Tributes to Thomsons – RIP Pamela 4 July 2016

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Mr Neil Thompson

40 years! Well done sir on a life time’s commitment to building, moulding, nudging and at times

“beating” (always fair and well deserved) us into Grey men!

I think back to my u14A year a win against Grey Bloem and the end of season braai. Your reprimand after my stupid behaviour – “you have disappointed me” hit the mark and was more powerful than any beating! (I dare say 6 would have also been deserved!)

The English teaching – sadly no impact on my spelling or use of punctuation, yet my love of reading was enhanced as well as an understanding of Shakespeare!

The joy of Unicorns cricket and the motto “Hit it high hit it hard there are no fielders in the sky”. The hiding I got right there and then after bowling you a bouncer in the turf nets – “sorry sir it hit the ridge!” It had to have at my pace, it needed all the help it could get! It was however, not a bad bouncer, judging by the chuckles coming from those in the other nets! Indeed your demonstration of the front foot drive, cut and slog sweep onto my backside had all the others in the nets in fits of laughter!

Later, when I became a teacher at your alma mater and asked you for some words of wisdom for my team playing against Grey Junior and facing the man mountain Jan Serfontein. The obvious passion and pride with which you spoke and your trump card,  your old Bishops Prep School jersey neatly folded and shown to the team had all in awe. Sadly, we lost only due to Mr Andrew Hayadakis superior coaching ability of ensuring that Serfontein go the ball every time! However, the pride with which the boys played was testimony to your team talk!

 How about donating the jersey to the Bishops museum?

Above all your greatest gift was the belief you instilled in your charges and the passion with which you imparted your knowledge.

 “Though this be madness, yet there is method in it” (Act 2 Scene 2 Hamlet) the quote from Hamlet encompasses so much of what your school mastering was for all of us! Indeed there was method!

Thank you to a legendary school master so much more than just a teacher! May the melody and words from Sweet Caroline: “reaching out, touching you, touching me, good times never seem so good” continue to resonate far and wide.

Brendan Fogarty

 

Winners


21 Years ago ~Today, 24 June 1995, in History: The Springboks beat New Zealand to win the Rugby World Cup in 1995. 

Speaking after the game then Captain Francois Pienaar told The Telegraph: “As we stood there he (Mandela) turned to me and said with that incredible, beautiful smile of his: ‘Thank you for what you have done for South Africa.’

We beat the odds to become a winner.

21 Years ago ~ Today, 24 June 1995, in History: Pera was some 24 weeks pregnant with Phillip John. HE decided it was time to take on the world.

So it was that we did not watch the game or attend the victory parties. The doctors tried everything to keep him in and they managed to do that until 7 July 1995 which will stand forever as his date of birth.

That is the day that his total mass of 1,25 kg took on the might of the universe, albeit about 14 weeks prematurely. He was put in an incubator for some 2 months

In two weeks time, Phillip, our youngest son, now almost 2m tall, will celebrate his 21st birthday.

He also beat the odds.

He, too, is a winner.

Thank you for the Thomson’s 


Ill 9 years 9 months … Adv CBD

Today, I attended Neil and Pam Thomson’s retirement farewell at The Grey.

Neil has taught there  for forty years and Pam some thirty years.

I first met Tommo in Stellenbosch in the late 1970’s when I was a student and he was singing at Die Akker.

Then we taught together at Grey until I left teaching in 1988. As a young, irresponsible and wayward youngster, I spent many evenings drinking in the “Tiger’s Arms” and sleeping in Pammie’s guest room.

We celebrated many occasions around and under the Thomson’s dining table. Pam, forever the lady, endured our wanting behavior with her customary “goodness gracious”!

Tommo sang at our wedding at St Albans Prison.

He sang at many PE weddings, corporates functions, restaurants,  El Cid, 21st parties and other occasions around the world.  After all, he was “the best in Africa”.

Together with the Thomson’s, the Scholtz’s and the Stapleton’s, we continued our Investment Club and our friendships.

Pera has remained Tommo’s private hairdresser and has witnessed the colour change from pepper to grey to white!

Yes, we have been colleagues and friends. We have celebrated the ups and cried through the downs.

We have lived life together.

It’s been a long and winding road, and continues to be so.

Thank you, the Thomson’s , for the music, the hospitality, the ride and above all, the friendship.

