Reunion-Record

Mike Edwards kept the build-up and excitement going right up to and through the actual reunion, with daily e-mails to everyone - often late at night when saner people had retired for the day.  Mike agreed to allow me to post his e-mails on the website, as there exists no better record of the amazing event he orchestrated!
Michael C 
 
R Day -3 October 12, 2010
 
Mike Fisher has unfortunately been unable, much as he has tried, to swop his ticket back to Australis to a later date and so regrettably he can’t make the function although he is in Johannesburg as I write this – very frustrating for him and for us – so near yet to far ! So that makes us 41 in total. As I said before – any latecomers are more than welcome. The more the merrier and all that although I think we will be fairly merry regardless!
 Kind regards Michael Edwards
 
 
 
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R Day -2   13.10.2010
 
Hi All
 
Today  dawned bright and crisp and it still is.
 
Mike Cornelissen arrived in town yesterday and I have just spoken to him. He has uploaded the final Grapevine on the web – so all those wanting more nostalgia and to get into the swing of things – go to the web site and “have a gander”.
 
Terry and Joan Hutching and Hilary and I went, last Saturday to Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay – this will be our first stop on  our Saturday coach tour (down memory lane) and there we had their box lunches  - fish and chips and calamari and chips, you will understand this was done in terms of research – and they were blooming fantastic – nicest bit of hake I’ve tasted for a long time and wonderful calamari – so that is what we will be doing on Saturday next  in terms of lunch – not smart but tasty – and about R50 a pop. We have the Hohenort in the evening. Roast Angus beef or Line fish of the day and all the other good stuff. So I am not worried in terms of food – I am just forewarning you, or those coming, that Saturday lunch isn’t exactly a formal affair but I guarantee good taste ! Bring cash !
 
Incidentally the Hohenort is 7 for 7.30 and I have told the catering people that they should expect us to be seated by 8.15, and they wanted to know when they should serve what – as in how can I tell them how long it takes you fellows to eat salad or a Geviche (whatever the hell that is ?) so what I have told them is that they must get choices, then serve and give us a 15 minute break after the last plates for each of the first two courses (starter and main) have been cleared before serving the next course. Never been asked this before but I reckon my answer is as good as they can hope to get.!
 
The braai on Friday evening I have left entirely to the GSB as I don’t think  that can go wrong (go wrong, go wrong ?)  and as you know there will be a cash bar.
 
Lunch on Sunday at Hidden Valley – this too is paid for but wines are cash bar extra’s and their wines range from about R100 to R300 per bottle. I didn’t check when we went but I expect they also serve beer. And they have to have water if you don’t like wine!  They have a totally magnificent setting – mind blowing and I am sure you will enjoy it. Current plan is for the coach to have us  back at the GSB by 4.30pm – but who knows  how long lunch will take.?
 
That’s it for now- I must go back to work !
 
Cheers
 
Michael Edwards
 
 
 
 
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R Day - 1     14.10.2010
 
Still clear weather although a little rain predicted for lunchtime today. No change to the weekend forecast though – sunny skies and clear weather – nothing less than I believe we deserve !
 
Others are starting to arrive – I saw George last night, and Mike C and Gayle have arrived, Terry and Joan are here with us, I’ve spoken to Speed and he’s on the road as we speak, Monty Ketz is in the air as I write this and no doubt others from various parts of the globe are currently en route and,  as I like to think, spidering in from all corners of this little globe of ours to the Centre of the World – Cape Town  (well why not ?) . Many who can’t come are sending good wishes. There is still time to change your mind and come – just phone and pitch up…. or just pitch up !
 
Would you believe ? – all our shaking of the tree with emails, telephone calls and the like has caused at least one apple to fall out – one bearded, pipe smoking apple has finally succumbed to all this pressure and I am delighted to say that Roy Clark will now also be joining us. That’s the good news. The bad/sad news is that Clive Apsey and wife Sippy can’t come as Clive is currently too ill to attend. I spoke to him this morning and he sounds dreadful. Also I spoke to Graeme Dumbrill and he tells me that he won’t be coming as he is in the middle of a divorce. We shouldn’t be getting divorced at our ages, surely ( ?)  but anyway that is a huge sadness both for him and for us.
 
