.  

I play bowls and bridge and work at the local Hospice twice a week


 

Roger Boden

 

My wife (of 36 years) is Dr Edeltraud  Boden nee Von Varendorff. She is a dermatologist in practice here in  Fourways.

 

Our children are:

Nicole, b.1974,  married and living and working in financial IT field, (Chicago).  No children

Kasha b. 1977 marriedand she and her husband are missionaries in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  They have a         daughter, Jemma b.August 2007.

Alexander, b1980. has Bsc Electrical Engineering and Master of engineering (business) both at Wits. works for a listed IT company

My career: I have three degrees from Wits (Bachelor of Architecture, post grad town planning degree, Master of Urban design, and from U.Washington (Seattle) a Ph. D in Urban Design. Retired from Wits as an Associate professor after almost a year a shte acting head of the school of architecture and planning at Wits.

Was also a Captain, qualifed for majority ,as staff officer in SADF (1966-1974) . currently still practicing as an architect and urban designer, busy with two churches of 1000 seats or more. One under construction other due to begin construction  later this year.

Have served as a deacon in three charismatic churches.

 

We are living in a house I designed, at Cedar Lakes gated community (590 houses) in Fourways. of which I am, and have been, the Environmental director for the past three years.

 

Interests: sharing Christianity; reading (military, church and Johannesburg's history and morphology, architecture, urban design and landscape architecture), classical music and travelling / visiting our daughters overseas.


Tom & Pat Borland with Jack Jones

Since leaving St Johns, I have been involved in agriculture and in particular research, extension, practical farming, agri-business management and advisory services, agri-business banking and lastly education.

 

After graduating from Natal University in 1964, I spent the first 10 years of my working life in research and development and provision of extension services for agricultural chemicals, especially herbicides. The first 4 years were spent in the Western Cape amongst wine and fruit farmers and the next 6 years, which included a 3 year contract running a “Research on Wheels” project, were spent in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe.

 

The research with herbicides, especially Paraquat and Glyphosate, launched me into the realms of conservation agriculture in which no-tillage plays a prominent part. It was due to this interest that I was able to persuade the Rhodesian farmers to sponsor me on a 5 month study tour of the USA and UK in 1975, where I met up with the pioneers of no-tillage research and no-tillage farming – Farming in God’s Way.  To this day I still have an interest in no-tillage farming, in that I am currently helping to develop and hopefully to commercially manufacture my son's unique, newly patented no-tillage planter.

 

When the Rhodesian war was really heating up, I ventured into farming.  I took over the management of a run down dryland farm and developed it into a 300 hectare fully irrigated, intensive farming operation growing wheat, soyabeans and maize.

 

At the conclusion of the war and with all the uncertainties in Zimbabwe looming, I switched jobs and for two years I was the Agricultural Manager on a large citrus and crop estate.  This job was followed by consultancy/contract work – one year advising an aid organization in Zimbabwe and two years agricultural project planning in Bophuthatswana.

 

The next eight and half years of my working life was spent in banking.  I was involved in the setting up and administration of an Agri-business Banking Service in Zimbabwe.  Enough said.

 

Finally, having had my fill of banking, I was offered, on the golf course, the opportunity to put all my work experience together and pass it on as a lecturer.  I was appointed with the express purpose of developing the Soil Science, Soil Management and Conservation and Agri-business Management curricula for a two year Agricultural Diploma at Blackfordby Agricultural College (an institute developed and funded by the Zimbabwe Tobacco Growers Association and the Commercial Farmer’s Union). The last ten years of my working life was thus spent in lecturing.  In addition to these lecturing responsibilities, I was also solely responsible for the establishment and administration of a distance education programme offering a Diploma in Agriculture.  I thoroughly enjoyed these years in education up until late 2005, when the mayhem perpetrated amongst the commercial farmers by “war vets” finally impacted on the college.

 

I decided to retire and after waiting it out for a couple more years, my wife and I finally decided it was time to move.  We literally “escaped” from Zimbabwe last June 2008.  After a wonderful life of 40 years in Zimbabwe, where both my wife Pat and I had devoted our lives to the business of farming, we are now safely and happily settled in a quiet country village surrounded by sheep farmers in the foothills of the Brecon Beacon National Park in Wales.

In my spare time over the years I have played hockey, squash, golf and bowls. My only claim to fame was the winning of a Gold Medal in the Trips Championship at the 1990 Zimbabwe National Bowls Tournament.  Unfortunately circumstances during our last couple of years in Zimbabwe made it very difficult to partake in any sporting activity.  And now a dreaded “old age” disorder has set into the knees making it difficult for me to walk the distance on a golf course – so maybe it will be back to bowls.

 

Incidentally, Pat, my wife of 44 years, mother of my son Robert, daughter Louise (now a Jones) and grandmother of Jack Jones, is the daughter of an Old Johannian, Mick Mentis, (he died on a bowling green in 1978), and sister to two brothers, Michael and Robert, who also attended St. Johns.  (Robert died under tragic circumstances whilst on National Service with the Air Force Gymnasium in 1963.)

 

Pat also graduated in 1963 at Natal University majoring in Dairy Industry. We were married on 31st May 1965.  Throughout her working life, when not being a mother or farmer’s wife, she played a major role in providing services to the dairy industry and farmers in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe – being the Chief Dairy Officer from 1982 up to six months before our final departure from Zimbabwe in June 2008.  It was in her role as National Secretary of the Zimbabwe Branch of the International Dairy Federation that I was fortunate enough to attend as an "Accompanying Person" the Annual Sessions and Dairy Summits in Australia (where we met up with Gerald and Franscoise  Boyd Clark), South Africa, Austria, Iceland, Denmark and Norway.

 

Our daughter Louise graduated in Psychology at Natal University and ever since has been psychoanalyzing her Dad! She is married to Craig Jones and they have produced us our one and only grandchild Jack. They live in Vilancoulos, Mozambique, where they are in the business of building luxury lodges on the beautiful islands off the Moz. coast.

Being where they are and what they do has enabled us to be thoroughly spoilt over the past ten years in being able to holiday in that coastal paradise.

 

Robert is an Agricultural Engineer with a National Certificate in Agric. Eng. and MSc. (By Research) Agric Eng. His degree, inspired by his father, was awarded for the research and development of his innovative no-tillage planter, which he has recently successfully patented.  He and his wife, Helen live in Wolverhampton. UK.


Barrie Bowling

To all those "old boys" out there

Isn't it amazing how so many of us are still alive today when one considers the wonderfully nutritious meals that we boarders were served.  Funnily enough, I tell people that I would never have survived boarding school had it not been for the burnt porridge, the burnt scrambled eggs and the sago pudding, burnt or not. Nobody else ate these, so I used to eat the lot myself.

Anyway, after school I went to Wits to do civil engineering.  Zoek (Peter Steenhoff) recommended it while we were in 6th form.  I didn't know what to do, but knew I had to go to university as that was how it was in those days.  Well, with a spatial perception of "below the average of non-matriculants" I failed mechanical engineering drawing along the way – despite an all work and no play approach to my studies.  (Zoek changed to land surveying after first year.  So much for friends keeping one company!)  Failing that year was the best thing that happened to me. I worked in a design office just outside the university, did the drawing one afternoon a week and took up hockey, cricket, mountain climbing, choral society and joined the Wits choir. All these I managed to do to a greater or lesser extent right through to the completion of my studies.

I then worked for Grinaker in the structural design office for 15 months before going overseas to "broaden my mind"; worked in London, again in the design office, for another 15 months; travelled parts of Europe for 3 months; migrated to San Francisco, where I worked, once again in a design office, for 2 years.  All very enjoyable and enriching.

After close on 4 years away I felt it was time to return to SA.  It might be remembered by some of my classmates that my brother, Chris, and I were from Englandand we never supported SA in any sporting events. England was "home".  Well, living in England certainly changed my mind on that score, and both the "call of the bushveld" and family bonds, were responsible for my return.  I had discovered I was a South African, after all.  The return journey, however, took a year: travelling through Central and South America, New Zealand and Australia.

Almost immediately after my return I started an MBL at UNISA - several of my friends were doing it - and it seemed a good way to manoeuvre my way out of engineering, as my spatial perception shortcoming definitely limited my prospects in this field.  Well, after completing only 3 months as a site engineer and not coping, I started work as an articled clerk with Alex Aiken and Carter - as it was then - and started the CA qualification studies, which I completed in 1976.

Some 6 months after my return I met Diane, my lovely, loving, loyal and long-suffering wife. We were married 6 months later and she endured my articles with me and produced a daughter and son during the same period.  We were very happy in our rent-controlled flat in Yeoville during this 4 year period.

After qualifying we made the decision not to emigrate, but opted to leave Jhb and live in a small town instead - for quality of life reasons mainly.  I found a position in Grahamstown, where we spent 27 very happy years.  Di taught at DSG and I practised as an accountant with a variety of partners.

We moved to PlettenbergBay in 2003, our original desired destination when we left Jhb, as we felt we were in a rut too deep and comfortable in Grahamstown and new challenges were required. We found them in a business of looking after people's holiday homes, which we took over from Di's mother.  I also have a small accounting practice.  Retirement is not an option these days.

Our daughter married a New Zealander and is living in Wellington.  We hope to have our first grandchild in August.  Our son was a game ranger at "Kirkman's Camp" in Sabie Sands near the KrugerNational Park, but is now running a B&B in Hermanus and painting.

 

 


Gerald Boyd-Clark

After graduating from Natal University and lecturing for a while at Chibero and Gwebi Agricultural Colleges in Rhodesia, I married Francoise Rosset (ex St Andrews JHB & Grey’s Hospital PMB nurse) and farmed close to Salisbury before moving to the family farm near the eastern border town of Umtali. My wife  and I raised a daughter and three sons before leaving the farm and the country in March 1979 to settle in Bloemfontein, where I had a position with the Friesland Cattle Breeders Association of SA. In June 1985 we moved to Australia where I took up a CEO position with the Holstein-Friesian Association, providing breeding advisory services to dairy farmers. Francoise and I are now both retired, with our three eldest offspring and 6 grandchildren in Australia, while our youngest son is married and settled in the UK. We live in a southern suburb of Melbourne and enjoy the outdoors. Our special interests are bush-walking and camping, as well as travel when possible.

Once again thank you for the reunion notice and contacts and best wishes for a great week in October.

 

 


Chic Chamberlain

 

I did post matric in 1959 and then spent a year overseas where I 'stooged' at the Dragon School in Oxford and at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in the Reigate area.

In 1961 I returned to go to Wits where I majored in bridge and other incidental subjects like applied maths and stats. I had great difficulty mastering bridge which probably explains why it took me about 8 years on and off to get a degree, but I finally triumphed and in 1968 Wits gave me a piece of paper stating I had a BSc, just to get rid of me.

I had been working as a computer programmer and analyst/salesman for about 7 years when I made a major financial error and moved out of the computer industry and into manufacturing. In the manufacturing industry I got involved making mining machinery, gears and mineral seperating equipment for various companies until 1999 when I was hung out to dry. At the time I felt I was too old to join job queues and be told by some 25 year old that I was past it, and too poor to retire, so I started my own company as a tour operator and tour guide. This combined a couple of my interests - game viewing and bird watching - with work. So for the last 10 years I have really enjoyed planning holidays for foreign visitors to Southern Africa and guiding some of them around the country.

On the personal side,  I married the light of my life in about 1969 and had 2 lovely daughters. Unfortunately the light faded and I got divorced in about 1975. After 7 years on the singles ciruit, I managed to convince an even brighter light to marry me. Dee and I have now be married for 17+ years. Dee also had 2 lovely daughters from a previous marriage, so I ended up with 4 daughters. I now have 5 fantastic grand-daughters and a grandson. You guys who started calling me Chicken way-back-when must have known I was destined to be hen pecked.

From a sporting perspective I played hockey at university and after for a few years thereafter, before taking up squash. Squash kept me busy until about 4 years ago when my knees started telling my fat gut that they were tired of carrying it around the court. Nowadays I play social tennis and an occasional game of bad golf.


Sholto Cross

 

I wish to add my heartfelt thanks to the organisers, and in particular to David Legg who twisted my arm with such relentless charm to make me escape my Hout Bay fastness and join you all.   For a rolling stone this was indeed a time to gather some moss.   Alan's remarks prompts me to sketch in a few details of my doings.
I had imagined when I left South Africa in July 1967 on a one-way exit permit that I should never be allowed to return.  After VIth form (learning German with Boetie de K was later to stand me in good stead), the institutional succession of UCT, Wits, a variety of Transvaal prisons and the Financial Mail, was followed by a stint at Oxford.  I was a miserable dog for many years, feeling cut off from all my friends and family  -  although I must mention that sharing both Driekoppen and Lincoln with John Tyrell was a comfort.   Life slowly began to revive after some years in the politics dept at the University of Zambia, and then a wonderful spell at the University of East Anglia (Norwich).  The School of Development Studies there was an odd place.  We had 36 faculty and 24 posts, so had to bridge the funding gap with commissioned research and consultancy across the developing world.  My patch was Africa, and I ended up working in some 30 of Africa's 54 states.  I can still hear the sound of the scales falling.  A steep learning curve, and a necessary one for my wholly unexpected return in 1991 when I was offered the proverbial job I could not refuse in the Independent Development Trust with the task of 'doing something about the impact of apartheid on the rural areas  -  here's a budget of R750m now get cracking'.  
One of the first things I did when back in JHB was to wander around the school, encountering the ghosts of the past, a number of whom the 50th reunion has now re-embodied.   It is hard to describe the pleasure of this reunion  -  water in a dry land, allowing the seeds of old friendships to spring to life.   I very much look forward to keeping in touch, and do hope those of you may be passing through the Cape make a note of my phone number.   I am sure Alastair McKinley (net oor die bult in Constantia) and I very much hope to keep in touch.
Best wishes to all
Sholto Cross

Tel: +2721 790 1355

Cell: +2782 888 0398


Terence Cross.

 

Information transferred to Obituary page. 