Life has thrown it all at us. But we shall overcome.

Orlando Mass Shootings: Breaking News

As at Sunday morning EST, 50 people killed 53 injured in a mass shooting in a Orlando Fl USA night club.

This makes it the deadliest massacre on American soil.

Gunman had an assault rifle and a handgun.

He was killed in crossfire.

Blood donors urgently needed.

Shooter identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen – his parents born in Afghanistan.

More news to come.

Muhammad Ali: for one last time, he brings the world to a standstill

Thanks for reading, listening, for caring about Parkinsons and for sharing ….

BrainStorms - Ed Lunnon's Blog


 It was political. It was poignant. It was funny, flamboyant, and, fittingly – unforgettable.

Louisville on Friday bid a final farewell to their favourite son, sending off in style a man who was born 74 years ago in the segregated suburbs, and was buried in a ceremony befitting the giant he became.

Muhammad Ali had planned his funeral in detail, requesting the presence of Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal, Will Smith and boxing’s greatest – alongside his family and 18,000 fans.

He also wanted guarantees that all faiths would be represented, hence a series of powerful speeches and performances from rabbis, a Catholic priest, Buddhist monks and a Native American chief.

“Muhammad indicated that when his time came, he wanted to use his death as a teaching method for the world,” said his wife Lonnie, speaking with assurance and poise that defied her enormous loss.

“He had grown up…

View original post 1,004 more words

Muhammad Ali: for one last time, he brings the world to a standstill


 It was political. It was poignant. It was funny, flamboyant, and, fittingly – unforgettable.

Louisville on Friday bid a final farewell to their favourite son, sending off in style a man who was born 74 years ago in the segregated suburbs, and was buried in a ceremony befitting the giant he became.

Muhammad Ali had planned his funeral in detail, requesting the presence of Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal, Will Smith and boxing’s greatest – alongside his family and 18,000 fans.

He also wanted guarantees that all faiths would be represented, hence a series of powerful speeches and performances from rabbis, a Catholic priest, Buddhist monks and a Native American chief.

“Muhammad indicated that when his time came, he wanted to use his death as a teaching method for the world,” said his wife Lonnie, speaking with assurance and poise that defied her enormous loss.

“He had grown up in segregation. He never became embittered enough to quit or engage in violence. So even in death, Muhammad has something to say.”

And his presence in the Kentucky city was overwhelming.

Dr Kevin Cosby, a preacher in Louisville, paid tribute to a civil rights champion who fought to overcome the racism and division of his time.

He was a pioneer – “the people’s champ” – said Dr Cosby, to whoops and cheers from the fired-up auditorium.

“Before James Brown said I’m black and I’m proud, Muhammad Ali said I’m black and I’m pretty,” he said in a barnstorming address.

Orrin Hatch, a Mormon Republican senator for Utah, joked: “It’s hard for this old senator to follow that.”

But, in his own way, he did: telling an anecdote about how he invited Ali to a Mormon service in Salt Lake City, only for Ali to charm everyone by handing out signed copies of a Muslim text.

Rabbi Michael Lerner turned the political heat up several degrees, launching a series of blistering political attacks.

“We will not tolerate politicians or anyone else putting down Muslims or blaming Muslims for the sins of a few,” the rabbi yelled. “We know what it is like to be demeaned.”

He was scathing about Israel, Turkish attacks on Kurdish militants, and Wall Street – telling the stunned and shouting audience: “Tell your next president, tell her!

The cameras cut to Bill Clinton, laughing.

A Native American chief took to the stage next, providing a welcome change of pace with his mesmerising refrain, followed by Buddhist monks, drumming and chanting.

Ambassador Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter, gave a powerful, tearful speech, saying: “Muhammad Ali was part of a treasured fraternity, bequeathed to me by my dad.”

She told of “his grief, for not having spoken to my dad before he left. His stories – some of which can’t be repeated. He was so funny”.

Resplendent in a glittering silver hat and necklace, she continued: “A unifying topic was faith; an ecumenical faith, respect for all faiths, even if belonging to one religion or none, the gift of all faiths.

“He said: We all have the one God. We just serve him differently. Rivers, lakes, plains, they all have different names – but they mean the same thing. Doesn’t matter if you are a Muslim or Christian or Jew – when you believe in God, you should believe all people are part of one family. Because if you love God, you can’t love only some of his children.