I had dinner with George last night and , despite the fact that he no longer drinks in the evening (I hate this holier than thou business !!!)  we waxed philosophical  and swopped life maxims. What’s yours ?? George has decided that his is that we have one life, and one must do what one wants, not what everyone else might want. Seize opportunities and all that – carpe diem. I was drinking (one mangy glass in front of George the abstainer)– it’s difficult to drink when the other guy is on the moral high ground. Thoughts along the line of my maxim should be “Don’t go out to dinner with non drinkers”. Bit inappropriate  I suppose ! Anyway my real life maxim  is that “it matters not the size of one’s cup of happiness, provided it be full”.
 
Once this particularly happy event is over I know Mike C wants more action on the website and we can indulge in things called forums. This would be a good starting place with each of us thinking about what our guiding maxims are and sharing them. Should be a wealth of interesting information, or philosophical stuff anyhow.! Bunch of us old farts ( well you lot anyway !) swopping life maxims rather tickles my fancy !
 
Jim Jones told me that it wasn’t “Geviche” it was Ceviche on the Hohenort menu and in his editorial way explained to me what it meant.  “raw fish marinaded in lime juice etc. Excellent along the gulf coast in Mexico, goodness knows what it'll be like in Constantia. Here's hoping – Jim”
 
In order to whet appetites and to show those who aren’t coming some of what they will be missing –
 
 
CELLARS HERB GARDEN SALAD                                                    
Baby salad leaves and garden herbs tossed in a lemon
vinaigrette with avocado, artichokes and Bella-Rosa tomatoes
or
CAPE SEAFOOD CEVICHE                                                             
Fish and shellfish marinated in lime and coriander,
complimented by peppers, red onion and tomatoes
 
***
 
PAN ROAST CATCH OF THE DAY       with                                                 
Seared calamari, green bean & tomato vinaigrette, crushed potatoes
and lemon beurre blanc
or
ROAST ANGUS BEEF FILLET                                              
Served with fondant potatoes, mushroom fricassee, truffle sauce
and green beans
 
***
 
TONKA BEAN CRÈME BRÛLÉE                                                       
Roast pineapple ice cream and almond crumble
or
WARM APPLE PUDDING      
Stroh rum ice cream, tuille and sour apple sauce
 
 
How does that compare to our final dinner some 40 years ago at the Vineyard : As per latest edition of the Grapevine – out yesterday !
 
I inserted a copy of our 40 year old menu from the Vineyard here , can’t do it now.
 
 
And where they’ll be missing it -
 
 
Have a squiz at the above site – this is where we will be eating – through the main doors of the photo on the right.  Directions (and even GPS co-ordinates) are supplied for those lucky ones of us who will be dining there in two night’s time. 7 for 7.30 – dress – I see the GSB official programme that a lot of people can’t download (it’s no change from what’s in my various emails, most notably the one of 14th September  which read as follows :
 
Friday 15th October – Initial meeting and braai on the GSB campus at the Waterfront from 1800 to +/-2100 hours. What we could call the 40 year shocker when we see how gently or otherwise the last 40 years have treated us !
 
Saturday  16th October – Coach tour – lunch in Hout Bay probably (fish and chips at Mariner’s Wharf or something similar – for our own account) drive round Chapman’s Peak and get as far as time will allow, then back to GSB .This we will do in a 60 seater coach. Start time about 1100hrs and finish time about 1500hrs.
 
Saturday evening – This is the “BIG” function but the heck with formal dinner suits  – smart casual will do it – jacket and tie for us  and ladies as pretty as they like. This will take place in the Cellars Restaurant (Conservatory)  at the Hohenort Hotel in Constantia. It is very pleasant. Kick off will be at 1900 for 1930 and the “games” will stop whenever ! Transport will be in own vehicles as I am sure we will want to leave at different times.
 
Sunday – again we have a coach to take us to Hidden Valley farm  and restaurant which is somewhere close to (i.e. this side of) Stellenbosch whereat we will have a pretty luxurious lunch. We will leave from the GSB at about 1130hrs and return somewhere around 1500 hrs… in theory . I anticipate we will be at least an hour later than that.
 
