Madiba Magic

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Monday 24 June 2013: 6 years 9 months on …

Physical: Deuce/ Mental: ED

Madiba, we are told, is critically ill today. Our thoughts are with him and his family.

Exactly eighteen years ago, he stood at Ellis Park holding the Rugby World Cup aloft. The Springboks had beaten the All Blacks and were the 1995 World Cup Champions.

It is considered one of the turning points in the building of our fragile new democracy.

Pera and I were at the maternity ward of St George’s Hospital here in Port Elizabeth. We spent the day there!

It was a turning point in the life of one Phillip John Lunnon. Pera was 25 weeks pregnant with Phillip, but he had decided that today was the day. No more waiting for September!

Thanks to skilful work by the gynaecologists, thy managed to keep him in there … until on 7 July 1995 he was eventually brought into the world by Dr Ivan Berkowitz at 27 weeks!

He – all 1,3kg of him – lodged in an incubator at St Georges for about a month until his homecoming.

We will celebrate his 18th birthday in two weeks time. He is now our tallest family member at 192cm!

We are truly blessed with two wonderful sons.


Happy 16th Birthday Phillip!

Thursday 7 July 2011: 4 years 10 months on …

Last year this time, I wrote: “And, Happy Birthday Phillip on the 7th July – you are truly our miracle Rugby World Cup son. We will wave our flag to your life. You have grown not only in size but also in stature. Learn from the World Cup and you cannot be a loser. I remember just the other day when I was reading “Where is Wally?” to you.”

Two weeks ago, I wrote:

And, so it was, on the next morning, Friday 7 July 1995, sixteen years ago, that our second son (and we had previously been told by the gynaecologist to expect a girl) was born by caesarean section at twenty seven weeks and weighing 1,3 kg. Our previous son was due to be called Phillip, so this baby was named Phillip John. He spent the next two months in the incubator at the hospital, and cost the medical aid about double the price of our very first house that I had bought!

Phillip John Lunnon (our Dr Phil!) celebrates his sixteenth birthday in two week’s time. Now, at six feet and three inches (1,91m), he is the tallest in the family, beating me at six feet and Sean at six feet and two inches!

He is our fighter – our very own Invictus.”

Well, Phil, today is the 7th July 2011 and today you have been with us for sixteen years.

As I said to Sean on his 18th birthday “they have not always been easy years for us or you.”  You started life on the back foot and you fought back. You know what it is to come back when life knocks you down.

And as the late Frederick Van Zyl Slabbert said: “The world owes you nothing, but you can own it, if you want it badly enough.”

I know that you always have and still DO want it badly.

You (and Sean) have been a blessing to our lives, and every day you make life worth holding onto just a little bit longer.

Thank you for that.

As you celebrate your birthday at your confirmation camp today, from us: Have a happy 16th birthday, Phillip, and enjoy a happy Life! 

 With much love

From Mom, Dad and Sean

PS And now you are legal to get your licence to drive the scooter … so here are some words of Wisdom for you:


If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, ‘Here is the road. Follow it.'”

(Isaiah 30:21)

You will recall in Cape Town that Mom said that after I die, she will have to buy a GPS. And, when we were in Pretoria, we used a GPS.

You are aware that people who drive can now buy that device. Set it to the address you want to get to and it talks to you till you get there. It is a guide-as-you-go, and a great help to those using it.

Isiah was telling the people of his day that God was a “GPS” to them.He would be a gentle guide, unobtrusively correcting them when they were about to go wrong, but preventing them from making a total hash of their journey under him.

Being human, you are likely to want to wander off course, if not all the time, then at least on some occasions. It is quite easy in your journey not only to veer slightly from the straight road but to get completely lost.

But, let Jesus be your GPS. Listen to Him, follow His instructions and go where He tells you. Having a GPS is almost like having a friend in the car with you. With Jesus you DO have a friend.

He knows the way, and every nook and cranny along the road. Follow where He leads.