 

Rob Crozier

After matriculating with a 2nd class pass from C grade,I applied to do a Bsc at  Natal U. Aweek before Uni started a telegram arrived from UCT to state I had been accepted because of a cancellation. 200 hundred in 1st year & only room for 90 in 2nd year. Fear ,hard work & luck saw me into 2nd year. Thereafter I scraped through yearly. Plenty of skin diving & I played soccer for the Medical School for 3 yrs. I then spent 2 & 1/2 years at Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg. Then married a  radiographer from Capetown - Irene Keuck. Locums for a year. Then toured Europe in a fitted out VW  Combi for 1 year till our money ran out. Back to Somerset West where I practiced for 17 years. Played squash, collected butterflies on yearly trips to NW Cape with fishing camping. We had 3 sons. In 1986 we emigrated to Somerset in Tasmania. Here I purchased 9 acres with a dam of trout. Continued playing squash & trout fishing in the central highlands. Eldest son Rowland  qualified as a surveyor. Next George did BSC enviromental science. Youngest Eugene did Economics/Science.

             2003 I retired to Healesville  60 klms NE of Melbourne. Very much like Somerset West-at the foot of mountains surrounded by vineyards. Here our life changed dramatically when our son developed schizophrenia. This is another world with abysmal implications. This led to my interest in mental health, personality disorders & human behavior. Irene & I are involved in mental health. To keep my mind active I  trained as a voluntary guide at our local Bird Santuary. It is 1 of 3 tourist icons of the Melbourne area. I take tourist groups every fortnight. The place is large with a state of the art  animal hospital. It is also a  research/ preservation centre for 5 endanged  indigenous species.
              I now play tennis 3x/week, golf Wenesdays. Irene enjoys the arts/plays/concerts etc. I trot along if it is not too heavy.
              I return to RSA every 2 years to catch up with friends/relatives. The only OJ I still keep in regular contact is Chris Richardson. He was in our classoriginally but stayed back 1 year in St 6. Looking foreward to seeing you all. ROB CROZIER

 


 

Pat Dickson

I am married to Claudia (married in 1972) and have three children, Katherine 36 (unmarried), Penny 34 (married) and Andrew 32 (married). As yet only one grandchild, Penny's son liam 3.

Completed BSc at Wits in 1964 and then a CTA at Wits in 2008, becoming a

CA(SA) in 1969. Became a partner of Alex Aiken & Carter (now KPMG) in 1974. Left KPMG in 1995 to take up the position of Head of the School of Accountancy at Wits as Prof . Compleated headship in 2003 and have been on the academic

staff ever since. Retired in 2007 but was asked to return in 2008 and 2009. Will probably finally retire at the end of this year.

Current interests are singing, reading, carpentry, birding, theatre.


 

 

 

ALAN (McCONNELL) DUFF

 

(I put the MсСоnnеll in brackets because recently - at the age of 60! - when applying for an Irish passport I discovered that the official name on my birth certificate is Alan Brian McConnell. However, I'm still the same Alan Duff - in spirit if not quite in flesh.)

After leaving St Johns, I completed my ВА (English & Philosophy) at the University of Natal (PNB). Had planned to study further in Dublin, but was sidetracked to Trinity coll. Cambridge by someone I had rescued (together with my dog) from a fierce incoming tide on Umhlanga Rocks beach. That led to a life of travel, struggling to learn foreign languages (my background knowledge of Afrikaans, Latin and Zulu being of little help), experiencing various political regimes - including communism, “soft” and “hard” - and earning a living as a writer, lecturer and translator. For the past 20 years, I've been happily settled in Slovenia. (Where's that? you may ask. Midway between Venice and Vienna, girded to the north by the Alps.)

 

Brief review:

1965 -              Finland, English lecturer. Temps. down to - 35°С! Lovely.

1966-1972       Yugoslavia, first as Univ. lecturer, then as freelance translator. First-hand ехpеriencе of Tito's communism. Married Márta, a Hungarian from YU - wedding in Hungary at the time of the invasion of Czechoslovakia,

1968 -              first experience of "hard" communism. ... Published my first short stories with The Irish Press, translated many films, plays etc.

1973-1980       France, Paris, first as assistant language officer for The British Council; later as

                        translator for UNESCO.  Published 8 books, mainly for Cambridge U. Press.

1980-1990       Writing, here, there & everywhere (France, England, India, Yugoslavia...);  published 5 more books, 2 for OUP/BB0 India, where I spent over a year as visiting lecturer. Also spent 4 months in China, not long after the end of the cultural revolution.  A sobering experience.

1990 +             Moved to Slovenia just at the time when the communist regimes in Europe were steadily collapsing. Breathed a sigh of relief, then - in 1991 - war broke out, first in Slovenia, then in Croatia, and finally, most savagely in Bosnia… This was a time when translators were greatly needed, so I decided to stay on and share in the celebrations on Slovenia’s joining the European Union.

I am still here, though I do return every 2-3 years to S. Africa, for I can't forget the land in which I was brought up. And, even though I was no good at rugby at school (I was "transferred" to hockey), I can say that my son, Zoltán Sean, is an ardent fan of the Springboks - as long as they're not playing against Ireland!

 

Awards

The Society of Authors "Tom Gallon Award" for best published short story of the year (1980) - The Comrades  Marathon (based on the actual Comrades Marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban)

English Speaking Union, Duke of Edinburgh Awards for:

.           Translation (OUP) - first prize

.           Literature (OUP), as co-author with Alan Maley

 


David Evans

 

Sandra and I were married in 1969 and have two daughters. Kirsten (1970) is an Interior Designer, married to an architect and lives in Douglasdale.

Natalie (1972) has a PhD and runs an Ecological Management Service, married to a Professional Hunter cum Game Capture/Translocation expert and lives in Kimberley.

I am a Pharmacist and spent my career in production with both multinational and local pharmaceutical companies. Upon retirement, we followed Natalie to Kimberley where I became involved in retail (community) pharmacy.


 

 JAN FATTI 

 

After leaving school I studied Geology and Physics at Wits University, specialising in Geophysics (a branch of geology). After university I spent a wonderful year in Europe, beginning with a few months in Turin (Italy) studying Italian, Geophysics and Italian girls! Then David Lovely and I did the “grand tour” of Europe in a Fiat 500 (500cc, two cylinders, a “Topolino” in Italian, i.e. little mouse)! We sometimes had to spend a most uncomfortable night both sleeping in this tiny car. The person on the steering wheel side got very little sleep!

 

After my return to SA in 1966 I joined Soekor (now PetroSA), the oil exploration company. Soekor had just started oil and gas exploration in the southern Karoo basin the year before, doing reflection seismic surveys and drilling. Reflection seismic surveys have been the main tool world-wide in oil exploration since the 1940s. My initial task was to supervise two contract seismic crews from England and France, first near Beaufort West and then around Aliwal North, Queenstown and then King Williamstown. The source of the seismic waves was dynamite, placed at the bottom of shallow (25 m) boreholes. We found small pockets of gas in the southern Karoo, but no oil.

 

In 1968 I met a wonderful girl, Lynne Daniels, newly qualified as a physiotherapist. We got married the next year and in 1970 left SA for Colorado, U.S.A. There I spent four most interesting years doing post-graduate studies in Exploration Geophysics at the Colorado School of Mines in the town of Golden, on the outskirts of Denver. Living at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, we enjoyed much hiking and skiing in the mountains nearby. Our two sons, Geoff and Ivan, were born there.

 

In 1974 I completed my PhD in Geophysics and we returned to SA. I rejoined Soekor in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. By now the oil search had moved offshore where we did large reflection seismic surveys, profiling thousands of kilometres each year to study the subsurface geological structure. My speciality was the digital processing of the recorded results, mostly done in England. These surveys led to the discovery of the Mossgas gas field and later the several small oil fields southwest of Mossel Bay, some of which are still producing, at great profit.

 

In 1987 the Soekor office made the very welcome move from Joh'burg to Cape Town, much to our family's delight.

 

Tragically, Lynne died in 1994 in a cycling accident, leaving our two sons and myself heart-broken. In 1996 I met Annette Kell, whom I married a year later. I took early retirement ten years ago, but Annette still teaches. We now live happily in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.

 

My son Geoffrey, a medical doctor, does research on the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients for an NGO in Cape Town,. He and his wife Liza have two adorable children (aged 3 and 1). My second son, Ivan, lives in London, working for a gardening and landscaping company, creating beautiful gardens (see website chelseagardening.com).

 

While at university in the 60's, I became interested in snorkel- and scuba-diving, going on numerous spearfishing trips to Mozambique with the Wits Diving Club. I have dived ever since, for the most part in False Bay, and I also snorkel for crayfish in the summer. I must admit that I don’t often catch many crayfish any more. Either they are becoming faster or I am becoming slower!

 

In the last few years I have been doing volunteer work for the Democratic Alliance. The exciting result of our effort was winning the Western Cape in the recent election with Helen Zille installed as premier!

 

Some of my other interests are: opera (there is a superb opera company in Cape Town), practicing Italian conversation, underwater photography, geology and hiking on Table Mountain.

 

I will attend the OJ reunion in October. I look forward to seeing how many people I can recognise!

 

My email address is janfatti@netconnect.co.za                                       2009-8-23


 

Peter Ferguson

  

In 1960 I became an articled clerk and in 1965 qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

I didn’t feel auditing was my game and started to try to build a career as an accountant and manager in industry. Over the years I have been management and cost accountant, financial manager, general manager, managing director and management consultant. In 1990 I joined the Fastener Industry and found my ‘métier’.

 In 1997 after retiring early from the ‘madness’ of corporate life in the big city, my wife and I moved to Phalaborwa and started our own fastener business from absolute scratch. After 10 years of very hard, but rewarding and successful work, we sold Span Bolt & Tool and retired.

Marion ( Law ) and I have been very happily married now for 43 years and have two successful sons: Craig (OJ- Alston 1987 ) and Ian ( OJ - Alston 1989 ). Craig has a BSc Hon. (Wits)  and Msc Ecology (Harare), is married to Melissa  BSc Geology( Harare) and they run a wild life farm near Hoedspruit. They have two gorgeous daughters aged

5 & 7.  Ian has a B Arch. (Wits.) and he lives and practices architecture in Cape Town. When in JHB he designed the extensions to St John’s Prep.

Over the years we have been very involved with our churches in the places we have lived and with St Johns when our boys were there. I was ordained as an elder of the Presbyterian Church in 1969.

Much of our leisure time has been spent in the Kruger Park and now the Phalaborwa gate is 3 kms from our home. We are active members of the Phalaborwa Orchid Society.

I played hockey at the OJ Club during my university years and played golf in the summer. After getting a business career going, I took up cycling at the weekends and did so for over twenty years. Nowadays I try to keep fit by walking regularly.


Doug Flight

 

I am married to Colleen. We live in Benoni.

I have been retired for the past year from private practice as an Optometrist for 48 yrs. I have interests in our family , wild life & cabinet making.


 

James and Jen Beth Fulton

 

 

For me VIth form was my most enjoyable year at St John’s and at a practical level gave me the chance to improve my abysmal record in mathematics, thus allowing me to be accepted into UCT where I graduated in mechanical engineering.

 

During my time at school in 1951 and also in 1956, when I was in U III, my parents had the foresight for our family to go on tour in the UK and Europe from 5 months May to September where, after 2 weeks on a Union Castle vessel we toured both extensively by car and caravan for 4 months at a time – an incredible experience!. Despite the suitcase filled with school books and intentions to study, any real application was somewhat lacking over what was a large portion of the school year and needless to say education in matters of “progressive” learning suffered badly. Despite this it was initially Father Clarke who strongly encouraged my parents to go since as he said travel was the best education we could ever have. In reality it also instilled the travel bug in me and also my family which continues to this day.

 

After 2 years in Manchester and surrounds we were transferred to Wales where my sponsor and now employer was building what were then amongst the largest turbine generators worldwide. We were also blessed with the first of our children, Lara.

 

Transfers to Nigeria [unbelievably on a SA’n passport during the Ibo Yoruba war and very short-lived,] Germany and then to Alberta, Canada followed. After the UK and Europe the atmosphere of the Prairies and Rockies with wide open spaces and celebration of the vigor of youth captivated us, resulting in my joining the private power provincial utility, Alberta Power Ltd where I project-managed a number of large thermal power projects in 3 different areas over an 11 year period.

 

APL then sponsored me to an institute called the Banff School of Advanced Management in 1979 on a form of an MBA program – unfortunately for them not a good investment as it gave me time to reflect just as I saw 40 coming over the horizon, plus the frigid climate of Alberta and my family joined me in the decision to get back to my love of “overseas” assignments by moving to an international consultant in Vancouver.  This also resulted in our family moving to Vancouver and to our present waterfront home in a village named Deep Cove in North Vancouver.

 

My work focus was mainly on ASEAN and after many long and short term visits to Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia we then moved as a family to Jakarta, Indonesia for 6 years where I was resident manager on the large electrical expansion program and built 2  power plants at each end of Java Island. Our eldest two children were fortunate to graduate in the IB program from the Jakarta International School.

 

On my return to Canada in the late 80’s the move  to running the British Columbia office took me away from projects and into business development in ASEAN but also included other countries, particularly Czechoslovakia, China . I failed to excite my company regarding the pollution abatement opportunity at that time in China and India so in the mid-90’s we formed a group to establish a small power company with the mandate to partner with a number of Chinese power plants and to equip them with latest available US pollution abatement and generation technology. In 1997, we were fortunately bought out by those with deeper pockets in the US and I decided to sell my interest and retire early.

 

 Having said that, Jen Beth and I have since done the most gratifying 2 year project near El Alamein in Egypt in the early 2000’s.and after almost 5 years of true retirement, my old client from the 80’s invited me back to Indonesia last year to look after their QA/QC program associated with their current 10,000 Mw EPC contracts with China. My greatest celebration is that so that many of the young engineers we taught as part of our project team in the 80’s are now in charge of most of the divisions of the state-owned utility.

 

So much for the career portion

 

.  On the only aspect of my life that really counts the most - that of family and extended family we have been blessed with 3 children , Lara, Andrew and Colleen, who have presented us with Jessica, 9 and twin boys Donny and James, 6 to Lara, and then to Colleen, Maisie, 1. Naturally, no one has been more blessed by their grandchildren than Jen Beth and I and not only do we have one live in the same home but we are a major part of the other grandchildren’s lives.

 

Our one hope is still that our son Andrew and wife, Jensue will one day move from Cape Town to which  Andrew emigrated some 12 years ago to form his own IT-related company, although their being there continues to be the reason to visit as often as we can and they have an outdoor lifestyle one couldn’t duplicate anywhere worldwide.

 

Jen Beth continues to be Children’s Minister at our very active United Church of Canada while I look after the building and material assets.  We are both active on the board of First United Church – a mission church in the worst of Vancouver’s drug-riddled skid row  if only because of the more  than 2,300 homeless, mainly addicted and psychologically handicapped persons we serve  in Vancouver’s broken east side neighborhood need basic shelter.  A tragic and shameful blight on the city that has been voted in the top few cities worldwide to live in year after year!

