Investment Club


Last night, Wednesday 5 July 2016, the day after Pam’s passing, we met at 29 Prospect Road, Walmer, the home of the Thomsons.

The we, this time, being the Lunnons (with Sean and Phillip), the Stapletons, Lindsay Scholtz, and the Thomsons (sans Pam but with Greg, Lynn, and her boyfriend Peter).

The we are  also the remnants of our Investment Club – the Lunnons, Scholtz’s, the Stapletons and the Thomsons.

Many years ago, the four families met monthly at each other’s homes.We started off as eight people and ended as sixteen, each couple adding two more children to the group.

Some would say that we added more people than we did money. On that score, each coupled invested R100 per month and I invested the money, with the ultimate goal of cashing in the investments and going on a world tour.

However, we soon realized we were only dreaming! So, annually, we cashed in our fortune and spent the December long weekend away. We did Katberg, Plett, Keurbooms, East London, Knysna, Blanco, Hogsback, …

Last night, we cried and laughed. We spoke about Pam and remembered her in all her ways, and we cried.

We spoke about our Investment Club and remembered all our ways and we laughed.

It struck me how we and our children had learned so much from both. We certainly had not hit the jackpot with our investments, but we had achieved far more in the education of our children.

Stapes later wrote:

“I am touched … I touched … I was touched.

We all touched. What a lively, lovely evening with the Thommos.”

Still later, he said

“Yesterday, with heavy  head, heart and feet, I threaded through the day.

But time invested with friends, is time well spent,

and I heard a bird, singing in the Heavens.”

Yes, for the first time maybe, I realized just what the meaning of our Investment Club really was.

I realized just how much our children learn and had learned from us.

I realized just how much Pam was loved and the example she set both in our own kids and also in the pupils she had taught over the years.

So, at the end of the old chapter and the beginning of the new,

We remember that money is not our only investment.

We remember the value of friends.

We remember the meaning of life and the permanence of death in this world.

We remember the memories.

And whilst we say to Tommo, thank you for the music, we also say to Pammie

Thank you, Pammie, thank you for the memories.

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Time Flies


9 Years 8 months Ill | Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Deuce

Almost a half of 2016 has passed us by. I recall my parents saying that the older ones gets, the quicker time passes by. I thought that was absolute trash. Now, however, I find myself experiencing and saying those self-same things.

During the last five months, I have spent time in St Georges Hospital for my second back operation. Then came that horrible second period of not sitting for six weeks.

I made up for it when I flew to Cape Town where I spent almost a month in the Western Cape. I was the guest speaker at the St Rand Rotary Club and we reminisced about my exchange student year in Oklahoma. There, I met up with Anita Miller and Ken Lester – my guardian while I was in the USA. It was special to have my Aunt, Pat Pretorius, there too.

Then came the HHH 1975 40 year reunion, and I spoke at their Saturday night formal dinner function in the Winelands of the Cape. So many people – so many memories!

I spent a few days with the Wusts in Kleinmond and two weeks with the Wusts in Durbanville. I was joined by the rest of the family to attend my Godson, Robbie Ogilvie’s wedding on 8 April at Rondekuil, Durbanville. Or Should I rather say the marriage celebration of Premanjani Devi Dasi and Jaya Gaura Das, as it was our first experience of a Hare Krishna wedding celebration.

The Friday celebration continued from noon until late that evening. Then we went to 11 Bell Street Paarl (soon to be sold) to supper and sleepover with the Peaches. The next morning, Sean and Phillip went to Stellenbosch to watch the Grey vs Paul Roos derby encounters.

Pera and I joined the Ogilvie family at wine tasting, lunch and almost supper on the family wine farm, Altydgedacht, just outside Durbanville.

We drove back to Port Elizabeth on Sunday with a stop in Plettenberg Bay to offload David Bryant and to visit a while at the Bryant’s.

I had no sooner got back to PE when I was informed of the passing of classmate Derek Dollman. So another flight back to the Western Cape for that funeral. Thanks to the Smits, Riaan and his wife, for their hospitality in looking after me.

And thanks to Lance Faure for the lifts, the friendship and their hospitality during my stays in the Cape.

I cancelled my trip to Stellenbosch Helshoogte Old Boy’s meeting this past Friday. On Saturday we spent the afternoon with Ingrid and Anton and it was good catching up. Sunday we had lunch together with the boys and Pera’s mom for Mothers Day at the PE Deep Sea Diving Club.

I have left out much and many. Please forgive me – I will amend later! The joys of computers!