“Having Muhammad Ali in my life somehow sustained my dad’s breath in me – 51 years longer. Until now.”

Then it was the turn of the family. Lonnie Ali told of how her husband had taken up boxing when Joe Martin, a local police officer, told a 12-year-old boy whose bicycle had been stolen that he could teach him to fight.

“America must never forget that when a cop and an inner city kid talk to each other, miracles can happen,” she said, to a standing ovation.

Billy Crystal had the audience in hysterics, telling of the 42-year friendship with a man who called him “Little Brother”.

John Ramsey, a family friend and former radio host, described Ali as “the coolest cat in the room”.

He continued: “He was good looking. He had charm. He had charisma. He had swagger, before we knew what swagger was.

“Muhammad said service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. And I just want to say: ‘champ, the rent is paid in full.’”

As the day came to a close, following a remarkable 19-mile funeral procession through the streets, his daughter Rasheda summed up the man Louisville so loved.

“Daddy’s looking at us now,” she said. “And he’s saying: ‘I told you I’m the greatest.’”

Bill Clinton, the former US president, has delivered an emotional speech to a “smart”, “wise” and “tremendously fun” man to be around.

He began his speech praising a man who was determined. “He decided very young to write his own life story. He decided he would not ever be disempowered. He never got credit for being as smart as he was, then he never got credit for being as wise as he was.”

Clinton described him as a universal soldier for our common humanity. Here is some of his speech in full.

In the end, besides being a tremendously fun man to be around, I will always think of him as a truly free man of faith… Being a man of faith, he realised he was never in full control of his life. Being free, he still knew he was open to choices. It is the choices that have brought us all here today.

As the first part of his life was dominated by triumph of fights, the second part was more important because refused to be imprisoned by disease.

In the second half of his life, he perfected gifts we all have: we all have gifts of mind and heart. It’s just that he found a way to release them; large and small.

Ali never wasted a day feeling sorry for himself just because he had Parkinson’s.

As he concluded his speech, Mr Clinton was given a standing ovation.

Billy Crystal, a good friend of Ali, described their close relationship and how he called him his little brother.

“Last week when we heard the news, time stopped. It’s hard to describe how much he meant to me… He was a tremendous bolt of lightning, created by Mother Nature out of thin air. He came at the perfect moment.”

Crystal described how he and Ali first met when he performed a comedy sketch mimicking the boxer. “He seemed to glow.”

“He was funny, he was a fighter, he was beautiful – and those were his own words.”

 

“Here was this white kid from Long Island, mimicking the greatest of all time.”

Then Crystal powerfully concluded: “He is gone but he will never die. He was my big brother.”

(C) The Daily Telegraph, London

Listen by clicking here:

Muhammad  Ali

Last night, I watched Ali’s funeral in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. – his place of birth.

I guess it was an extraordinary thing to do on a Friday night, but then Ali was an extraordinary man. As I listened to eulogy after eulogy, speech after speech, more compliments after more compliments, Presidents after actors, family after friends, I became aware of a man about whom I actually knew very little.

I knew he was a boxer.

I knew he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammed Ali.

I knew he had converted to Islam.

I knew he had Parkinson’s Disease.

I did not know so much of this extra-ordinary man.

I learned so much last night. I hope you don’t mind me sharing …

~ Ali’s long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease

Muhammad Ali is being remembered not just for his legendary boxing career and his inspiring public persona, but also for the dignity and grace with which he battled Parkinson’s disease over the last three decades of his life.

He was first diagnosed with the degenerative disease in the 1984, three years after he retired from boxing.

Repeated blows to the head during his time in the ring are believed to have led to his later health problems. Ali’s physician, Dr. Dennis Cope, spoke about his condition in a “60 Minutes” interview in 1996.

“[Ali] has had a development of what’s called Parkinson’s syndrome. And from our testing on him, our conclusion has been that that has been due to pugilistic brain syndrome resulting from boxing,” Cope told CBS News’ Ed Bradley.

“All of our testing has indicated that his cognitive function, his ability to think clearly, to understand what’s going on, to really analyze situations hasn’t deteriorated at all,” Cope added. “His mind is fine.”

Muhammad Ali lights the Olympic flame

Muhammad Ali lights the Olympic flame during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games opening ceremony in Atlanta, July 19, 1996. AP PHOTO

But the disease took a visible toll on his body. Ali developed a tremor and speech became increasingly difficult.