 

I have my workshop and garden which more than keep me busy. For years I have had this ridiculous notion to grow proteas and other plants of S AN origin and have the scars to show for it!  I’m sure I can boast the largest library on the SA floral kingdom and the only Kirstenbosch Garden’s membership in Western Canada

 

We built our home to have 3 levels – now much needed as we have our youngest daughter, Colleen and Ryan, with wee Maisie, living with us until Ryan completes his PhD, while Jen Beth’s 93 year old mother also lives with us on the ground floor and we occupy the upper – 4 generations in one home – not quite usual in this day and age.

 

To all of my old class or year mates, have a wonderful celebration and I hope to get more organized to be with you at our 60th?


 

 

 

Ted Goodyer 

 

My wife Liz and I will have been married 38 years in September.

Our four children (Robin, the eldest, sadly died five years ago) are all settled in good careers- three in the UK and one in Bermuda. Tim (accountant) is married to Ellen in Bermuda and we have just returned from two weeks holiday with them. Peter (housemaster and teacher) is engaged to a teacher Laura Bond and they plan to marry next year.  Megan (personal injury solicitor) and Bronwen (GP trainee) are not married.  The only trait they seem to have inherited from me is a love of running, though all except my youngest daughter also played rugby at university. She deserted this fine tradition and played football instead.

I will have been in the UK for 18 years and in the same parish of Alverstoke, which I enjoy and which seems to be bucking the trend of many in this country. My hobbies are gardening, reading and walking and at the moment we have no plans to retire.

I look forward to catching up with our contemporaries. I was surprisingly moved as I went through the list and remembered many with whom I have had little or no contact since leaving school.


Peter Hamilton & Maren White

 

After leaving school, I went to Rhodes to read for the BA Ll B degrees, and had 3 happy years there.  The happiness was due in no small part to developing close friendships with Tony Shipway, John Oxley-Oxland and various Rhodesians (as they were then known).  I then had the chance to go to Cambridge and took it.

 

At Cambridge I read (English) law and qualified for the English Bar at the same time. Through her brother Mark who was at the same college as me, I met Patricia Freeman.  Pat and I married and had three lovely children, Benedict, Clare and Zoe [met deeltekens op die “e”].  Our marriage was an up-and-down relationship, and we are now divorced.  But our children have gone on to produce between them 6 grandchildren and 2 step-grandchildren – all wonderful in their individual ways.

 

I am now living with my partner, Maren White, who I met on a train 7 years ago.  She runs her own one-man-band publications services company with clients in the pharmaceutical, antiques and government sectors. We are blissfully happy.  Maren has two lovely daughters in their twenties, and the three of them are collectively my “White women”.  We have an old farmhouse in the middle of the Cumbrian hills in what is one of the most under-populated parts of the UK, and we spend at least half our time there.  The other half is spent in London where we have a small flat on the south bank of the Thames – which is 10 minutes walk from my Chambers.  Our aim is to spend more time up north: say 3 weeks out of 4 on average.

 

I have been practising as a barrister for 40 years now, and am still enjoying it, so will go on until I run out of clients or steam.  In the beginning, I did more or less anything that came along: about 50% of my practice was criminal work, and the rest a mixture of industrial injury cases and other civil work including some commercial and divorce cases. 

 

In the middle part of my career I was company secretary and head of the legal department of Hambro Life Assurance plc, which later became Allied Dunbar.  It was founded by South Africans from Johannesburg: Sir Mark Weinberg ably aided and abetted by Sir Sydney Lipworth (both were at King Edwards, but about 10 years older than us) and Lord Joffe (who was at Marists Brothers).  That was a good period.  Barristers usually see problems only through the eyes of their clients.  But I saw the problems first-hand at Hambro Life.

 

Since my return to independent practice at the Bar 17 years ago, I have specialised in financial services and the professional negligence aspects of the construction industry.

 

In my spare time I make things out of wood.  All the beds in our house in Cumbria were made by me, plus a variety of small tables and lamps;  the list of things to make gets longer and longer.  Maren and I have planted several hundred trees there, and are watching them grow with great pleasure.  Otherwise we spend our time going to plays, concerts and films in London, and bird-watching and gardening in Cumbria.


 

George Hamper

 

I started the Mica Hardware Group in the 80’s with a friend and sold my share of the business in the early 90’s to buy a motor vehicle rustproofing business and a Rhino Linings (bakkie linings) franchise.  I sold the rustproofing company some time ago and have very recently sold Rhino Linings.  I am now retired and enjoying my golf.  I live on the Mt Edgecombe golf estate with my wife of 37 years.  Our daughter is married to a farmer in Himeville and our son is married to an American girl and lives in London.  They have two daughters.

 


Anthony Heyns

My sympathy lies with the reader of this biography.  After 50 years we inflict on each other the tedious task of reading how that guy we cannot quite remember, has spent his life: dozens of them too.

The intention of this narrative is not to impress a prospective employer with all the worthy things I have done, which make me the ideal candidate for that well paid job.  It is just a comment or two on what has happened to Anthony since Matric at St John’s.

My daddy was an academic at University of the Witwatersrand, being Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.  Unlike most of my classmates, who had opted for Biology as a Matric subject, I had chosen to be taught some French by Popsie le Grande.  Popsie was at that time said to be the oldest active school teacher in South Africa; rumour had it that he was 87.  We loved the old Frenchman, who lived in a world quite different from ours.  My classmates will remember that I was the worst French pupil in living memory.  When we had to make that career critical choice of Matric subjects before Lower V, Popsie and I had no trouble deciding that Heyns (pronounced ‘Ines’ in French) would not take French for Matric.  I had abandoned Geography some years previous, to the relief of Teddy Lester.  I didn’t like History.  So I took Physics and Chemistry as Matric subjects.

All this influenced me to go to Wits and do a Pure BSc with first year subjects Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Applied Maths.  Those were the days of Sputnik and the Space Race: it was quite the thing to do, to study Science.  Not having taken Biology at school, I was slow to understand what on earth Obstetrics & Gynaecology were, my father’s speciality.  Apparently it had something to do with women.  I was also pretty slow to find out what women were.  However, by playing the game with all those Rugger Buggers, I soon found out that this was a compelling conversational subject.  I think we found out a lot less about what women are, than we claimed.  I also think the women knew much more about what men are.

When we reflect on what St John’s taught us about Wine, Women and Song, here are some thoughts.  We kept on learning about Bread & Wine in Divinity classes.  By the time we were confirmed we discovered that the wine was served up in miserly portions, and it was rather sweet.  Noel Iverson, Spike Carter, Jackie Huggett and Hylton-Edwards of Mus. App. all taught us about song, and we became quite fond of stirring male voice choirs.  But on the Women front, our education was lacking.  Now one sees those cute looking girls adorning the Sixth Form in the Johannian.  Alas, this happened 50 years too late!

Chic Chamberlain has informed us that he majored in Bridge at Wits and had a few ancillary subjects like Mathematics on his syllabus.  The two of us had something in common, but it was not Bridge.  We blundered through year-end exams with some trepidation, well prepared for Supps and worse.  We both took an awfully long time to finish Lap 3 of the 3 year course and drifted off into other diversions before graduating.  I took an interest in the world of Printing with Jack van Niftrik, as a sideline to our studies.  Chic ran quite slick gambling casinos, quite illegally but successfully.  These were in the suburbs of Johannesburg: if you were well connected, you would hear where the next clandestine gathering would be held, and go there to lose some more money. 

I was in a respectable job at the Industrial Development Corporation, the IDC, when I met my beloved wife-to-be, Sister Lynn Webster.  She used to boss around Jack and his medical student classmates at the Johannesburg General Hospital.  Jack introduced us, probably because he thought I deserved her.  She ran Ward 23, being Obstetrics & Gynaecology; so it was interesting for her to arrive at the Professor’s home and then marry the Professor’s son.  No sooner were we married than I was sternly told to go and complete my education at Wits instead of whimpering around with a half-hearted attempt at tertiary education.

I think Chic must have had the same sort of reprimand, because we both returned sheepishly to part-time studies on the campus and succeeded in scraping through the final exams.  We argued good-naturedly about who had taken the longest to complete his BSc.  We both claimed that we had the record for time taken to finish a three year undergraduate course.  We also liked to chide those who did the course so quickly in three years that they missed the nuances and subtleties which can only be gained by spending time to study the course properly.

While Chic was devoting his talents to playing Bridge in the canteen instead of studying, my main distraction from studies were Rugby and Squash.  I managed to play in the Under 19A team, league champions in those years.  There was a lovely camaraderie about the Rugby Club: the players, the girlfriends and followers, the coaches.  My brother John played First XV, and my dad was President of the club.  Our coach Syd Newman had played for Scotland, and he was a big gun in the Mining industry.  He organised a lovely tour to Rhodesia for us, where we won all our games.  Squash leagues in those years were not as big as they are nowadays, but I played in a respectable team in Second League.

One saving grace in my academic endeavours was that I had Duncan Mitchell as a Lab Partner.  We did experiments in teams of two; Duncan was always very patient in explaining the theory to me, and supervising the practice.  He wrote up the results in meticulous detail, thereby scoring high marks which he deserved and I didn’t.  There was one experiment I undertook which was extra-curricular.  We had our Chemistry lectures in a great big lecture theatre that seated 120.  One of the lecturers was considered to be very dull, and we wondered how to brighten up the event.  I caught the bus into the city before that day’s lecture, and bought a pigeon at the pet shop.  I smuggled this poor bird into the class.  When we judged the time right, I tossed it up in the air, and it circled frantically above the pandemonium that had broken out below.  Struggling to make himself heard, the lecturer shouted that the doors must be closed and we would all be locked in until the guilty party had owned up.  I owned up, never intending to remain anonymous.  Whilst the more agile members of the Chemistry class hopped over seats trying to help the pigeon to safety, I was told that I would appear before the Dean of the Faculty of Science for punishment.

This took a few days, and there was some speculation about how much longer my university career would last.  When I did appear in the Dean’s office, I was wondering if I would be given six cuts, expulsion or 500 lines to write.  The Dean was clearly very puzzled by the incident.  He was a colleague of my father’s, and had contacted my dad before seeing me.  He asked me if I had been a naughty boy at school.  No, I said.  There did not seem to be a cane in the office, so that punishment wasn’t forthcoming.  He was a dear old chap, Professor Backeberg, quite puzzled by how to handle this procedure.  As he chatted on, trying to give me some good advice, I began to wonder if the meeting would end with a gin and tonic.  It ended with a mild rebuke and his insistence that I must study harder and promise not to disrupt any more classes. 

Chemistry was the only subject in which I scored a First at Wits, so perhaps I did pay attention to the kindly Dean.

Jack van Niftrik and I continued our school holiday adventures of hitch-hiking around Southern Africa from time to time.  I recently retrieved the old type-wriiten diaries of those years and desk-top published a book called Travels with Jack. 

I referred above to my job at the IDC.  For one who was not a salt of the earth Science student, this job gave me some career direction.  There were superb accountants at the IDC who became my colleagues: I learnt technicalities of accounting from them, and began to see the world of business in terms of gross profit, cashflow and Profit before Interest & Tax.  Not having learnt any Accounts at school, I had a lot of catching up to do.

I enrolled for part-time study at the Institute of Cost & Management Accountants, as it was then called.  For the first of five Parts in the qualification, I paid too much to enroll in some training college, and learnt too little.  I got wise to this for subsequent Parts.  For these, I bought the textbooks, examined the syllabus minutely, found previous exam papers, and put together my own course to study the subject as it made sense to me.  Not having Duncan Mitchell to enlighten me, and not having good teachers like we had at St John’s, led me to forage for knowledge instead of being spoon-fed.

Part-time study suited me.  For some exams, which happened every six months, I was too busy at work to do justice to the subjects.  In other cases I was able to put in the hours and expect a decent result.  This is an internationally recognised qualification for which exam statistics were published: a typical pass rate was 33%.  I remember spending a busy six months studying for two Parts (3 and 4) for which I had enrolled together.  I passed Part 4 and failed one subject in Part 3; so I had to finish Part 3 before proceeding to the final Part.  One could get credits for individual exams passed during the course, but in Part 5 all the subjects had to be passed together.  I went through the cat-and-mouse game of passing Taxation and failing Company Law, then failing Taxation and passing Law.  Eventually I did qualify when we were living in Sydney.  This was a bother for the Institute, who had to send exam papers to Australia for a student who was studying the South African version of Tax and Company Law.  Nowadays it is called the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and I am a Fellow.

What took me and the family to Australia?  Well, let’s first catch up on who the family was.  Our first-born is Judith, born on Gaudy Day 1970.  Then came Stephen, who arrived 17 months later.  Stephen’s birth seemed more like a social event than an obstetrical procedure.  Lily Mitchell, Duncan’s wife, had been level-pegging with Lynn during pregnancy; the two mums-to-be could compare their bellies and their morning sickness as the weeks passed.  They both booked into the MaryMount for the delivery.  We husbands then discovered that Stephen and Brigid had been born within hours of each other.  The mums quickly found friends to play Bridge with, and the dads had to be careful not to interrupt a vital game when we came visiting.

After five years at the IDC I had moved to Reed International as the PA to John Smeddle, sent to South Africa from London to tidy up the multi-national’s South African investments.  Smeddle acquired an interesting company based in Pretoria, Polyfoil Packaging.  The boss was Tommy Hutt, a modest man who had made an important break-through in producing HD Polyethylene as a thin film; this is the crinkly material that makes your shopping bag used at the supermarket checkout.  Reed bought the company and set up factories in Canada, Britain and Australia to make plastic bags to replace the paper packets previously used.  At my request, I was transferred to Polyfoil in Pretoria and became its Financial Director.  I put up my hand to be the manager to transfer the technology to Australia.  My career path, if you can call it that, took on an increasing interest in being involved in technology without becoming a techie.  What this is intended to convey is that I enjoy working with technolgy and techies, but do not try to specialise or become an expert.

