Grey Turns to Brown

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 15 October 2012: 6 years 1 month on … Physical Advantage CBD/Mental Deuce

In my very first blog “Three Years On ” written on Tuesday, 27 October 2009, I wrote the following:

October 2009 and it’s now been three years since I became ill in September 2006. When the illness was diagnosed in February 2007, Professor Carr said that I would, most probably, have another three years of quality life left. It was the morning of 8 February 2007 when he looked at me over his desk – “Go back to PE and enjoy the next three years”, he said, “that’s all you have left.”

I set myself three goals at that stage – firstly, I wanted to see Phillip leave Grey Junior School at the end of 2008 (tick!); secondly, I wanted to attend the 25th reunion of the 1984 Grey matric class in May 2009 (tick!) and then, thirdly, I wanted to be at the valedictory service at Grey High in October 2009.

Thursday, last week, was the valedictory service for the matrics of 2009 – the third of my goals and,yes, tick!. With it, came the big announcement of the 2010 prefects. We were proud when Sean’s name was read amongst the group of 21. So Thursday evening meant celebratory pizza’s, Sunday we braaied with the Clarkes (Graeme is Headboy and David, is a prefect too) and Stapletons, and Monday 26 October, saw us at the Induction Ceremony and tea at the school.

And I now have to reset my goals – Sean’s valedictory service and lunch at Old Grey (and Barney’s!) in October 2010 and – dare I beat the medical odds and plan so far ahead? – Valedictory 2012/2013 for Phillip!

I’ll see you there . . .

A year later, on Tuesday 26 October 2010, I wrote in my blog “The End of the Beginning (and the Beginning of the Next)”:

I set myself three goals, one of which was to see Sean finish his grade 11 year and enter his matric (Grade 12/Senior) year at High School. That was a year ago now, and I reached that goal quite comfortably.  I then set a new goal of attending his Valedictory Service at the end of 2010. I have slowed down and it has been more difficult to get here.

But, here I am, and – thank God – still not severely incapacitated. Although I am aware that the last few weeks have been the most difficult so far, I am still able to manage well.

And, here Sean is, finished with High School and about to write his final examinations over the next six weeks.”


Well, another two years on and I have made it!

This past Friday 12 October 2012, was the valedictory service for the matrics of 2012 and with it, came the “big” announcement of the 2013 prefects.

I am still here – much slower than before, but Thank God, still here for Phillip! I am still able to manage.

As the parents are not told in advance who the prefects will be, we were not present at the announcement. But, within seconds of the announcement, Sean had BBM’d me to give me the good news. When I contacted Pera, she had already been told by the Junior School Headmaster, Lindsay Pearson.

We were proud that this time Phillip’s name was read out amongst the group of 20 odd. But with Phillip in the boarding house and Pera away at Kariega Game Reserve for the weekend celebrations of Sandy Rushmere’s 50th birthday, the celebratory dinner will have to take place next week. On Friday night, Sean and I did the “Barneys” thing!

On Tuesday 16 October we will attend the Induction Ceremony and tea at the school. 

This time Lloyd Brown is the Headboy. Congratulations Lloyd. Just that name comes a long way!

I have come many years with the Brown family. In my first year of teaching, Lloyd’s uncle, Lindsay, was in my mathematics class and in the 1984 matric class. The Seiko watch I wear today is a result of the generosity of Linday and that maths class!

Through him, I became friends with (Uncle) Peter and (Aunty) Dr Lorna Brown (Lloyd’s grandparents), Wayne (Lloyd’s father) – then a first year accounting student at UPE – and his girlfriend Janet (Lloyd’s mother), and Duncan (Lloyd’s uncle) who was still at Grey and also one of my erstwhile maths students.

We visited often in Villiers Road – it was a home from home! We (including Dickie Ogilvie and Neil “Tommo” Thomson) attended the opening of the Brown’s Long Room, the 21st parties at Arlington Racecourse and climbed through windows in Villiers Rd in the early hours of the morning when returning from the “beachfront parties”  and waking the household – the house was seldom securely locked.

The Opening of the Browns’ Long Room – Villiers Rd, Port Elizabeth

We did the “land support thing” of the Texan Challenge from Port Elizabeth to East London, the Keurbooms River thing, the” Taurus Rising” video series thing and all the “things” and gadgets and foods that Peter bought for his Long Room – he had wireless TV long before any one else had dreamed that it was possible to have a TV set in every room of the house!

In later years, my family and the Brown families have continued those friendships. Shortly after I became ill, I was kindly hosted by Lindsay and Elaine (and their two children Martin and Meggie) at their lovely home in Andoversford, Gloucestershire, near Cheltenham in England .

Sadly, Uncle Peter – who I was also privileged to do the Rotary “thing” with – is no longer with us. Lloyd, I know, like us, your Gampsy is a proud granddad today!

Felix Baumgartner, the Austrian who jumped from a height of some 36km yesterday and in so doing broke four world records (highest manned balloon flight, highest freefall, fastest freefall and longest freefall), said the following:

“Sometimes you have to go up really high to realize just how small you are!”

That is so true in life for any achievement – Headboy, prefect, captain, MD, headmaster, President, whatever. Let us never forget that!

Good luck Lloyd, Phillip and all those who will be in leadership positions in 2013.


Wayne Browns 21st Arlington Race Course port Elizabeth