Drinks are always a problem and consequently I have said that we will avail ourselves of cash bars at the GSB function (the braai) and at the Hidden Valley restaurant function. At the main function I have chosen a bottle of wine per person (and yes I am sure we don’t or won’t drink a whole bottle of wine each etc etc but I’m not betting on it !)  one red  or one white per person and thereafter a cash bar. This will be our own wine which I have chosen and it will be GSB 1970 labeled.  When I started out on this venture some couple of years ago it was thought that the price pp was going to be about R 1500 per head, well it is R 1000 per head BUT we each will have to pay for some of our booze. Makes life a lot simpler. Also I have abdicated all financial responsibility because I am not going to spoil my enjoyment of the occasion by chasing guys for money – no ways , hosey !
 
said that Dress was “Smart”. Monty Ketz immediately telephoned me to tell me that he didn’t even possess a tie these days  - and I remember that compared (certainly) to me he was always a very snazzy dresser. Sports coat with or without tie should do it for starters for us men, and the ladies – well they can be as beautiful as they like, dress to the nines, show off the “jools” and everything but be warned of the likes of Hubba should their cleavages be too great !!
 
OK – one day to go.
 
Cheers
 
Michael Edwards
 
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R Day -1 (2)
 
On Sunday we eat at HiddenValley restaurant “Overture” – it shares a driveway (about 4Kms of it) with Ernie Els’s vineyard to which I have also been – Terry and Joan and Hilary and I ate there last weekend. Incredible.
 
Anyway Overture has this to say in their blurb:
 
Barely a year after opening its doors, and hot on the heels of its Diners Club Platinum award, Overture has been voted fourth best restaurant in South Africa in the annual Prudential Eat Out awards.
I have also attached out menu and the wine list for Sunday – eat your hearts out those of you who aren’t coming !! “fourth best restaurant in South Africa” – should be quite something. We haven’t tried their wines, we have tried “Ernie’s” and they were pretty damn good. As you know we’ve paid for the meal already – just haven’t paid for the booze – which we do individually. (Bring cash !)
 
If you want to have a look at the place here’s their website
 
This secluded farm nestled against the Stellenbosch mountains, now boasts a magnificent ... Hidden Valley is uniquely positioned to produce the best wines. ...
www.hiddenvalley.co.za/
 
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R Day      15.10.2010
 
No rain, bit cloudy but will be sunny later this morning and sunny this afternoon in time  for the “invasion back to our roots” and this evening’s braai at the GSB.
 
Already I’ve had flak from Andy (Bassil) – he can’t understand why we are only going to the 4th best restaurant in SA on Sunday  and not the best ! Some people don’t change ! I’ll get him tonight !  Also heard from Reg this morning who’s complaining that I am making him too envious with the various writings about menu’s and the like. Well to him and to all those others who just couldn’t get here there’s one little message from me – Eat your hearts out !
 
We had a truly cosmopolitan dinner table last evening, Terry and Joan from Oz, George from Pom, Mike C from Canada with Gayle also from Canada but she’s  American. Fun ! Finished at 1am  - George still not imbibing, the bloody moral high ground gets ever further away from me. Still, one was pain free at 1am. And thanks to the excellent quality of the wines one still is – sort of !!
 
Tonight the braai, the anticipated shocks with the odd changes to our various visages and body shapes. Will we all recognize each other ?? Who will have changed the most? Are we going to be having one monumental  “pissing contest” ? Our wives and significant others how will they get on ? Will anyone be throwing plates around  or at each other ? (see various stories on such happenings in certain people’s profiles on the web). Will old sores be re-opened, or scores settled ?
 
I can’t wait. Watch this space !! It is going to be just so great to meet all these old friends again !!
 
Cheers from an eagerly anticipating
 
Mike
 
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R Day+1       16.10.2010
 
Hi
 
And that’s what I am on – a High !
 
Had a wonderful evening last evening at the new GSB – wonderful because I once again met so many faces from our past. I am going to try to share some of my impressions with you, or with those who weren’t there so that especially those who weren’t there can at least be with us in spirit if not in flesh.
 
The evening was a bit chilly outside – didn’t stop some people eating at tables in their quad. There was food aplenty.
 
First person I saw, and recognized was Speed Hopewell – we’d all recognize him – he’s hardly changed. There wasn’t a table in front of him so he was unable to  lace his hands together and lean forward and speak – as I remember him doing so often. He’s looking good. Now I know some of the wives of the guys who are there, and many of the wives who weren’t there are going to be reading some of my ramblings. I am not going to be talking about wives – they are all lovely !! ‘nuff said, this is about us guys and I am not going to go down the minefield of my impressions of wives. Hilary said last night, and she met most that were there, that they were all very interesting and pleasant, and I stick by what I said – “lovely”.!
 