And now it’s the week of the mother of all reunions in Port Elizabeth at The Grey, and Pera’s 40th at Collegiate. PE will be abuzz with those reunions and those at Pearson and Victoria Park High.

Music at the Selley Concert, meals at the various dinners around town, drinks at the pubs and camaraderie in the City will see this week speed by, too.

We’ll chat next week …

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

Rob Stear

(c) 2014 Edward C Lunnon
8 years 1 month ill …
Physical: Deuce / Mental: ED

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Last weekend Pera and I spent with Dickie and Colleen Ogilvie on Doorndraai somewhere in the midst of the Karoo.

In their passage hangs a photo frame with photographs taken of various friends when we all lived in Port Elizabeth. I collated the pics and gave it to them at their farewell party when they left PE.

There is a photo of Rob Stear at David and Debbie Capel’s farewell party at the Thomsons. David was the professional cricket coach at Grey and they were returning to Britain.

The dress was semi-formal – formal from the waist up and casual from the waist down.

We spoke about those “good ole days” when we were just kids ourselves!

We spoke about our good friend Rob Stear – the life and soul of every party.

“Never fear because Stear was here!”

October being cancer awareness month and the Oglvie/Watermeyer homes being familiar with the fight against cancer, we spoke about cancer, hospices and fundraising.

We discussed Rob’s recent battle with cancer.

I said that when we returned to PE I needed to visit Rob.

The visit never took place!

None of us anticipated that Rob would pass away the very next day.

He had a name for everyone and I was Edgar. When we met at Old Grey Club, he would paraphrase the previous week’s radio interview that Edgar had concluded with Lance du Plessis.

He would talk to the ceiling, telling it what “kak” they played on the radio nowadays! It was always just loud enough for me to hear about his complaints. He never admitted to listening to one of our discussions!

Thanks Rob for listening! I know you got something from our talks! In the grand scheme of things, I was supposed to go before you … but then we just never know, do we?

I hope you have that dinner table prepared for our next function – maybe formal this time, but knowing you, it may just be completely casual?

Oh yes, but then I quess I don’t have to remind you, don’t forget the beers!

RIP Rob Roy Stear

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Meat and Greet

(c) 2014 Edward C. Lunnon
8 years 1 month ill …
Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Advantage Ed

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It was eight years ago, in Kirkwood, that I first realised that there was something wrong with me.

Last Wednesday Pera and I drove past Kirkwood, on our way north to the Graaff-Reinet district. It was school holidays and we were taking a break – a bit of a road trip, some would call it.

I laughed at the austerity measures undertaken by our roads department when it came to painting the white lines on the road – just two thirds of each white stripe has been re-painted. I wonder how much that saved the tax payer in having to buy less piant! A nice exrcise for a maths class, I thought!

We had 5 days and in that time we

* travelled about a thousand kilometers on gravel, tar and cement roads
* first north, then west, then further north, then south east
* through the Noorsveld, Camdeboo, Great Karoo
* arrived at farm gates that read Tandjiesview, Kareepoort and Doorndraai
* visited the Harris’s, the Wrights, the Swarts, the Watermeyers and the Ogilvie’s
* saw my ex 1974 Headgirl Lorraine Swart (Myburgh) and her husband Dawie Swart after 40 years
* passed through Jansenville, Graaff-Reinett, Aberdeen, (almost) Beaufort West, Miller, Fullarton, Steytlerville, Baroe, Wolwefontein and Uitenhage
* slept in three different lovely farm homes
* ate copious amounts of lamb, mutton, beef, steak, eggs, sausage, mushrooms, veges, deserts, biltong, chips
* drank volumes of coffee and other more alcoholic drinks
* saw springbok, kudu, wildebeest, giraffe, mountain tortoise,likkewaans, warthog, goats, sheep, cattle, dogs, cats
* chatted XXXXX number of words to old and new friends – in English and our best Afrikaans

We socialised, talked, walked, rested, slept and ate. After all, we are all social human beings. No man is an island and I am most definitely not!

Braai the beloved country!

We experienced Peace in the heartland of south Africa. They call it Africa – we have the privilege to call it home!

But, in the peace, I am becoming ever more concerned about our home. I hear the concerns and see the deterioration and degradation happening all around us. I am worried! Are we are busy fracking up, not only the Karoo, but indeed our whole country?

Cry the beloved country!

Mourning Has Broken

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 16 December 2013: 7 years 3 months on …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Deuce

 

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Tata Madiba, Nelson Mandela, the Father of our New Democratic Nation, was buried yesterday in Qunu in our (and his) home Province of the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

It brings to an end the official ten days of national mourning since his death last Thursday evening 5 December 2013.

