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.

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

 

Thank you for the Thomson’s 


Ill 9 years 9 months … Adv CBD

Today, I attended Neil and Pam Thomson’s retirement farewell at The Grey.

Neil has taught there  for forty years and Pam some thirty years.

I first met Tommo in Stellenbosch in the late 1970’s when I was a student and he was singing at Die Akker.

Then we taught together at Grey until I left teaching in 1988. As a young, irresponsible and wayward youngster, I spent many evenings drinking in the “Tiger’s Arms” and sleeping in Pammie’s guest room.

We celebrated many occasions around and under the Thomson’s dining table. Pam, forever the lady, endured our wanting behavior with her customary “goodness gracious”!

Tommo sang at our wedding at St Albans Prison.

He sang at many PE weddings, corporates functions, restaurants,  El Cid, 21st parties and other occasions around the world.  After all, he was “the best in Africa”.

Together with the Thomson’s, the Scholtz’s and the Stapleton’s, we continued our Investment Club and our friendships.

Pera has remained Tommo’s private hairdresser and has witnessed the colour change from pepper to grey to white!

Yes, we have been colleagues and friends. We have celebrated the ups and cried through the downs.

We have lived life together.

It’s been a long and winding road, and continues to be so.

Thank you, the Thomson’s , for the music, the hospitality, the ride and above all, the friendship.

Life has thrown it all at us. But we shall overcome.

Fly Me to the Moon


9 years 8 months Ill |Physical: Adv CBD / Mental : Adv CBD

It’s week 2 of my new medication.

From 1 tablet a day last week ( that’s over and above all the others), I now have to take three a day!

And now I’m flying again.

This morning at 4am, I experienced more side effects. A guy wearing a balaclava put his hand over my mouth and tried to smother me. I screamed! I screamed so loudly that Pera came running through from her bedroom. In the process, I had knocked over my glass of water and the reading lamp. I could have electrocuted myself!

Well, some of this happened and some not!

Lesson no 1 of the new meds: push back the pedastals next to the bed (at least until I’ve acclimatized to the increased dosage).

All very dramatic and very different to our quiet walk along the beach front on Sunday morning. 

We haven’t done that in a long while. 

The morning was crisp. The sea was flat.There was not a breath of wind. The sun was just edging from behind the wispy clouds. 

There were yachts out, canoes, walkers, runners, kids, the elderly – all doing their thing …

In me, the pills were doing their thing, and I was flying – despite the serenity of the occasion. On the positive side, I had not experienced any spasms since Saturday. And I had laid in for a while on Sunday morning, savouring that moment. On the negative side, I was seeing the world through the haziness of my meds again. I guess, you’ve got to take the good with the bad!

We walked from Hobie Beach to Something Good and back. Then a latte at Bluewaters cafe. 

We need to do this more often. 

Tonight is the Thomson retirement function at the Old Grey Club. Forty years for Tommo and thirty years for Pam. I’m looking forward to that and all the old (yes both meanings!) familiar faces.

Fly me to the moon …