Anyway Speed has hardly changed, Arnie was in that bunch – he’s changed in that gone is all that wonderful black hair and those long sideburns, neither to be replaced, but he’s well and looking far more relaxed than he ever did on the course  - can’t imagine him shouting out “You’re wrong!” as probably the most bald statement, and highly memorable single statement anyone ever made, or dared to make, on our course. What a moment that was. Now I think he’d be more gentle !
 
George – he still has all his hair and I am sure we would all recognize him despite the fact the colour has “lightened somewhat”. George was clearly disappointed that he’d been blacked out in terms of the previous director apparently thought that having the pictures of all our gold medalists hanging on the walls off the GSB gave the wrong impression in the new SA  - too white – so he took them down and chucked them away. Had I ever reached those academic heights of getting a gold medal I too would have been pretty miffed. Anyway George is still George – eloquent and suave. Doesn’t seem to be as big as he was before but maybe that’s because I am not sitting next to him everyday (in awe of his grasp of things before I could even conceptualise whatever whoever was on about !)
 
Duncan was there – he too you would recognize as the handsome and congenial  fellow that he always was – although now I see from the family photo on the web that his one son looks exactly like Duncan used to look – lucky fellow !
 
Klaus – oh my goodness – Klaus was there in a smart tweed jacket looking every bit the countrified gentleman and his wit is still as sharp as ever – when Walter Baets (the new director) started speaking Klaus whispered to me to keep my hand in my left pocket because he knew exactly what was coming – a big punt for money from us. He wasn’t wrong ! Klaus and Jo gave me a present of some wonderful placemats to say thank you for all I had done. Small gesture to them, big meaning to me  and deeply appreciated! Style – something I often wish I had !
 
Mike (Rademeyer) – he too we would all recognize for the obvious reason of his loftiness – had an interesting experience in that I thought he was buying me a drink (which it must be said he would gladly do) but he wasn’t, he was paying for his own when I joined him at the “bar”. I subsequently got accosted for not having paid for my refill glass of wine. Bit embarrassing and as I say above “style” – mine’s not great !! Anyway we sorted that out and I gave them their rip off charge of more than the cost of the bottle for a little glass (and I know because I buy the same wine from the same place GSB does !) Still, as someone else said and I can’t for the life of  me remember who – we are probably seen as “rich pickings”. Mike was miffed that there was no whisky – I hate to think what a whisky would have cost him !
 
Dennis – I didn’t initially recognize Dennis – he now has a beard of some magnitude and it suits him. He is as laconic as ever – laid back – a gentle giant and still a lovely attitude with a wonderfully cutting wit. Walter Baets was rambling on about Values and the importance of giving back to society (read GSB)  and Dennis was saying afterwards – business is still business – you have to go for the profit – more of which later.
 
Mike  (Levett) – we had a chat – Mike was definitely recognizable as hardly changed – maybe a little more weight but it suits him. He was worried about tonight’s function and the slight clash with the Western Province versus Orange Free State rugby game this evening. (Semi Finals – Currie Cup) He was very affable and probably said more words to me last night than he did in a year of the MBA !
 
Andy – Andy also one probably wouldn’t recognize – that shock of black hair – well it ain’t there no more. He’s still the man who walks the talk – I don’t know what business he’s in but I bet it’s his own (it’s not mentioned in his profile)  and I bet he’s damn good at it. He commutes between a house in Jhb and one in the Strand down here. Tried to tell me that his house in Jhb has tremendous views – I asked “Of what” – “lights of Jhb” was the answer – call that a view ?? Clearly success has altered his vision – a view is mountain and sea not the blooming lights of an overgrown mining town  - or at least that’s how I see a view. Anyway – he was great and it was good to see my former cottage mate.
 
Frank – he too suffers the paucity of hair syndrome but is as trim and slim as ever (wish I was) and he looks like the super intelligent computer whiz that he is. He’s still working despite the fact that his wife wants him to retire – although she freely admits that Frank at home all day might be a bit much !! Frank, like me, likes work and I am sure he will continue working for a long time to come. All that stored up energy needs an outlet (maybe we should make him the class fund raiser if we can find such a person !!?).
 