Much has been said and written, and for many of us, I guess, it has been a time of great introspection.

During this time there have also been other events that we have attended and which have provided food for thought.

Last Friday morning (6 December) I attended Christopher Ross’s funeral in St Francis Bay. I had taught brothers David and Chris in the late eighties and Chris had passed away the previous week at age 40 after suffering an aneurism.

David has asked me to say a few words at the memorial service. However, because I am finding it increasingly difficult to see and walk, I declined the offer. David has asked me to say something of the “good old times”!

It got me thinking of how we can’t live in the “good old times” – the past is gone. We can’t live in the future either – it is not guaranteed. We only have the present to live in, and we have to make the most of that moment and every moment we have.

Madiba surely taught us that, too. After spending so much of his life in jail, it is just unbelievable how much he achieved in and made of the 14 years he had between being released in 1990 and finally retiring from public life in 2004, when he famously told reporters that, if needs, “Don’t call me. I’ll call you!” (I sometimes feel that the time is fast coming when I shall have to use that quote myself.)

Anyway, we did raconteur and reminisce at Legends Pub at the Wake after the memorial service. So much so, that we only got home after four and had to postpone our trip to Graaff-Reinet which was scheduled to commence at 14h00!

We decided to leave on Saturday morning instead, and thank goodness we did! I woke up to water running down through the ceiling and cupboards – a water valve had burst in the roof! So, our departure was delayed until the plumbers had sorted that out, and then, delayed yet again, as the garden services (on whom I had been waiting for the last two weeks) suddenly arrived to mow the lawns.

Who said life is easy and runs smoothly? Certainly not Nelson Mandela!

But he taught us that too – that one can rise above the difficulties and stumbling blocks that life places in our way. He taught us to forgive those who have wronged us – that’s the one with which I still have enormous problems – and I still don’t know how he managed to forgive those of us who had a hand in putting him into captivity!

Anyway, we eventually arrived at Tandjiesview in the district Graaff-Reinet at 14h00, in time for lunch and in time to celebrate Helen Harris’s 50th birthday with the other 80-odd friends and family who gathered there on Saturday evening. Some 35 of us also stayed over on the farm, and we got to share the mountain cottage with Dickie and Colleen Ogilvie.

We woke up to the most spectacular view of the Camdeboo Plains and Tandjiesberg; however, we ourselves certainly didn’t look as good as that view!

And the party continued into Sunday, and we and some of the stragglers only left on Monday afternoon! We went on to Aberdeen for a quick afternoon tea with John and Jean Watermeyer and then to Doorndraai, in the Vlaktes between Aberdeen and Willowmore, for the next three days with Colleen and Dickie.

Doorndraai was the first Karoo farm that I had the privilege of visiting. More and more I’m starting to think that it will also be my last visit.

It rained and rained, and we ate and ate …

And we watched the memorial service for Madiba, and we watched and we watched! I learned so much that I didn’t know before! So many lessons to be learnt from one unbelievable person. So many people around the world whose lives he touched.

Many of us talk the talk, some just walk the walk, but very few – like Madiba – walk the talk.

As human beings, irrespective of race, colour or creed, we have so many things that we have in common and so many things that we have learned along the way – our CULTURE – that makes us so different from each other.

We all celebrate life and death, birthdays and funerals, marriages and “coming of age” parties, friends and family, music and religion, but we do it in such different ways. If only we dedicated more time to learn from each other and to appreciate each other’s cultures.

This afternoon, I have started reading Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. With my impaired concentration ability and my sight problems, this is going to be a long read to finish!

In the meantime, since coming back from the farm, we attended a “European” style 50th birthday party of Rocco  at St George’s Park on Friday and Xolani’s African style wedding in Walmer Township on Sunday.

Celebrations, worlds apart, in our part of this earth which fate has ordained us to share with each other. We have always so easily shared the air, with Nelson’s intervention we learned to share the water, but when it comes to sharing the land, things are not so easy. History will tell us what happens in this regard in the post mourning era!

My status this week on Facebook read:

The World, aloofly and often somewhat judgmentally and disparagingly, simply calls it Africa.

We call it our Home.

This week, from Qunu in our Eastern Cape Veld, we shared our Home with the World – thanks to Tata Madiba.

He transformed our South African Home and made us part of the World.

We are privileged to have lived in his time and shared in his world.

We are obligated to learn from him and to continue his legacy!

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God bless Africa!)