When he lit the Olympic flame at the start of the 1996 summer games in Atlanta, his hand shook as he held the torch high.

Ali looked increasingly frail in recent public appearances, such as the event in October 2015 when he was honored by Sports Illustrated at The Muhammad Ali Center in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, along with former opponents Larry Holmes and George Foreman.

Sports Illustrated Tribute To Muhammad Ali At The Muhammad Ali Center

LOUISVILLE, KY – OCTOBER 01: Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali, and George Foreman attends the Sports Illustrated Tribute to Muhammad Ali at The Muhammad Ali Center on October 1, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Stephen Cohen/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

gettyimages-490907926.jpg

Left to right: Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali, and George Foreman attend the Sports Illustrated Tribute to Muhammad Ali at The Muhammad Ali Center on October 1, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. STEPHEN COHEN, GETTY IMAGES FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

But despite the illness, his wife Lonnie Ali said the three-time world heavyweight champ never felt sorry for himself.

“He’s not one who says ‘why me?’ He’s a real champion,” she told CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO last month. “I learn every day from this man: the courage, the strength and the grace that he lives with his illness. For most people, it would put them in bed and put covers over them. They would give up. He does not stop. He continues to live life and that’s very important.”

Before his death on Friday, Ali was hospitalized with respiratory problems, his condition complicated by advanced Parkinson’s.

Here are some questions and answers about Parkinson’s disease:

Q: What is Parkinson’s?

A: Parkinson’s is a neurologic disease that robs people of control over their movements. It typically starts with tremors, and is characterized by slow movement, a shuffling gait, stiff limbs, balance problems and slurred speech.

Q: Who gets it?

A: About 1 million Americans are living with Parkinson’s, and an estimated 4 million to 5 million people worldwide, according to the National Parkinson Foundation. It usually appears after age 60, although sometimes it can develop before age 40.

Ali was 42 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1984. The actor Michael J. Fox was diagnosed when he was just 37.

Q: What causes it?

A: The exact cause isn’t known but Parkinson’s develops when cells that produce one of the brain’s chemical messengers, called dopamine, begin to deteriorate and die. Dopamine transports signals to parts of the brain that control movement. Parkinson’s symptoms appear after enough dopamine-producing cells die that there’s too little of this neurotransmitter in the brain.

Q: Is there a cure?

A: There is no cure but there are a range of treatments, from medications that affect dopamine levels to a surgically implanted tremor-blocking device. Patients also can benefit from physical and occupational therapy.

Q: What’s the prognosis?

A: Symptoms worsen over time, usually slowly. The severity of symptoms, and how quickly they progress, varies widely between patients. In advanced cases, people may be unable to walk or care for themselves. They also can suffer non-motor symptoms, including depression and memory and other cognitive dysfunction.

While Parkinson’s itself isn’t considered fatal, people can die from complications of the disease.

Q: What complications are of most concern?

A: Lung problems are a risk as muscle weakness impedes the ability to cough and to swallow. While any kind of pneumonia can occur, what’s called aspiration pneumonia — when bits of food or liquid land in the lungs instead of being swallowed properly — is the leading cause of death among Parkinson’s patients, said National Parkinson Foundation medical director Dr. Michael S. Okun.

CBS/AP

PS ! 

CBD, which is the illness with which I have been diagnosed, is also an extra-pyramidal Parkinsonism syndrome. It is normally a faster moving life-limiting illness with death resulting from pneumonia within three to five years.

I have now been ill for nine years and nine months since I first became aware of the Parkinsonism symptoms.

Oxpola


Week 1: 16 May 2016

Take 1 tablet once daily for 1 week (0.125mg)

Week 2: 23 May 2016

Take 1 tablet 3 times daily for 1 week (0.125mg)

Week 3: 30 May 2016

Take 1 Oxpola tablet (0.125mg) 3 times daily for 1 week AND

Take 1 Pexola tablet (0.25mg) 3 times daily for 1 week

Week 4: 6 June 2016

Take 2 tablets ( 0.25 mg) once daily ❎

S/ b Take 2 tablets (0.25mg) 3 times daily ✅

•Started rectifying on Monday evening

•Feeling better by Friday and no spasms

•Continue for 6 months