Terry – well Terry is staying with us – but he you would certainly still recognize – he’s hardly changed at all. His wit has mellowed – not quite so biting - and to several of my comments he’s cried “That’s a foul” – indicating his huge and abiding interest in all things sporty. He’s now what I would call a gentleman farmer with a lovely farm in Margaret River some 300 kms (an easy drive along great roads) of Perth. Hilary and I have been there – great place to visit.
 
Jim – still smoking, still has his “Englishy” attitude to life – as in starts talking to you on the telephone with nary an introduction – expects YOU to know who HE is. Dennis said he wouldn’t have recognized Jim but I would have. Jim seems to spend half year in France and half in Jhb so life as an eminent financial journalist can’t be treating him too badly  - he tells me that R 5.50 a word is the going rate. God I’d be a millionaire at that rate – just writing to you lot !! (I’ve just done a word count thing on the above – 1330 words – you, my good friend have just had some R 7 315 worth of my words (at top journalist Jim’s rate mind you)  - for FREE !!
 
Mike (Cornelissen) – still the erudite clever one with the defendable opinions – off to Walter Baets after his speech and straight in his face – Baets couldn’t evade or effectively defend the issues Mike raised  as Mike had read every academic reference that Baets quoted – fun ! You’d recognize him certainly, although now the pipe is gone and has been replaced by some funny little white thing – I thought it was half a ball point but Gayle tells me it’s his “pacifier” – not really – it’s some anti smoking thing that quells the urge to smoke.
 
Iver – well Iver is in a wheelchair and speaks through a little microphone contraption but that wonderful brain and those incisive (as in cutting) comments are still all there and functioning well. It was absolutely great that he made the effort  - he drove himself in from Stellenbosch  and we got him in with his wheelchair. Courage, worthy of an old soldier !
 
Bert – Bert I wouldn’t have recognized as that shock of light hair has also partly gone – I realize just how much hair plays an influence on one’s looks (and I have precious little of the stuff left I might add) – he’s “craggier” than he used to be in terms of visage – clearly also done well with his own car businesses and has now retired to the good life in Sedgefield from where they seem to go on extended holidays. One of his daughters is married and lives in Israel which they frequently, it seems, visit.
 
Johan (Steyn) – he too suffers the paucity of hair syndrome and I wouldn’t have recognized him. He  looks every bit the super fit , retired to the coast, cracked it big time early retiree – although I don’t think he’s exactly retired – he’s currently looking for yet another business to start and build up – but this time he wants his son to take it over and run with it – lucky son !
 
Jasper – Jasper you’d easily recognize – more of the same good fellow that he is ! Jasper was interesting in that he went up to Baets afterwards and was seen telling him what an excellent thing this values business was – Jasper for class fund raiser ?? I love it – especially after I think of all the prodding I had to do to finally get him off his (whatever it is) and giving us a decent profile thing – which when done, was truly excellent. I’d love to return the effort with Jasper prodding me for money ! Hah !
 
Monty and Mervyn weren’t there last night (Shabat) and Roy Clark hasn’t arrived yet.
 
Today we have the trip down memory lane – Coach trip to Hout Bay, Chapman’s Peak and points further. Tonight the big dinner at Hohenort.
 
I have appended the little welcoming speech I made (above in note form) if you are interested.
 
Walter Baets spoke at great length about values and society and all this good academic stuff, transparency and the other man and all that. I thought of Meyer Feldberg and one of his maxims that have been great in my life – “Profit is the reward for taking an uninsurable risk”. I must say I don’t go with the societal values of putting back as in just plain giving money away. A lot of us are self made – I have just counted – at least 10 of the 22 who are here now all have their own businesses -  there maybe more – but 10 for sure, of us run our own businesses. My societal value is that I employ some 40 people in my nursing homes. Without  me they have no job, with no job they become a drain on society. My societal value lies in giving employment and worth to 40 people and , as is so often the case, these people  are the breadwinners in their families. Now you want me to give to charity too? I think Charity is something that other people can afford. Anyway I am sure my views are considered wrong by clever people. Still they are my views (and I’ll stick to them).
 
The sun is shining, the sky is blue and the day awaits.
 