ED is in week EnDing 21 August 2013

The week that was …

Wed 14: AlgoaFM interview, gym, lunch with Gavin Loon, NMMU meeting with Pieter Swart, Meals on Wheels

Thu 15: Recording of video for Caltex, haircut, farewell function for Kobus

Fri 16: Rugby: BODAs vs DAYPOTS (BODAs win 6 in a row!), BODA braai at hostel

Sat 17: To Aberdeen for Elvis Show with Colleen and Dickie Ogilvie at the Aberdeen Club (Lionel Hunt from Port Alfred), lunch in Graaff-Reinet, stayed with John and Jean Watermeyers

Sun 18: Headed home after late breakfast

Mon 19: Sorted pics for video, feeling fluey

Tue 20: Worked on video

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ED’s Diary: Sun Eleven and Mon Twelve March Twenty Twelve

©2012 Edward C. Lunnon

Sunday 11 March 2012: 5 years 6 months on … Advantage ED

I received an SMS early Sunday from Colleen Ogilvie to tell me that Dick was playing cricket in the Old Grey Six-a-Side tournament – the 50th time the event was being staged and making it the oldest such tournament in the world! Dickie bowled for EP in his day but that day was some thirty years ago now!

This was something not to be missed, so she fetched me at ten and off we went to Kemsley Park and we were later joined by their daughter, Megan.

It became a long day … we were joined by Pera for lunch (she was hurriedly completing reports at school) and eventually left after the final – Old Grey bowling Grey High out for 19 runs and comfortably beating that target in the second over!

At home, I had a little snooze and then our planned lunchtime braai became an evening braai, competently organised by Sean when he returned from NSRI duty. We were joined by Colleen, Dick, Megan, and Ken and Dorel MacKenzie (and later their son Duncan). Phillip left at nine for the hostel and it was way past midnight when we eventually got to bed!  

It reminded me of our early Port Elizabeth days in the eighties. Dick, Ken and I taught together – in fact, we were a very happy staff during those years. We not only taught together, we socialised together and we spent many days and nights at the Old Grey Club – cricket, hockey, squash, beers, and raconteuring with each other and many of our pupils’ OLD parents.

Now we are the old people, our ex-pupils (like on Sunday, the Gioconni’s, the Elficks, the Loons, the Strydoms, etc) are the “youngsters” who frequent the Club and their kids are the ones who are playing around outside and patiently waiting for their Dads to finish that last one for the road!

Old Grey Club, Lennox Street, Glendinningvale was considered the address of many of us teachers (now called educators) who were unmarried, footloose and fancy-free at the time.

And if we weren’t there, you could find us at El Cid Steakhouse (especially on Sunday nights where colleague Neil Tommo sang in the bar – Neil also sang at our wedding and Dickie was bestman). Monday mornings would see us have hamburgers delivered from the Hamburger Hut in Russel Road to the staffroom at breaktime!

And if you didn’t find us there, we were possibly at Lily’s at the Holiday Inn or The Pig and Whistle at the Marine, Faces under the old Elizabeth Hotel, Bar Bonanza, St James, the Pizza Palace, or late night at Evergreen, It’s Country or Cagneys at the Kine Centre in Rink Street!

Even the Railway Bar at the Port Elizabeth Station or the Farmer’s Home next to Mike’s Kitchen were occasionally visited and once, I recall the Hubcap in North End and the Campanile off Main Road – and in those days the Grey boys (and others) also occasionally, we thought, visited all those places! The rule, mostly kept, was that if a staff member entered such a place, the pupil would leave as quickly and unobtrusively as possible. In such a case, no one really saw anyone else, did they, and no canes were required on the following day!

So, yes, Sunday was a day of good memories, and Monday I felt a bit worse for wear.

Despite that, I managed to have Holy Communion with Bill Lindoor, from the Newton Park Methodist Church.

Next a meeting with Old Grey Dean Vernon, author of a new book PORT ELIZABETH in your hands – a must-have guide to Nelson Mandela Bay, it’s history and things to do (with most of the above watering holes now gone!)

In between, preparations for a trip to Cape Town …

Then Isaac Reuben arrived for our regular catch-up chat, then a quick power nap, took the boys to have their gum guards fitted for the new rugby season (thanks to MAX and Nico de Vries), early supper alone (Pera at governing body elections, Phil back at hostel and Sean at Old Grey rugby practice – the next generation of Old Grey Club patrons!)

By eight I was bushed and in bed, after reading (more looking at the historical pictures) a good deal of Port Elizabeth in your hands.