Lynn, as mother of a toddler and a babe-in-arms, had many things to cope with.  Her life was further complicated by her husband’s wish to work in Australia.  In those years the Aussies were keen to attract immigrants, and we were actually paid to become New Australians.  I was aware how narrow our lives were in South Africa as the country became increasingly isolated from the outside world.  It was instructive to encounter the world of militant Trades Unions led by Bob Hawke, who became Prime Minister in later years.  So I was General Manager of  Reed Polyfilms in Sydney for 18 months in 1972-73.  Judith started her schooling there at a cute little nursery school.  We had black-and-white TV before it arrived in South Africa.  The Queen came out to open the new Sydney Opera House: our daughter sat in front of the TV, enchanted to see the Queen visiting our city.  She waved at the Queen, and Queenie waved back at her.   When we returned to South Africa, Judith liked telling how the Queen waved to her.

We decided not to become Australians after all.  My job was quite comfortable with air-conditioned office and all that; but Lynn had to endure the hottest summer in memory, in a meagre house that provided no respite from the heat. Following my father’s death, I felt like returning to the family in South Africa.

My next job back in South Africa was Corporate Planner in the Cullinan Group based in Olifansfontein between Johannesburg and Pretoria.  I worked there with fine colleagues, and learnt how much good can be done in a corporate culture which treats its stakeholders with respect.  Before the phenomenon of the Rainbow Nation and the era of Mandela’s leadership, the management of Cullinan Holdings rejected the traditions of apartheid; we treated people on merit and not skin colour.  In years gone by there had been a tradition of long service awards for white staff: a company tie after 2 years, a pen & pencil set after 10 years, a gold watch after 25 years.  It was then deemed fair to extend this to all staff.  This raised the question: what about the blacks who have been employees for more than 25 years?  The answer: they will be awarded gold watches too, in arrears.  This was a lot of gold watches, because Cullinan was the kind of company that had many loyal staff members with a lifetime of service.  At that time electronic watches were just coming into vogue.  After 18 months the Personnel Department had to deal with a queue of disappointed staff with the same story: “My watch has stopped working”.  Many new batteries were the order of the day.

At our first Christmas with the company we encountered a quaint tradition.  This went back to the days when Douglas Cullinan, son of Sir Thomas of diamond fame, was the MD.  It was in the Depression years of the 1930s.  Business was bad, orders were down, cost cutting was a matter of survival (familiar story?).  The village of Olifantsfontein had grown around the factory and clay pits used in the manufacture of refractory bricks and industrial porcelain.  Douglas called a meeting of the entire community to announce that there would have to be retrenchments, or else everybody would have to accept a cut in their pay.  Which would they prefer?  The village voted without hesitation that nobody must lose their job.  Douglas was the first to take a salary cut.  Months passed and belts had to be tightened.  Came Christmas, and Douglas realised that people would not be able to afford a Christmas meal or presents for the kids.  So the company provided a ham and a turkey for every family, and bought presents for the children.  When we came to work there forty years later, the tradition continued.  I arrived home with a turkey and a ham.  Judith’s present was a doll, and Stephen got a toy truck.  They both treasured these gifts in years to come, and we enjoyed those special meals and retold the story to family and friends.

It was fashionable at that time to get an MBA.  I wondered if my studying years were over: maybe it is too late to study now, I thought.  At age thirty something, I wondered if I would be the oldest in the class.  I gathered my courage and enrolled for an MBL course.  The first year class of 200 was the biggest they had seen at the Unisa School of Business Leadership; and I was the third oldest oomie there.  There was a culture of group study: you had to join a group in your area, and some groups were quite competitive and full of themselves.  We took pride in acting laid back and cool.  Don’t fuss, don’t worry, was the ethic.  We proclaimed that it was an unnecessary waste of valuable effort to score more than 55% in any exam.  We heard domestic tales of how hard the daddy had to work on his studies, and the household had to tiptoe around him anxiously.  Our wives could show surprise at these antics, and say things like “he doesn’t seem to do much studying, but somehow he keeps passing exams”.  From our initial 12 in the group, there was only one dropout, and we all passed the finals in the allotted three years of part-time study.  Times had changed since Chic and I took so many years to pass a three year course.  I think the MBL studies complemented the corporate planning I was doing at Cullinan.

Something else that emerged from my efforts to do corporate planning, was that I spent long hours wrestling with the challenge of producing coherent and flexible Budget/Actual projections, before spreadsheets had been invented.  In the IDC years we drew up three year projections for companies which had applied for financial assistance.  We wrote in pencil on large sheets of analysis paper and counted on our fingers and toes.  As we altered the numbers and recalculated, we made copious use of a rubber eraser; so that there was quite a pile of rubber shavings by the end of the session.  I found a program called Prosper which ran on an ICL mainframe; the software could neatly do the projections and assumptions I was intent on producing.  I attended seminars and training sessions on this magic tool for Budgets.  Cullinan’s Computer Department were not too helpful in allowing me to interrupt their proceedings with requests for another batch of cards to be punched, and reports to be run at random.  My brother, as it happened, was the DP Manager for ICI who used the right brand of  mainframe computer.  He gave me permission to go after hours and over weekends to his computer room in Braamfontein.  One of the marvels of that equipment was a row of disk drives each the size of a small fridge, that turned a set of disk platters at great speed and stored 4 megabytes of data each.  I produced piles of neatly printed continuous stationery which laid out in detail the future fortunes of Cullinan.

Our ‘laat lammetjie’ Louise was born in 1977.  It was a bit easier for Mum to rear the youngest after her difficult years in having two kids close together and living in Aus without much help.  The older brother and sister also did their share of amusing and helping the baby of the family.

I left Cullinan and took the bold step of forming a training company called ETA Systems Support to teach users of IBM micro-computers how to do their accounts on these amazing new devices which were starting to move into the space previously owned by large mainframes.  It started with a model called 5110 and progressed to System 23 before the Personal Computer (PC) arrived.  I had by then merged ETA with a software house that wrote accounting software for these IBM micro-computers, MAPAC Computer Systems.  My partner in MAPAC was Hew Mennell, who had been an IBM salesman for some years.  When the PC was launched overseas, it did not appear for a while on the South African market.  Hew found buyers for 20 PCs and we imported these into South Africa, the first on the continent; IBM did not support these first computers, and we had quite a run-around dealing with their teething problems.

In a turbulent market our little company did not manage to survive.  Stephen spent his Prep years at St John’s and Judith was at St Mary’s.  We had to sell our Waverley house and moved to Parkview, where the girls went to Parkview Junior and Senior while Stephen became a Parktown schoolboy.  This adversity was bravely born by the family.  I found a career changing job at Systems Programming Ltd, known as SPL.  Founded in the early years of computers in 1968, SPL was the market leader in building and enhancing large mainframe systems.  It was an eye opener for me to see how SPL’s skilled staff were charged out to grateful clients at fees which were astonishing to a rats-and-mice software house like MAPAC.

I worked at SPL and then Dimension Data for 18 years until retiring in 2001.  As  the IT bubble started inflating in the early 90s, SPL went onto the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.  As SANLAM’s IT investments were consolidated into a new giant to be called Dimension Data, SPL was acquired as a new Division of Didata. 

The nature of the work I did at SPL was the management of large projects.  Surrounded by gifted technical people, I never wrote software, never tested software, never designed databases and was never a systems analyst.  I attended seminars on these topics, I did my fair share of technical training and I contributed to heavy discussions on technical issues.  Therefore I had a clear understanding of the technology, but I avoided being hands-on.  After all that statement of what I did not do, what was my role on a large project?  I was the guy who lived in that important space between client top management and the team they were paying so much to build a new system or fix an old system.  At the monthly Progress Meeting there can be quite a mix of busy and important people on the client’s side, and key players of my team they have hired to do a tricky job.  In the middle ground I referred to, I needed to wear the client’s hat and see the world through his or her eyes - but I also had to explain and defend what we were doing.  Sometimes the technical expert does not have the words to explain properly, sometimes misses symptoms of friction and rivalry in client ranks, sometimes offends the client with careless comments.  There were times when restoring harmony from argumentation was a challenge.  Always the management of client expectations had to be carefully managed.  Surprise and indignation when the project runs three months late and costs more, needs to be avoided.  I tried to understand how to build a relationship of trust with the client, and to shield my team from damaging confrontations.

These concerns about managing the client carefully, turned out to be important on some of the large and complex projects  I managed.  Didata was making money hand-over-fist; they set tough targets for perform-ance, but top management could afford to pay out generously for targets exceeded.  We got share options that were very handsome; Lynn and I enjoyed incentive awards of trips to Zermatt and Thailand.  I was able to retire to Hermanus, which I love dearly.  I have pottered around for some years with a digital printing business I called Thoughtfully Yours, on Judith’s advice.  I am preparing to look around now for consulting assignments, and have enrolled at the Stellenbosch University School of Business to do some PhD research.

Little did I realise 50 years ago, how valuable to me was the investment my parents made by sending me to St John’s.  Financially it was very tough for them, which I did not understand then.  But I do understand it now.


 

 

Derek James

Herewith some brief details of my chequered career!

Left SA in 1972 after founding with others a "coloured" Boys Home called St Nicolas Home where we had worked for seven years.

 

Came with DY to Botswana to start Maru a Pula School. Worked as history teacher and also partime as BBC correspondent for seven years.

 

Saw the light and went to work for Kgalagadi Breweries and Chibuku as Group Personnel Manager keeping the peace between bloody minded Brits, Boers, and Batswana. Worked in various capacities there for 14 years.  

 

Saw the light again and took over SOS Children's Villages with my wife Lyn as National Director and Financial controller respectively.This move was made in 1994 and today we are building a third Children's Village in Serowe, all the funds being raised by ourselves! Told by my Austrian masters that retirement is age 60, ignored this advice and am still there at 67 and plan to be there until I drop.

 

I have been married to Lyn for 42 years and we have two daughters a doctor and a lawyer. For many years I was Chairman of the Botswana Athletic Association and because of that interest I have travelled to Moscow many times, to Canada and to New Zealand taking Batswana athletes. My best day was when Glody Dube came 7th in the 800 metre final at the Sydney Olympics. I have managed him for some years now. I also had some input into two other athletes who are ranked in the top 15 in the world in Long Jump and High Jump.

 

My interests are swimming and walking and looking after 485 SOS children in two villages in Botswana, and building a third village in Serowe at present.

 

As a little Jewish boy at SJC, an Anglican server and headmaster at St Nicolas, and now a "born again Atheist'” with most of my funders Muslim, I enjoy the one life I have!

 

The end of June will be the culmination of three years work in fundraising and constructing a Children's Village in Serowe Botswana. The Opening will be performed by President Seretse Khama Ian Khama (Wow!). As Albert Einstein once said" Your own well being depends on the goodwill and smiles of others". I have had numerous smiles and as a result of my wife and staff's activities I am to receive the Presidential Order of Honour from the Pres in September! i have taken great inspiration from Seretse khama's inscription in Setswana on his memorial tombstone. "Lefatshe ke kereke yame, go dira molemo ke tumelo yame" which in English is " The country is my church and to do good is my religion". That is the only religion I shall touch!

 


 

ROBERT LLEWELLYN JEFFREY

Past and present

 

 

Denys Chamberlain always said to me that I was the only person in the history of St Johns to have had a first class aggregate, two distinctions and failed matric (as a result of failing English essay).  A unique effort of which I am justly proud.  Blame Chic, a polished matriculant with a D in English, for everything written here because he had to help me write this.

 

After school, I went to Wits and was active in numerous nefarious pursuits including being on the Students Representative Council, representing Wits at athletics, rugby and rowing and playing rugby for Transvaal U20, combined Northern Universities and rowing for South African Universities.  After an extended education programme, I somehow graduated with a B.Sc. in Mathematical Statistics and Applied Mathematics and was lucky enough to be awarded a scholarship to Cambridge University where I obtained an MA degree in economics, but spent most of my time rowing and pursuing other activities. 

 

I joined a merchant bank in 1969 and was sent for a brief period to London to get some international experience.  In order to steady the ship, I married Carol in 1970.  I was appointed investment manager by the bank and while there completed an MBL, Cum Laude, at the University of South Africa.  In 1975, I moved into the construction industry as a Financial Director and became Managing Director of Dorbyl Structural Engineering and a member of the Group Executive Committee.  I later moved into industry and was responsible for a number of diverse industrial, electronic and engineering companies before becoming an independent consultant.  During this time, I was Chairman of the Constructional Engineers Association (CEA), the CEA representative on SEIFSA, an executive member of the Association of Steel Merchant Stockholders, as well as being active on a number of other Councils and committees.  For more than twenty years, I was involved in consulting to a range of government, corporate and private clients in investment, business and strategic planning, organisation structuring, mergers and acquisitions.  I worked closely with Econometrix for many years, and joined the team in 2004 where I am currently a director and senior economist.  I consult for government and the private sector, and give presentations and lectures on current international and domestic economic developments and industrial growth strategies. 

 

I live in Johannesburg, and remain happily married with four children scattered around the world in Australia, Europe and South Africa. 


David Jones

 

 

 

Education and professional - 1959 - Wrote matric at St John’s College Johannesburg

                                          1965 – Graduated from Witwatersrand University Johannesburg with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering

                                          1972 -  Registered as a Professional Engineer in South Africa

                                          1973 -  Became a Chartered Engineer United Kingdom

                                          1989 -  Became a Chartered Engineer Australia

 

 

Working Career –                 After graduating from Wits worked for a year in SA and then traveled to the United Kingdom and spent about two years there working as a trainee engineer for the Head Wrightson Group. Returned to SA in 1968 and continued to work for the same group in Johannesburg until 1973 as a project engineer in process plant engineering design and construction.

                                          From 1973 to 1976 worked for Roberts Construction as an engineer in the nuclear field.

In 1977 joined Hubert Davies as a Divisional Manager in process plant equipment design and manufacture.

From 1981 to late 80’s worked for Foster Wheeler in Johannesburg in process and pharmaceutical plant design and construction holding various positions including that of Project Manager and Engineering Manager.

Emigrated to Australia at the end of the 80’s and joined Clough Engineering in Perth Western Australia. Worked for Clough in the design and construction of oil and gas and mineral processing plant as a Project Manager and a Proposals Manager until 2004.

From 2004 until retirement in 2008 worked for Lycopodium Minerals Engineering in Perth as a Study Manager and continue to work for them on a part time basis.

 

 

Family -                              Married Elizabeth (Liz) in 1969 having met her while working in the United Kingdom.

                                          Have two sons Neil (37) and Gavin (33).  Both of them attended the University of Western Australia where Neil graduated with a BSc degree in Engineering and works in design and plant commissioning in the oil and gas industry.  Gavin graduated with a BSc in Natural Resource Management followed by an MBA and is a commercial manager in one of the large engineering and construction companies in Perth.

