©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.