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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The Last Supper


Ill 9 years 10 months / Advantage Mental CBD : Physical CBD

Some few weeks ago, as we often used to do many, many years ago, we gathered for supper at 29 Prospect Road, Walmer.

The we being the Lunnons, the Ogilvies, the Mackenzies and the Thomsons. 

29 Prospect Road is the home of the Thomson’s.

In days gone past, we used to meet there almost weekly, sometimes by ourselves and sometimes in far larger groups. The Tiger’s Arms did brisk business! On the odd occasion, we even managed to get the owner and resident singer to haul out his guitar and entertain us.

Tommo, after all, was according to one fan at the Holiday Inn in East London, the “best in Africa”!

The hospitality here was also top-notch, on a par with the Ogilvie’s in Villiers Road. As a bachelor, if I didn’t make it to Villiers Rd, then often I used to sleep over in the guest room in Prospect! The waking-up scenario just used to change!

Anyway, that was the past and this was the present. In our conversation, though, the present did take up much of that past. We reminisced, we laughed, we joked, we drank, we ate.

Tommo has become a chef par excellence, and with Pammie not well, his culinary skills have been even more tested!

It was like “the good old days”. We wined and dined.

Just a little bit slower, little bit fatter, little bit greyer, little bit tireder ….and we spoke about retirement, something we didn’t even think about in those days of yore.

When we left this time, we didn’t have to worry about kids in carry cots, or toys and baby bottles… Just empty baskets and empty bottles!

When we left this time, we didn’t think that it was almost time up, that we were running out of time, that the sands of time were passing us by, and that this would be the last time.

Yes, with Pammie, when we left this time, it was our last time …it was to be Our Last Supper!

……

Last night, we met at 29 Prospect Road for supper yet again. It is the beginning of a new time, but we will not forget the old time. We said Grace and drank a toast to Pamela.

Cheers!


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