                                         Both sons are married and live in Perth.  Between them they have provided us with five grandchildren.

     

 Other                               Spare time has been devoted to bring up the family, and various home projects over the years. The working career, particularly in Australia, involved some travel and took me to various countries in SE Asia, Europe and the US.  Now that I have retired I hope to find the time to take up golf again and perhaps sailing.  However I am presently completing the construction of a house and with part time work and the grandchildren, the result is a very active life.  


 

 

Peter Lapping

My parents decided that I was too young for university straight after matric and sent me back for the Sixth Form.  They were probably right.  Four happy years followed at Natal University (Pietermaritzburg) after which I went to Lincoln College, Oxford. Between Natal and Oxford I spent eight months on a Rotary Youth Exchange in Norway which was splendid. Leaving Oxford in 1966, I decided to teach and having married Diana (Wizzy), who I met in Oxford, we lived near Edinburgh for the next 13 years.  Our two children, who are rabid Scots, were born there.  In 1979 I tired of the east coast wind and became a Headmaster at Shiplake College, a very young school near Henley-on-Thames.  Nine years later I moved to Sherborne School in Dorset - a much bigger (650 boys aged 13 to 18) and older school - its origins go back to 705 AD.  Quite a contrast.  After 12 years there and 21 as a Headmaster, I retired to the Cotswolds, where Wizzy grew up and where we frequently entertain our 3 grandchildren. Life is and was very full.  I played lots of cricket but now content myself with watching  - mainly at Lords but have been to Australia twice to watch the Ashes.  I am involved in Gloucestershire CCC, govern schools, regularly visit the theatre (mainly in Bath),write for the parish magazine, do the occasional consultancy, play bad golf, travel around Europe quite a lot and garden ignorantly and vigorously.  I have had a few health scares along the way and so try to keep fit.  So there it is - I have become a typical Pom but before you all start gloating about the World Cup just give thanks that you avoided Scotland in the draw!


 

DAVID LEGG

 

Despite years of effort on the part of Ratty McPhail my poor maths was an early downfall when encouraged by my father to follow any  profession “so long as first you try Accountancy” upon leaving school. Duly enrolled at Wits and whilst enjoying the early experience of being an articled clerk, I was nevertheless floored on achieving only 16% in an incredibly difficult First Year course entitled “Elementary Maths & Stats”. Unfortunately, and what with my dad’s sudden death about this time, Verwoerd’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth and my mother selling our house in a deep South African gloom, it seemed best to fall into the insurance broking business when offered a position at £ 25.00 a month in 1963.

 

Today, of course, my maths is really sharp and I can add big numbers in my head with a talent for calculating insurance rates and premiums across a desk upside down when necessary.

 

I joined Price Forbes and worked in Johannesburg and Pretoria whilst writing the exams necessary to qualify as an Associate of the UK’s Chartered Insurance Institute. before joining Glanville Enthoven in 1972. I was appointed to the board and served with them through three mergers in 17 years before eventually joining Glenrand MIB, a JSE listed risk management and broking firm at the top of the corporate business insurance pile in South Africa. My insurance career has been both stimulating and generally fun. I retired officially 2 years back but continue working temporarily as a grey eminence sought after for knowledge and experience sorely lacking in the industry today.

 

Along the way I fell in love with and finally persuaded Lyndsay Fowler, whom I had known since the age of seven, to marry me in 1969. Her brothers, Richard and Garry, were at school with us and so she is well versed in most things I might need whilst being a cook to rival Nigella Lawson.

 

We have 3 children , a son, Andrew, who we educated at St. John’s and who has become a very successful attorney locally, and twin daughters, Deborah and Philippa, both living in London and having had great careers in Human Resources and Marketing after schooling at St. Mary’s in Waverley and later at Rhodes. We have enjoyed our children’s success but have been especially rewarded with their presentation to us of 5 grandchildren, two super qualified husbands and one Kingsmead wife who was the “girl next door” in the house behind us and who courted Andrew from the age of 13 years! All are happily married and give us ample opportunity to travel to UK as frequently as my relationship with FNB allows.

 

So we have lots to enjoy.

 

In addition to family and friendships, I sing in the Johannesburg Welsh Male Voice Choir, am on the Council of our local parish church and, in a personal capacity, act as the appointed Diocesan consultant on insurance and risk management matters to the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.  For many years (with Rob Jeffrey) I was an active Toastmaster whilst, still longer ago, burned with a zeal for political change when serving on Helen Suzman’s original Young Prog’s Committee in the Houghton constituency. Today I fancy photography, painting, music and reading. Wild life (shared sometimes with Peter Ferguson) has been fun too and my interest (often shared with Paul Jacobs) in cricket as good, if not better, for of this game I shall never tire.


A Brief Resumé of the Life of Legge TFH.

 

 

Not sure why they suddenly introduced long-service awards at such a late stage, but I suppose that many of us who had managed to complete the long slog from LI to UV or VI in the earlier days probably felt that we had it tougher!  Still, I didn’t learn my lesson and went on to take a longish sojourn at Wits, first doing Science (I sure wasn’t going to become a civil engineer because my father was one!) and then finding that you can’t fight the DNA or environment and switching to BSc (Eng)(Civil), graduating in 1970.  That wasn’t all at Wits – after spending a year playing rugby, rowing, and chasing women, not to mention the odd hands of bridge or klabberjas in the canteen, dear old Jere Jennings banished (rusticated, perhaps) me to the wilds of the then Suid-Wes to learn road construction skills, discover Windhoek (beer, as well) and get my act together.

 

I went into Civil Engineering consultancy, moving to Cape Town to build some roads, and marry Helen, before we departed on the Windsor Castle for the UK, where I did a post-graduate year at the Royal School of Mines, specialising in Engineering Rock Mechanics.  My prof there was a South African, Evert Hoek, and he set up his own consultancy, recruiting some of his students.  So we stayed in the UK, and I became involved in major underground works, Dinorwig in North Wales and Drakensberg back here in the RSA..  Also several mining projects around the world, so we stayed on in the UK and Helen produced a Welsh daughter (Angela) in 1975 and an English one (Janet)  five years later.  I reckon we were very lucky to get them – I was beginning to travel abroad so much that the Internal Revenue were continually paying me money!

 

Then the mortality of our parents became an issue (Helen’s dad died in 1980 and the others started getting old) so we finally decided to come back to SA in 1987 – I ask you, the State of Emergency, riots in the townships, the Groot Krokodil – and most of our friends in the UK bade us farewell in the absolute certainty that we would never be seen again, disappearing into the groot potjies of revolution.  But return we did; Helen and the girls in late 1987, and, having finally wrapped up my commitments around the globe, I joined them in 1988.  I had plans to set up my own consultancy, but after some eighteen months my good friend and mentor, Tony Brink (international doyen of engineering geology) lured me into a professorship in the Civil Engineering Department at RAU.  Yes, I know, but remarkably the Afrikaans drilled into my unwilling mind by Jackie Huggett in class and Maxie Burger on the rugby field, reinforced by a year in each of Karasburg (SWA) and Piketberg (Cape), survived well-enough to launch me onto very different cultural seas, and I have never regretted a minute!

 

The girls have grown up, and Angela (now a single mum) is effectively running the finances of a civil engineering supply company and has provided us with a gorgeous grandson (Anthony) and Janet, having spent several years at Rhodes to achieve a cum laude Masters in Linguistics, is working very hard and successfully at City and Guilds in London.  My career at RAU (now University of Johannesburg) supposedly ended with my retirement at the end of 2007, but that only lasted for three days (a record? – probably not these days) and I returned to run the Civil Engineering department.  Helen, who successfully raised two wonderful daughters, is now repeating the exercise with the grandson, so we are both probably busier that ever before in our lives.  The house at Plettenberg Bay continues to beckon, and I am more and more starting to doubt my sanity, but DAMN IT I’m still having so much fun!

 

I’ve read most of the other autobiogs with fascination – and having had very little contact with you all since leaving school, all I can say is: ROLL ON OCTOBER!

Looking forward to catching up all those years with you. 

 

Cheers,

Francis (aka Tommy).

 


Des & Dawn Lindberg

 

I suppose I could say I have spent the 50 years since leaving school being a student, singer,  entertainer, musician, producer, composer, lyricist, studio engineer, lighting and sound designer, entrepreneur, armchair politician and sports expert, student of bewildering new technologies, wine enthusiast, bush-baby, father, and husband to the same person.

 

The teachers I remember fondly, and “blame” for my whimsical passions: Mick Pennington, Deane Yates, Maxie Burger, Popsie Le Grand, Madame Teague, Doug Jeffrey and Jarvis Palmer.

 

When I left St. Johns after my sixth form year, I was firmly of the opinion that a career in the law, saving the misguided from the gallows, the rule of law from the government, and becoming the learned friend of celebrated advocates, would finally justify all that Latin! Life and common sense had other plans.

 

I completed a B.A. at Wits, majoring extramurally in Choral Society productions, cricket for Wits Thirds, and running the Political Forum with Essop Pahad, who has since got a better paid job. I started singing folk, satirical and protest songs in coffee bars. (In Sixth Form James Ridley and I had successfully persuaded Madame Teague to focus the syllabus on French Folksongs, which provided me with useful and unique repertoire.) My night job finally marked the end of my bid for an LL.B when I set up the legendary Troubadour in Noord Street.

 

I got a recording contract with CBS.. Imagine Maxie Burger’s pride and delight when one of his “boys” who was not famous for Rugby or Hurdles, became the first artist ever to have a number one hit in Afrikaans nogal!  Die Gezoem van die Bye.  Thank you, St. Johns.

 

In the Choral Society production of The Vagabond King I fell head-over-heels (literally) for a barefoot, paint-spattered Wits  Fine Arts Student and  AFS scholar . We were married in 1965, and we toured South Africa and Zimbabwe (still Rhodesia) in a caravan for three years, playing town halls and theatres from the Cape to Kariba. Then a year in U.K. and Europe, and back home, where we did our best to convince South Africans that the Seagull’s Name was , and still is, Nelson. Most people believe us now.

 

We bought a wonderful  old Victorian colonial style house on top of Houghton Ridge, where we lived for 35 years, and presented over 2000 South African artists on our Soirée stage.

 

We have produced many musicals and revues. Godspell, and our successful Supreme Court battle to get it unbanned,  was a benchmark of change in SA theatre. We also produced Pippin, The Black Mikado, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Shrew , The Vagina Monologues, The Good Body, and many more.

 

I toured SA with Spike Milligan, and Dawn and I both toured with Richard Clayderman.

 

I was Vice Chairman of Promat Colleges, a black teacher-education upgrade project, for ten years, serving with Nthatho Motlana, Edwin Cameron, Murray Hofmeyr and Enos Mabusa, and founder Larry Robertson.

 

Our core business has for years been Corporate Entertainment and Business Theatre, but we remain Legit Theatre producers. I was Chairman of the Theatre Managements of South Africa for 22 years, and I served for 3 years on the Jhb Civic Theatre Board, and 5 years on the board of the post-democracy State Theatre.

 

Two years ago we moved to our new home in Parktown North.  We have two sons, Joshua, married to Zuraida Jardine, and living in L.A., and Adam, married to Andi Ashton, and living in Cape Town. Grandchildren, we are assured daily on Skype, e-mail and SMS, will follow! And after 43 years Des & Dawn are still truckin”!


 

David Lovely

 

Married Sheila Cameron in 1966. They live in Knysna and have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.

 

CAREER:

Chartered Accountant (Wits). Articled at Whiteley Brothers with several other OJ’s qualifying in 1965. Admitted to the practice in 1967.

Left the auditing profession in 1970 to take up a business opportunity in a long established mining supply company which was, in turn, purchased by Murray & Roberts in 1978. Ran various entities in the Murray & Roberts group for the next fifteen years. Appointed to the main board in 1989.

Relocated to Knysna in 1994. Stayed active in business and community affairs until 2007. Now retired.

 

INTERESTS:

Christian ministry, business & economics, sport, reading, wildlife and anything to do with nature.

 


Alan Macleod

After farming for a short period I completed a Diploma in Agriculture at Potchefstroom and then spent a year (1964) in USA studying (Feedlots and AI) and working on feedlots and with pedigree Hereford show cattle outfits in Kansas, Wyoming and New Mexico. Thereafter spent 2 years farming in Swartruggens (pedigree Hereford and ranch cattle).

 

Veterinary interests convinced me to change and I graduated as Veterinarian, spent some months in Saskatchewan, Canada in a mixed practice. Eventually couldn’t take the frost bite any longer and returned to private practice in JHB which lasted a gratifying 26 years.

 

Having sold the practice I joined New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Food Safety Authority and Verification Agency NZFSA) as a Supervising Veterinarian and Technical Supervisor. I served as a member of the NZ Exotic Disease Response Team as a Frontline Vet.

 

After 3 years I was transferred to the post of Coordinator of NZ Veterinary Biosecurity Services (Import, Export, and Quarantine - Animals and Animal Products) in Auckland. Missed the sunshine, bush, biltong and braais too much, and returned to SA at end of 2002.

 

Took up the post in Cape Town as Manager and Veterinarian in charge of the Research Animal Facility at UCT. I was then offered the post of Manager and Veterinarian at the National Council of SPCAs, of the Research Bioethics and Special Projects Unit. I currently serve on 30 national research ethics committees, SABS Standards Committee and a recent appointment to National Health Council Research Ethics Committee.  Apart from the veterinary, agriculture and wildlife research projects, I am involved in Compliance Auditing of research facilities, Risk Analysis and Quality Assurance programs. Life is very busy. No time, or desire, to retire.

In Feb 2008 I returned to NZ having received an offer to rejoin NZ Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF). I am currently the NZ Manager Animal Exports - Live Animals and Germplasm, for MAF Biosecurity (Border Standards Directorate) based in Wellington. (Work email :   Alan.Macleod@maf.govt.nz)

 

Married to Truus and have 3 sons, and 3 grand children (2 Kiwis). 2 sons live in NZ and the youngest (Greg) is the fitness trainer and physio for the Otago Highlanders Super 14 team and works with the All Blacks and NZ Divisional XV. All 3 sons have SA National Colours (Rowing, Hockey and Lawn Bowls).

 

Never one to neglect sport I participated in multiple categories at provincial, national and international levels:

Transvaal Country Districts Cricket and a couple of years Premier league cricket

SA Universities B Cricket and Soccer

SA Universities Boxing Team to UK (cancelled due to anti apartheid boycott)

Western Transvaal Impalas U21 Rugby

Reserve for SA Springbok Team – Combat Pistol Shooting vs USA

Springbok Colours for Cycling (1989 SA team to Belgium, Austria and World Champs – won by SA team). I was also Manager of this 1989 team, and the 1986 SA team which completed a clean sweep in the Belgium Internationals in Flanders.

Have completed 8 Argus cycle tours and 9 cycle trips JHB to Durban with a best time of 21 hrs to Durban (at 43 years old).

Currently coaching any SA team from the lounge armchair (like the rest of us).

 

 


 

 

John McDowell

 

            I stayed for the Sixth Form in 1959, partly to get the two A-levels I needed for admission to the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now the University of Zimbabwe). I was at UCRN from 1960 to 1962, studying Latin and Greek (to prepare for going to Oxford, which Deane Yates had decided I should do; at one time I tried to resist, but I’m really glad he pointed me in that direction), and Economics because I needed a third subject. I played hockey moderately seriously and tennis casually, and that was apparently enough “hearty outdoor activity” for a Rhodes Scholarship. So I read Greats at New College, Oxford, between 1963 and 1965. Again, I played some hockey there, but I couldn’t cope with the muddy grounds and uneven run of the ball — though I came to love tennis on grass courts, and played a lot until I left Oxford. In 1965/6, my third Rhodes year, I began on work towards a B. Phil. in philosophy, which to my surprise I had become captivated by (I had previously thought I would end up as some kind of classical scholar). But midway through that year I was elected a Fellow of University College, and I didn’t finish the B. Phil., let alone go on to a doctorate.

            I was at Univ., as Fellow and Praelector (i.e. tutor) in philosophy, until 1986, when I became an emeritus fellow. And since last year I’ve been an honorary fellow.

            In1977 I married the love of my life, Andrea Lehrke, whom I had met while visiting at the University of Michigan. We’re still happily together; she keeps me going. I sometimes help her with her garden, and we go to the gym together — she is much fitter than I am. No offspring.

            In 1986 we moved to Pittsburgh; to begin with I was an ordinary Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, and since 1988 I’ve been a University Professor.

            I’ve had a good career in academic philosophy, and I’ve been rewarded with honours: I’ve been a Fellow of the British Academy since 1983, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1992. Earlier this year the University of Chicago gave me an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters (making an honest American academic of me: everyone assumes a professor has a doctorate). Later this year Harvard University Press is going to bring out the third and fourth collections of papers I’ve written. Apart from the collections, HUP also published the book I made of the John Locke Lectures I gave in Oxford in 1991. In all these cases I’ve persuaded them not to require me to write in American English.


 

Duncan Mitchell

 

After completing Sixth Form in 1959, I did a BSc in Physics and Maths at Wits, the first moderately and the second badly, and then an Honours in Experimental Physics. While I was an undergraduate, I played cricket for a legendary Wits third team (which included Des Lindberg), and also badminton for Wits (with Barrie Bowling), both of which I refused to give up even for exams, which accounted partially for the "badly" above. It was clear to Wits, and to me, that I was not destined for a great career in physics, but, fortunately for me, I had developed an interest in biology, not least because I had met Lily (Austin), who was doing Zoology and Botany at Wits at the time. So, in 1964, with the support of the then Head of Physics, Frank Nabarro, I went to work with Cyril Wyndham, arguably the best physiologist to have worked in South Africa. Cyril Wyndham was the Director of a laboratory in the research organization of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, which had a variety of names, including Human Sciences Laboratory, and the area in which I worked was applied human physiology. The team that I joined was concerned with heat transfer and body temperature regulation in gold miners, even then working at 4km underground, in very hot and humid conditions. The Chamber of Mines refused Cyril's request to appoint me to the staff for the first year (what could a physicist contribute to applied physiology?), but then did so a year later, and I stayed for another eight years, during which I also completed, through Wits but off site, and MSc and a PhD in human thermal physiology.

In the course of the research that I had been doing, I had become interested in the neurophysiology of thermal physiology, and gratefully took up an offer of a contract appointment with the UK Medical Research Council, to conduct research in that area at the National Institute for Medical Research in London, from January 1973. Lily and I, with two young children, had a wonderful three years living in the town of Harpenden, north of London, where we made English and Irish friends who have remained very close until today, and we return to Harpenden often, to visit. Before my contract was complete, I was offered a post in the Physiology Department of the Wits Medical School, which I took up in November 1975, and from which I retired, as one of the Professors of Physiology, and after a short earlier spell as Head of Department, at the end of 2006. I remain at Wits, though, as Professor Emeritus and also a Mellon Foundation Mentor, mentoring early-career academics.

Throughout my time at Wits, I have stayed in physiological research, but the direction has changed and the field has expanded. My research in thermal physiology moved into the field of fever and also, for about the last25 years, into wildlife conservation physiology (hence the picture). I also have undertaken research in pain physiology and pharmacology, and sleep physiology. The three arms of physiology aren't as disparate as they may seem; they share a common neurophysiological base. While I have been at Wits, 30 MSc and PhD students have graduated under my supervision, and I have about 220 papers published in the various fields of research. I am very proud to have been rated an A1 researcher by the South African National Research Foundation, to have been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, and an Honorary Fellow of the Physiology Society of Southern Africa. I received the Gold Medal of the Zoological Society of South Africa in 2001. I still am fully engaged in my research and postgraduate supervision, and particularly enjoy the conservation physiology which has taken me on field trips to Namibia and Australia often, and the USA and Saudi Arabia occasionally.

 

 

Alan   Murray

 

After matric.,  I stayed on  for part of the sixth form, because I had been awarded one of the early American Field Service exchange scholarships to attend the last year of  high school In the USA:  Nigel Gilson was the first to be awarded one of these and then if I recall correctly,  myself and Patrick Dickson were next.    Although going over on the programme meant missing out on two years of  university education,   the experience proved to be very worthwhile for me.    I attended one of the leading East Coast boys boarding schools in New England with astonishing facilities.    The East Coast have a number of such institutions modelled to some extent, as I guess is St. John's, on the English public schools like Winchester, Rugby and Eton.    The programme brought over young kids from a large number of countries and, for the first time,  I met students from other African countries.   Following the year,  I came back and studied for a BA degree at Wits majoring in Political Studies  -   this focus was motivated by my growing interest in politics and international relations.     As part of my Wits period,  I became President of the Student Council and a senior office bearer in the National Students' Union.    Following Wits.,   I was fortunate enough to be accepted at Oxford at a College well known for breeding British public figures,   Balliol,  which also had historic connections with South Africa:  Jan Hofmeyr was a student there and my uncle, also a Transvaal Rhodes scholar, as well.   I studied for a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and then returned somewhat uncertainly to Johannesburg,  not knowing quite what I wanted to or should do.   A brief stint lecturing at Wits cleared away  that potential career as I did not have the academic ability or temperament for academia.   I had by then met my first wife who was studying at Wits and both of whose parents were in gaol for political offences.    She wanted to experience the UK so we arrived in London where she studied for a year at the University of London.   After the year we did a turn around and, despite our opposition to minority rule, returned to South Africa.   I joined Anglo American and worked in various not particularly distinguished capacities until retiring seven years ago.    My longest period during this career was spent in labour relations.   My first wife studied medicine at Wits and became a pathologist during which period we had two children before divorcing in the 1970's.    I subsequently met, lived with for ten years and then married, successfully this time, in early 1990's my second wife, who is a school teacher and comes from Tzaneen: I have come across the Tooley name when visiting there.     We have had two children both of whom went to Parktown  Boys High  ( our last son is still there) and the older one is studying aeronautical engineering at Wits. having been headboy at Parktown:   my first son from my first marriage went very happily to St. John's, but the fees for another two in my retirement were too onerous and I also wanted the two boys to rub shoulders with young boys from a more diverse background than the fees at St. John's permit.

 

My two older children are in South Africa:   the one a senior executive in private equity at the merchant bank,   RMB, and my daughter, who completed her MBA at Wits,  living in Cape Town and about to marry a  Hollander.

 

I am retired and living very happily in the Johannesburg I love, despite the crime.   I spend my time reading about contemporary affairs,   keeping reasonably fit, cooking family meals and for friends every now and then and most of all enjoying helping to raise a second  family  without the stresses of work.    For me with my interest in politics and and abhorrence  of racial discrimination to have been part of the momentous changes in the country and its contemporary trials and tribulations as well as successes has been an experience I would not have wanted to miss.   I love both the USA and Europe and sometimes but not often wonder whether like many of  our classmates I should have taken the plunge and headed for either of those shores:  I do not regret not doing so.


 

David Paget

 

After Sixth Form I came to England on holiday with my family in May 1961 and I have been here ever since. My original plan was to return to Cape Town or Rhodes in 1962 to read law, but I fell in love with Dallas (later to be my wife) and tried rashly to go straight to Oxford. I spent most of 1962 cramming, writing entrance exams and attending interviews. I failed. I did not want to come back to South Africa two years behind all my contemporaries. So in 1963 I joined the Inner Temple (one of the four Inns of Court responsible for training barristers). In those days, to be a barrister you could either read law at university and then write the Bar final exams (Part 2) set by the Inns of Court School of Law or read for the Bar exclusively in the Inns of Court, writing Part 1 instead of a law degree, and then Part 2. That is what I did, working at the same time as a clerk in the London office of Anglo American to supplement the allowance my father gave me. It took some time, but I was called to the Bar in 1967 and married Dallas in 1968. We have lived together happily ever since. We have two daughters. Both read Classics at Oxford, Henrietta at Worcester and Alexandra at Magdalen, and both won scholarships. So I unexpectedly realised my Oxford ambitions vicariously through them. Henrietta followed me to the Bar and Alexandra has just begun a post graduate diploma in speech and language therapy in order to teach the disabled.

I was very lucky. I did not know it then, but I came to the Bar at a time of expansion. Things are very different now. I found a tenancy in one of the leading sets of Criminal Chambers in London and I practised (prosecuting and defending) on the South Eastern Circuit, mostly in London but also on Circuit, for the next thirty years, 1967 to1997. In 1982 I was appointed “Treasury Counsel” (one of a group of about 12 counsel appointed by the Attorney General to prosecute and advise on the most serious cases at the Old Bailey and elsewhere). In 1986 I was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court (sitting as a part time judge for four weeks a year but otherwise continuing to practise at the Bar). In 1994 I “took silk” (in other words I was appointed a QC) and in 1997 I was appointed a full time Circuit Judge. I have been one of the permanent judges at the Old Bailey since January 1998 and will be there, I hope, until my 70th birthday in 2012. In 2001 I was approved to sit in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) as an additional judge for three weeks each year.

In 2003 I was elected a Bencher of the Inner Temple. There is a Johannian connection with the Inner Temple. Lord Henry Benson (OJ), who chaired the Royal Commission on Legal Services in 1986, was elected an Honorary Bencher and at least one OJ re-union took place there arranged through him. In 1998 the London OJ Centenary Dinner was held there arranged through (but not by) me. Peter Hamilton is a member and I bump into him there from time to time although our paths have never crossed professionally.

I remember my time at St John’s and everyone I knew there with affection. In my chosen career I am grateful to those Prep School masters who taught me English grammar and to Michael Carter and “Bosh” Crowther-Smith who between them taught me Latin grammar. English grammar is indispensable, and Latin grammar is a great help, when interpreting the meaning of statutes and pleadings, which is what law is all about. In particular, I am grateful to Walter Andrewes, who gave me the part of Gloucester in King Lear in Sixth Form, and to him and Jack Ralphs for teaching me to

speak in public.

 

 


 

James Ridley

After doing VIth Form in 1959, I studied maths at Wits and then at London University, where I completed a PhD in 1968. I then returned to the Maths department at Wits, where I taught for thirty years until retiring (early) at the end of 1998. I completed various research projects in 1999, while teaching in the US for a semester, since when my chief mathematical activity is being on the committee of the SA Math Olympiad.

I have been blissfully married to Jenny (Smetherham) for over forty years, and we have two daughters and a son, all married and living in Johannesburg, and four grandchildren. (The picture was taken at our son’s wedding in 2006.)

 

We sold our house to one of our daughters in 2004 and moved to a flat across the road. The simpler lifestyle suits us and gives us time for various activities: jointly we sing in the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg, we attend concerts, we travel quite a bit (we share ownership of holiday homes at Natures Valley and at Mabalingwe, a nature reserve 200km north of Johannesburg), and we love to spend time with our children and grandchildren. I also play the church organ and in a recorder group, I attend French conversation classes, I am keen on bird-watching and tree identification, and I do various honorary administrative chores. I have sung in the OJ choir for every Gaudy Day and Remembrance Sunday service for which I have been in Johannesburg.

While I was studying in London I realised that I felt myself to be South African, not English. This came as a bit of a surprise to me, because my parents were English and so was our home atmosphere, remembering also that we lived in Northern Rhodesia, a UK colony, for most of my time at SJ.  (I remember supporting the Lions when they beat the Springboks 23-22 in 1955.) I decided to mark this realisation by starting to learn Zulu, and I used to sit in the tube practising my Zulu clicks and other unusual sounds. I later studied Zulu through UNISA, but have never had enough daily practice to become really fluent. However, in 1971 I offered to teach Zulu to the VIth Form boys at SJ, and thus became the first Zulu teacher at the school.


P C (Zoek) Steenhoff

 

1959: Post Matric at SJ.

1960 - 64: Wits University. Graduated with BSc Eng (Survey). Took five years for 4-year degree. Did however play bridge and joined Choral Society and was a vagabond in “Vagabond King”. (Told to sing quietly by musical director.)

1965 - 66: Worked for Gillespie Archibald & Partners, Land Surveyors and Town Planners. Completed Trial Survey and Survey Law exam at Surveyor-General’s office. Became registered Land Surveyor in September 1966.

1968: Married Debby and still happily married after 39 years. Fortunate to have three sons and four grandsons.

1970: Joined Halfway House & District Ratepayers’ Association and established Halfway House fresh produce market.

1975. Became partner in Gillespie Archibald & Partner.

1976: Elected onto Halfway House & Kyalami Local Area Committee.

1981: Nominated onto Midrand Municipality as Councillor for Ward 3.

1982: Elected as Councillor in Midrand for five years. Mayor of Midrand  in 1982 - 83. Obtained 50% subsidy from Department of Library & Museums to build a library in Halfway House. Received Paul Harris award from Kyalami Rotarians.

1987: Re-elected as Councillor for Ward 3.

1990: Became a member of Management Committee of Midrand Council.

1993: Senior partners Gillespie and Archibald died, and partnership dissolved. Established my own practice as Land Surveyor and Town Planner. Forced to resign from Midrand Council by ANC.

1994: Still practising in Randburg. Play poor tennis, competitive bridge, and attempt trout fishing. Wishing all OJs a Happy New Year with abundant electricity.

 


 

Bill Tanner in his allotment

  

I’d say you have something of a grudge against authority, said Deane Yates kindly.  He was about to give me a token beating for the Great Insurance Scheme of 1958. 

            The Scheme wasn’t actually my idea, but I was the main mover. I circulated a Prospectus offering to insure any boy from Remove to Matric against punishment.  I collected the Premiums – 6d against 100 lines, 1/6d against a beating etc – and paid out against Claims at the end of the week.  I kept a record of all transactions.  The Staff Common Room was baffled.  Chapel Collections were right down. The Lower Forms, especially, became unmanageable. 

            The whole thing went so well that after three weeks I was about to go public by issuing shares in the Insurance Company.  Then, I was shopped. A new School Rule was posted forbidding “any pupil to practice any form of Commercial Enterprise”. When he retired as Headmaster a few years later, Deane Yates sent me all the paperwork. I expect the Rule still stands. 

            I must have vowed right then never to have anything more to do with Money. For 50 years I’ve led a heedless, if largely penurious, existence through UCT; teaching in London; writing, directing and acting in plays and, until recently, spending a decade on the Books Page of my esteemed local paper, the Ham and High.  I live in a  Housing Association eyrie overlooking the Hampstead Cricket Club.

 

            My other crucial brush with authority happened about a year before the Great Insurance Scheme.  I was “shamed” before an entire Hill House Meeting for having bunked off from watching Rugby one Saturday afternoon and sneaking instead into town  to see “Giant”.  It was worth it.  I was seriously obsessed with James Dean. 

            From the start, the school made me in unexpected ways.  Arriving as a poor Scholarship boy in the Prep in 1952, I was mocked for my Krugersdorp accent. I poshed it up at once and instantly became an actor for survival’s sake.  I never recovered from seeing Macbeth in Big School. Once in the College, Walter Andrews’ Play Reading Society set the seal on my future. 

            Nor has the school ever really left me.  When I first got to England in 1965, I would stay in Cheltenham College with Jack Ralphs and his wife Mary.  Jack, a former actor, was always encouraging.  I still go to the Opera and the Proms with John East.  I think he must now be my longest lifelong friend.


bill torbitt

 

According to the school of thought of some physicists (such as Julian Barbour etc) there is no fundamental dimension of Time - it is simply a method (and not the only one) of indexing or sequencing events.  Certainly at the quantum level all events are reversible - there is no need for Time in the equations, and no such thing as the 'arrow of time'.

 

So when I looked at the class photo of us in Remove A - 1955 with Mr. Lawson - it did not seem like 50+ years ago.  I recognised all the faces instantly; remembered what we were talking about as we got up from those benches and peered at the funny photographer and his packing-case sized camera.  It seemed almost from this morning - the human brain and memory do not process events in linear time either.

 

There is a book (currently a best seller in the US for some reason) called:  1959 - The Year Everything Changed, which I'll try and get and bring to the dinner.  The world changed for us of course, but what else happened?  Chiefly Buddy Holly being killed and Fidel Castro coming to power, but I don't remember these at the time.  Do you?  I recorded, on one of the first reel to reel tape recorder, one of our lessons - science I think, in the lab, featuring the voices of Alan Murray and Sholto Cross telling dubious jokes.  But sadly, due to that IT phenomemon called media obsolesence, it's no longer retrievable.

 

As for me in the chronological meanwhile, events, not in strict time order, include:  a b. honours in physics at Wits, an msc in radioastronomy at Manchester in England, an msc in computer science in London.  I met my present wife around 1986 in London - she has a very successful advertising business in windhoek and works 24/7 (or maybe more accurately 7/7am-7pm) so I don't get to see too much of her but hope she will make it on saturday.  I have two teenage daughters, one of whom has been to her school leaving ball last night (more memories for some, but I think I missed ours)  - so she has followed at school exactly 50 years after me.  Still having to put them through university means that retirement is not an immediate option - that's why I have difficutlies in being in Johannesburg for all of the reunion week.  I have a tricky Senate meeting on the Friday.

 

Coming back to what I do, oh yes, I have been at the University of Namibia, then the Polytechnic/Technicon since the early/mid 90's.  Why Namibia?  Well, I had been working in London but getting weary of the commute on the Tube, and fancied moving someing more exotic.  My exotic destinations generator threw up Tuvalu, Belize, Nunavut and Namibia - subject to being English speaking.  Namibia was the only one which came up with a job, since the country had just become independent and stable while south africa was still in constitutional and other kinds of turmoil.  A new university had been started with a computer science department which I slotted into, and have been there ever since - my wife stated a business here as mentioned above and so that is it.  Windhoek in our time here has changed from an almost astronomer-friendly clear sky small town to a hassle-prone African capital.  But that's progress.

 

Great to see you all on the 10th.

bill


 

Martin Turner

 

On leaving St John's, there was the unfinished business of becoming literate in mathematics. One month at Damelin in a huge afternoon class under Maxie Witt sent my grade up several steps and gave me the JMB needed for further progress. Donations made to the OJA have been directed for assistance to "no-hope" students having difficulty with maths. Recently a Xhosa girl who came to me for a 3 hr lesson went on to get A and B in Maths and Science. 

 Coming from Mocambique, I lodged wnth the family of a mature man, Lester Elliot, who decided to study medicine later in life. He found me my first job at an analytical laboratory. I got myself to work and after work to college on my trusty bicycle, subject to some ridicule in one edition of Wits Wits. Mr Weinberg took me on in the role of employer and as my guardian, as I was only 17. Whem Lester reached the stage that he had to go into housemanship, I lodged with Mrs Moellendorff, a widow from Hamburg, until I married my wife Barbara and Mrs Moellendorff could no longer run her boarding house. Barabara and I started in Berea, with a flat looking onto the Nuggett hill embankment and falls, then bought site in Silverfields, Krugersdorp, where we built in stages, and finally she persuaded me to come and live at the coast. The waves pound the beach just 2 blocks away.

    My first work (3 years) was sampling and analysing manganese ore and other minerals. Mr Weinberg, I found, was too good a man for this world, and trusted people. His clients were rogues, but having a nasty suspicious mind I was able to see through their tricks, helping them to prosper, and teaching me that eventually somebody will appreciate the truth. However, Joe Gafin warned me of another danger without telling me exactly who, and took me with him to the Chamber of Mines Research Labs. Soon after it was revealed that the gorgeous and charming lady who did Mr Weinberg's administration did not bank the cash payments, and used her attributes on the auditors.

    At the Chamber my work started with mycology, growing bugs from deep in the mines to measure their rate of decomposing timber, and canvas, and whether any antibiotics were produced. The scientist I worked mostly for was Joan Campkin, aunt of Thomas Legge. Producing  antibiotics meant rooms culturing fungi, and bacteria to test them with. We also researched phthisis - pneumoconiocis - the damage done by quartz dust to the lungs of miners, and much metallurgy work. Helping  Prof Mike Brown, the process of winning copper and silver from gold slag is still used today. Grassing of mine dumps was another interesting job, and also attempts to leach gold and uranium from old mine dumps, another process which still carries on today. Soon after I was married, Mike Brown and Dr Theo Groenewald told me to fill in for a days leave, and to report next morning to Prof Sebba at Wits Chemistry Block. 

    The outcome was my being Professor's Demonstrator in Chemsitry for 3 years. Anything needed in the lecture theatre was my job - lecture notes, films, slides, models of molecules, experiments. The work involved photography, instrument making, draughtsman and artist, projectionist, invigilator, model making, even taking lectures if Prof was away. Of course, the other lecturers made use of the facility, as did the masters and honours students (to make up their theses), and many schools who needed models of the electron orbitals in their various forms. The schhols and post grads were extramural, but their money was welcome. The postgrads kept coming to have their thesis done for years after. The Prof's secretary and myself had to be integral parts of the system, and our families remain close, even now living a few blocks away. Don't worry, she is now an ordained priest and Dr of Literature!

    The head hunters got me again, this time from the Transvaal Coal Owner's Association. I was put into Research and Development, making smokeless combustion a reality, and metallurgical formcoke, and the benefication by density separation of exploration boreholes from all the coal fields, done for the geologists of all the mining houses of the time. The laboratory was state of the art. Staff was brought in from all groups and trained, as TCOA was a show piece for coal exports. Richards Bay and the railway lines were built for TCOA, and the Richards Bay Coal Terminal was our work. My work was, you guessed it, the samplers. I had done the Unisa science course in psychology, which included an excellect section on statistics. This gave me enough knowledge to become an expert in sampling and the statistical calculations for bias and precision. There are commercial crooks, as I established when I was 17, and mechanical crooks, much to the dismay of  some engineers and fitters.

    When I started my workmates were either old chaps who had fought World War 2, which I had to respect, and Zulus, who's language I had to get a working knowledge of quickly. Later my staff were more varied, and mixing the Zulu's with other groups worked for me - dilution brings unity. A miner sent off with 3rd stage phthisis (but did 12 years after that with me), a mechanic, a welder, a furrier, engineers, scientists were in the mob. Some days I had to speak in tongues - English, Zulu, Afrikaans, Portuguese, but fortunately "comrade" Karl from Poland spoke English well enough. 

    Studying with Unisa was not easy, as anyone will tell you. I completed the first level in Chem, Physics, Maths, Psycho, and to third level in Botany, but still had to complete Chemistry. I had young fellows going to Technikon on block release, and decided to go to night classes there. Being now in manager status, with the advantage of company car, I could have let slide, but the birdies told me to finish. The night classes in Chemistry and Managment at Wits Technikon were wonderful; great evening lecturers, and the most amazing class spirit. Yes, we even celebrated dinners with our lecturers! The practical course was out of this world, beyond anything at a university. I passed my last chemistry exam at age 40, and for admin reasons went graduation at age 42! But what an advantage - it was up-to-date with current technology.    

    The world does not stay still, and when the the Government decided not to continue price control of coal, the mining houses now wanted to bite at each others throats. The great export business and the technology base of TCOA kept it going for some years after, but eventually the Association was dissolved. We were out on the street, so to speak. The best offer to myself was Johannesburg City Health. I had been training environmental officers in air pollution, so they knew me well. For the next year and a half I was a noise and air pollution officer. Of course I had to learn about noise, and do the peace officer's course. With the right to enter premises, laws and bylaws to enforce, my work took me into every part of industry, hospitals, council meetings, every social level from Illovo and Killarney to Lenasia to Soweto to landfill sites, court rooms, night clubs, brothels, waste land. I dealt with the city councillors, who sought me out in the canteen, the MOH, the chief engineers and scientists, the officers (with killed-spirit syndrome), businessmen highly displeased with my colleagues, bad guys trying evade obligations using air pollution as their excuse, ordinary public, and dregs of society. I was a bad civil servant - you are not meant to do your job, especially if the problem is a power station of an abbatoir. The noise studies were most interesting - how close can a sewage works approach residential zones, road noise, high power fans, helicopter sites, and the sound absorbed by a berm wall around a landfill won for us a court case. Imploding of builidngs in the city, still stuff with asbestos lagging, to us up buildings already drilled and charged - imagine walking a concrete beam 17 stories up! Other jobs were waiting for me, so in a long notice period (when they couldn't touch me) I shot down 17 years of backlog. While there, we encouraged one officer to develop his interest in indoor air and sick building syndrome, and another officer to convert himself from boiler maker to full scale engineer. The Town Clerk wanted me to stay on, but how could I go back on my word

    My next job was back at the old TCOA lab, now owned by previous management, who had kept me taking leave to do their jobs, and lent me equipment that the City Council didn't have. SGS was interested in buying them out, and in due course did this. My work started with pilot plants for engineer clients, many places in mining and industry where combustion, metallurgy and air pollution were involved. Pretoria Tech gave me a cum laude for the course in isokinetic sampling. The "New SA" lost interest in pollution; however, trade has carried on, so my experience in sampling and the background of chemistry with an understanding of biology keeps me busy for SGS, even now as a consultant. I had to learn to survey stockpiles, and some marine surveying. They have sent me to places like Namibia, Zambia, Mocambique, Lebanon (Byblos is fascinating), India and Madagascar. And I'm still on one ISO/SABS committee.    

    It has all been very interesting, if you don't mind working in high wind, snow, furnaces of molten glass or metal, high chimneys, pharmaceutical factories, deserts and jungles, dockyards, and other places where the bosses fear to tread.   

    My parents left Mocambique and settled in Andorra, a principalty in the Pyrenees, where they are buried in a mountain tomb. It is in historical Catalonia, and we reach it via Barcelona in Spain. I visited there a few times, and with my mother travelled through France and Switzerland to the Rhine. I have never returned to Britain, though I am still a subject. Too expensive, but the Euro passport has worked for me. My sister died died in Britain, in a car crash at age 29, and my parents were once mugged in Barcelona, so I'm not sure where in the world is the right place to go.

    My family consists of my wife, Barbara, and 2 sons, Guy (a project manager, IMM grad) and Julian (a computer components expert). Guy is married to Helle, from Denmark, and they have a son, Torr, and a daughter, Chloe. They work a farm at Alkmaar, near Nelspruit, producing export lemons, pecan trees in the nursery. Julian works "our" farm in the Komga district, where the bush is dense, the road a disaster, but has nice scenery and is structured for stockfarming. He has client cattle on one side, and his own cattle on the other. Sheep, including his orphan lamb named "Sheila", and chickens complete his prospectus. Goats are too naughty, so they were sold. Land Affairs wants to buy, but first they must put the money in the trust account. The original plan was to plant nut trees, but there are problems with wild animals, and the farm's own animals, and they had a mishap with fire control. The wind can be quite strong. I have another experiment with olive trees, which are actually growing without any care apart from chicken wire cages to keep off the browsers. 

My beloved decided that our children were of another kind. They went to primary school at La Salle in Discovery (at the time on my way to work), and Barbara took the Library Science class there for 20 years. Guy proceeded to Weston Agricultural College in Mooi River, which is much better suited to his personality. Julian followed, but chose rather to change to Krugersdorp High, and distinguished himself as Junior Mayor.

    Barbara and I are Anglican lay ministers, usually doing house communions to the elderly and house bound. Clergy being very scarce, I also serve in church, and we have to run some services on our own. It was quite spooky to find myself being the in the priest's place before a full church. 

    At St. Peter's in Krugerdorp, we had  for a while as rector Fr. Edwin Sulter. What a wonderful parish priest he was!!! But the poor fellow could not reconcile what he must have seen as gross inefficiency when compared with the clockwork of school ministry and teaching. He was doing a great job in everyone's eye but his own, and he returned to St John's. We enjoyed his tenure. He coerced me onto the council, and I continued with his successor, who had problems, until Peter Wilson came in, and I knew the parish would run well without my contribution. Released from those duties, I could go to night classes to complete my studies. I also became a server, and have my Diocese of Johannesberg server's medal.   

    At St Martin's here in Gonubie, some blabbed that I had once a councillor, so I was taken in to do the Admin. portfolio for many years, and it keeps one very busy if done properly. I managed to change over when Bishop Thabo gave me the lay minister's licence. 

Our artistic attempts are done with a nearby pottery teacher. Our poor son Julian has to eat off the things we make, but we also have some of these treasures in our own kitchen. But some of the stuff makes great gifts which are well received.

I have a "work family" of people that still keep contact with me, mostly by e-mail.

The local township school has my outreach project. At one time overseas folk sent donations I used for a veggie garden as fresh produce is a means to improve immunity to disease and aids, and to send hardworking kids on an outing to the museum, aquarium, and zoo. But diocesan rule has forbidden separate accounts, so I had to relinquish the funds, which have remain unused. Instead I have rebuilt the garden as my own project, fenced and watered, opened with great ceremony and 2 choirs, and support it with seedlings from the nearby seedling farm. Other folk contribute too, so it works. The pupils (learners) work the garden under direction of their agriculture teacher. The children and teachers take home the produce, and a bit gets sold for fertilizer, etc.

 

Which brings me to my last point:

Is this "Celebration Week" of ox-braais, cocktails, speeches, and dinner, a means to capture Old Johannians into making codicils to their legacies in favour of the school? Some students are of families who know us, and we know the fees can surely carry the school very well.

 

I can't eat your bread, it is toxic for me. I see the country all the time, I lived 30 years in the Cradle of Mankind, my grandchildren live near the Kruger Park and I have always sought the quality of the individual rather than his background, his schooling, his religion (apartheid was bad, and so was the communism that caused it). The quality of a person is found when working together. 

 

So instead of feeding ourselves, would the group possibly prefer an outreach project, or projects done by each individual and collated in a celebration document? If you have such a plan, I'll be with you.

 


 

 

John Tyrrell

 

It was Mr Andrewes who suggested I should stay on for the Sixth Form: ‘After the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet you’d make a wonderful Mistress Quickly in Henry IV’.  But I resisted: I wanted to get going with a career in music and I didn’t think much of what was on offer at St Johns’s music-wise apart from the choir.  So Mr Andrewes had to make do the next year with Philip Wood as King Lear.  I went to Cape Town for my music degree and during the four years there I realized that though I liked writing music, I was better at writing about it.  So when I went to Oxford in 1964, I went as a budding music historian rather than as a composer.  In Oxford I met up with Philip Wood and Sholto Cross - they’d both been with me at Cape Town - but also with John McDowell, whom I’d known from Salisbury, and Peter Lapping, whom I’d hardly known at all (different house, different year), but who now breakfasted with me in Southfield House, the postgraduate annex of Lincoln College.  Later I coincided with Alan Murray.

            Glamorous sounding though it was, Oxford in those days was useless for research: I got much more out of my year in Brno, Czechoslovakia, where I did my archival work on the composer Leoš Janáček.  Czechoslovakia was of course then Communist - I was there in 1966-7, just before the brief liberal Dubček period - but once there I found things not as scary as they seemed in my imagination, and had a wonderful year in a stimulatingly  different environment.  I got up a good knowledge of Czech and made friends who are still part of my life.  I return there regularly.

            My research at Oxford had been funded by the Beit Trust (who gave fellowships as well as building bridges and school halls) - not perhaps for my obscure research subject (Janáček became much better known in the next decades) but rather for my declared aim of setting up a music department at Salisbury University.  However, Smithy and UDI put an end to this hubristic ambition.  The Beit Trust was run by white liberal knights (I was interviewed for my fellowship by the Chief Justice and the Governor of Southern Rhodesia) and the one thing the Trust didn’t want was for me to return and work in post-UDI Rhodesia.  So I marked time in temporary posts at Cape Town and then Stellenbosch universities. Although I rather enjoyed Stellenbosch (despite my poor Afrikaans: sorry Mr Burger!), I  realized that as a British Rhodesian I didn’t really belong and at the end of the year left for the UK, where I spent a forlorn year (1971) using up my savings and discovering that my fancy Oxford doctorate didn’t impress anyone to enough to give me a university teaching job. It was only at the end of the year that I landed a part-time job as an assistant editor at The Musical Times, then the leading monthly music journal in the UK.  There I picked up editorial skills that led to my being taken on at Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the largest English-language music dictionary, whose sixth, 20-volume edition was then in progress.   And this changed my fortunes.  When in 1976 I completed my work at Grove, I had no trouble in getting a UK university post: the first one that came up, at Nottingham University.  I taught in the music department there for almost twenty years and another eight years as Research Professor at Cardiff University before retiring last year.  In between these two university posts I returned to Grove -  its seventh edition (29 volumes this time) for five years as Executive Editor, in charge of getting the editing done, and training the 60-member team to do it.

            All the autobiographies that have appeared so far have featured wives, children, grandchildren.  I can’t offer any of that.  For the past thirty years I’ve shared my life in Nottingham with my partner Jim, who works as couple counsellor and supervisor.  No children of course.  As I look back on the past forty years I realize that my books are my children, the object of long gestations, difficult births and, in the end, intense pride.   I’ve published nine books, seven of them relating to Janáček, who has remained the focus of my work.  These include translations of his letters and his long-suffering widow’s tell-all memoirs, a book on his operas and most recently a two-volume biography - at 2000 pages the longest and most detailed in any language.  And I’ve edited two of his operas.  My edition of his most popular opera Jenůfa, done fifteen years ago with the conductor Charles Mackerras, gets played all over the world (a nice little earner...).  We’re working together now on an edition of Janáček’s final opera (From the House of the Dead), which after his death got ‘revised’ by his pupils; we’re trying to scrape all that off and get back to what Janáček actually wrote.  I will continue to potter with such tasks during my retirement.


Jack van Niftrik

 

 

Completed MBBCh at Witwatersrand University Medical School and admitted as a Fellow of the College of Family Practitioners and Fellow of the Institute of Medical Underwriters SA.  Also qualified in Advanced Management at Manchester School of Business (UK). 

  

Written a number of books, among which a novel (Where Rumour Never Reaches – Jonathan Ball, 1980) attained The Star best seller list for 10 weeks, went into paperback and movie rights recently sold); three textbooks on HIV an AIDS  -

  

Advanced Voluntary Counselling & Testing (FPD 2000), HIV & AIDS in the Workplace, HIV & AIDS for Nurses and several medical manuals (Diagnostic Desk Reference, Pharmacists Desk Reference) along with numerous articles in the medical journals.

  

Ventured into commercial photography and later a commercial printing press with our classmate, Anthony Heyns, both of which taught us that private enterprise is by no means a guarantee to instant, let alone enormous, wealth.  

Following a short stint in mission medicine went into mine medicine and private general practice.  In 1983 I took up the managing directorship in South Africa of the US-based news media conglomerate, The Medical Tribune Group.   After 12 years of successful magazine publishing, the business fell victim to the Apartheid regime that imposed sanctions on the international companies operating in South Africa.     

  

Then came nine years as Executive Medical Consultant at a Life Insurance Company and the founding, in 1998, of lifeworks followed by the founding of medworx in 2004. 

medworx currently manages HIV and AIDS–related insurance of some 850 000 lives 

  

There are three children of which two are Old Johanians (much red ink).  The youngest recently matriculated from St Johns and is currently at Reading University in the UK (much more red ink).  

  

Sports life has been confined to competitive horse riding for many years (Three-phase Horse Trials, the Rand Hunt Club and placings in the Whitbread Trials, Leyland Trials, Inanda Rand Club Hunter Trials and others).  During this time I operated a livery stable in what is now Woodmead, Sandton  (spillage of another bucket-load of red ink).   

  

Faced with the reality that life is a race between one’s death and one’s bank balance, and before I run out of road, my current activities remain sharply focused on dredging the bank balance from the mire of red ink.      


 

                                                           

                                                                                                

                                                                         Graham Volck

                           EDUCATION

 

1949 – 1960       Schooling at St. John’s College,  Johannesburg. Matriculated in 1960.

1961 – 1966       Part-time study at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

1968                   Qualified and registered as a Chartered Accountant (S. A.)

 

                           EMPLOYMENT

1961 – 1968       Audit Clerk – Audit Manager, Whiteley Brothers, Johannesburg (now Deloittes).

1968 – 1986       Director, Macdonald & Volck (Pty) Limited, Johannesburg

                           The business was engaged in the supply of construction materials to the building and civil

                            engineering industries.

1986 – 1993       Managing Director, Macdonald & Volck (Pty) Limited, Johannesburg

                           An interest in the company was acquired by Anglo Alpha Limited (now Afrisam Limited), and

                           appointment as Managing Director of Macdonald & Volck (Pty) Limited was made by the management

                           of Alpha Limited.

1993 – 1995       National Distribution Manager, Alpha Cement, Southern Africa

                           Fully responsible for numerous Alpha Limited subsidiary Companies throughout South Africa and

                           Swaziland, in addition to the responsibility for all aspects of National Cement Distribution.

1996 – 1997       General Manager: Marketing and Distribution, Alpha Cement, Southern Africa

                           In addition to the Distribution function, all aspects of Sales and Marketing were incorporated into an

                           enlarged  General Manager position. During this time served as Director and Chairman of all Subsidiary

                           and Associated Companies within the Cement Division of Anglo Alpha Limited.

1997                             Retired from Alpha Cement with the effect from 31 December 1997.

1998 - 2003        Consultant and Non-executive Director for a Group of Companies.

2003                             Relocated from Johannesburg to Southbroom, Lower South Coast, KZN

                       

                           INTERESTS & ACTIVITIES

 

                           Business

1987                                    President of the Witwatersrand Master Builders’ Association

1993/4                President of the Building Industries Federation (South Africa)

                          

                           Sport

1969/70               Hockey for Southern Transvaal Provincial team

                           Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club – Honorary Life Member

                           Southbroom Golf Club – Golf

                           Southbroom Bowling Club – Bowls

 

                           FAMILY

 

                            Married to Angela (nee Wishart) in 1967, and after 25 years, divorced in 1992.

                            Produced 3 daughters, Heather b 1968, Beverly b 1970 and Julie b 1977.

                            All 3 graduated with B.Comm, the elder 2 from Wits and Julie from UCT

                            All 3 matriculated from St Mary's School in Waverley, Johannesburg.

                            All 3 are married to St Stithians Old Boys and live in South Africa.

                            The 3 families have produced 6 grandchildren for Angela and Graham.

                            Since 1995 has been living with Annette Brink, a widow.

                            Annette had farmed in Namibia and on the Botswana/ RSA border.

                            Annette schooled at Swakopmund, Paarl and Tukkies University.

                            Annette has a son in Botswana and a daughter in Stellenbosch.

                            Annette has 6 grandchildren - a total of 11 for us both!!  

                                         


                      

Bev Walters

 

After school went to Wits  obtaining BSc mining geology. Worked for General Mining for five years and further studiesat UNISA.( BComm & MBL).

 

Married Helen in 1965 and moved into banking (mining project financing) in 1969, first with Citibank JHB then with Bank of Montreal in Toronto. Spent eight years

on their international staff being posted to London then Australia which we immediately decided was to be our long term home. Joined local ANZ Bank in 1985 in order to stay in Australia and was promptly transferred back to London for three years leaving them in 1989 to join Primary Industry Bank/Rabobank back in Sydney where we have been ever since.

We are now retired from fulltime work apart from a few boards and enjoy golf and travel.

We are very lucky to have our son Mark and our two daughters Caren and Cathy all living in Sydney together with our six delightful grandchildren.

 

 


 

 

David Jones

 

 

 

 

Education and professional - 1959 - Wrote matric at St John’s College Johannesburg

                                          1965 – Graduated from Witwatersrand University Johannesburg with a BSc in                                                  Mechanical Engineering

                                          1972 -  Registered as a Professional Engineer in South Africa

                                          1973 -  Became a Chartered Engineer United Kingdom

                                          1989 -  Became a Chartered Engineer Australia

 

 

Working Career –                 After graduating from Wits worked for a year in SA and then traveled to the United Kingdom and spent about two years there working as a trainee engineer for the Head Wrightson Group. Returned to SA in 1968 and continued to work for the same group in Johannesburg until 1973 as a project engineer in process plant engineering design and construction.

                                          From 1973 to 1976 worked for Roberts Construction as an engineer in the nuclear field.

In 1977 joined Hubert Davies as a Divisional Manager in process plant equipment design and manufacture.

From 1981 to late 80’s worked for Foster Wheeler in Johannesburg in process and pharmaceutical plant design and construction holding various positions including that of Project Manager and Engineering Manager.

Emigrated to Australia at the end of the 80’s and joined Clough Engineering in Perth Western Australia. Worked for Clough in the design and construction of oil and gas and mineral processing plant as a Project Manager and a Proposals Manager until 2004.

From 2004 until retirement in 2008 worked for Lycopodium Minerals Engineering in Perth as a Study Manager and continue to work for them on a part time basis.

 

 

Family -                              Married Elizabeth (Liz) in 1969 having met her while working in the United Kingdom.

                                          Have two sons Neil (37) and Gavin (33).  Both of them attended the University of Western Australia where Neil graduated with a BSc degree in Engineering and works in design and plant commissioning in the oil and gas industry.  Gavin graduated with a BSc in Natural Resource Management followed by an MBA and is a commercial manager in one of the large engineering and construction companies in Perth.

                                         Both sons are married and live in Perth.  Between them they have provided us with five grandchildren.

     

 

 Other                               Spare time has been devoted to bring up the family, and various home projects over the years. The working career, particularly in Australia, involved some travel and took me to various countries in SE Asia, Europe and the US.  Now that I have retired I hope to find the time to take up golf again and perhaps sailing.  However I am presently completing the construction of a house and with part time work and the grandchildren, the result is a very active life.  

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