Cheers
 
Michael Edwards
 
 
 
 
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The left out Wattie    16.10.2010
 
Hi
 
I see I left out Dave – he was at the bottom of the list , alphabetically, and suffered the fate of me going off to have breakfast with Terry and Joan ! Sorry Dave. Well I don’t think you’d recognize him, gone are those boyish and innocent good looks , gone are many hairs, to be replaced with the looks of a man who has run big businesses in the Evil North. The mouth is still there, that’s for sure, the speed of thought, the desire to do business – even as I write this Dave is doing some deal in Cape Town somewhere – he said he might be late for the coach and we should hold it for him – which we will!
 
OK – I knew I’d leave someone off – no one is perfect !
 
Cheers
 
 
Michael Edwards
 
 
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R Day +3    18.10.2010
 
Hi
 
It’s all been BRILLIANT . It’s been WONDERFUL. It’s been FUN and it’s been NON STOP for the last god only knows how many hours !
 
I have recently woken from 11 hours of much needed straight sleep !
 
On Saturday morning early I wrote to you before we set off on our trip down Memory Lane. Later on Saturday morning we foregathered at the GSB. Fortunately no one, to my knowledge, was sporting a sore head – even the wealthiest amongst us were prevented from overimbibing by the simple financial expedient of none of us liked being ripped of with cheap wine at 5 star hotel prices !!
 
What a day we had on Saturday ! The weather was beautiful – warm, clear blue skies etc. The coach, as one would expect, had a microphone and it had been 37 years since I’d had a microphone and a coach. It all came back to me in a flash – I was 25 again earning 10 pounds a week and being a tour guide in 1973 whilst all you guys were oiling the wheels of commerce and earning fortunes. I will bet I had the distinction of being the poorest paid MBA in the world at the time, and probably the happiest !. I always feel like that but goodness it was great to actually be able to act like that again !! See my profile on the web as to the how’s and why’s of this, I won’t go into it all again here.
 
Our first stop was just the other side of Bakoven where we got out and looked at the beautiful Camps Bay beach sitting in the bowl of the 12 Apostles.
 
Then on to Hout Bay where we stopped at Mariner’s Wharf for a box lunch of Calamari and Chips or Fish and Chips  both of which were superb. We drank beers and cool drinks from the “Eski” on the coach which I’d stocked with said items (per kind courtesy of Clive Apsey who couldn’t be with us in anything other than spirit – his doctors had said he shouldn’t do it etc).  Onwards and upwards we went over the newly renovated Chapman’s Peak drive, then down “the other side” through Noordhoek and Glencairn to Simonstown where we again got out and wandered around looking at our corvettes and even a submarine – all of which are a complete waste of taxpayers’ money – but they look impressive !
 
Back via Fish Hoek where whales were rolling around, as they do, not 100 metres from the road  and up and over Boyes Drive – where we could see many more whales in the Bay. Along de Waal Drive with the University on our left, down Woolsack road to the old GSB. It ain’t there anymore – all those lovely old prisoner of war buildings in which we had spent so many terrifying hours, were GONE. The School is GONE – to have been replaced by some modern building housing the UCT Fitness Centre. Terry and I had been earlier in the morning (just to check) and even our soccer field has GONE – that’s been replaced by an Astroturf soccer field thing (I’d bet Wattie and Dennis Nathan wouldn’t  have been so keen on their goalie antics if they were falling on Astroturf !) Back we came to the new GSB at the Waterfront in order to disperse and prepare for the night’s festivities.
 
The Hohenort was there and waiting for us resplendent in all its  old Cape magnificence. Photographs of all and sundry will shortly either be on the web but more likely they will be in a Picasa album which I will be sending to everyone (including those poor fellows who couldn’t make it). Some people are to suits born (I’m not one of them) and I must say Dave Watson looked great in a pin stripe – no doubt the scourge of the odd boardroom. Hubba, too – “I’ve brought the bloody thing all this way, I am going to wear it” – our Hubba – no change !. Most of us were in sportscoats and ties and most soon lost the ties. Some didn’t have any ties to start with ! All our ladies, of course looked lovely as you can see from some of the photo’s when I manage to get them up and running. I recently changed to Vista  (had to change) and bloody Vista makes things more difficult, especially when trying to do Picasa (Google) photograph uploads. What was easy is now a mission of note – progress is regress… sometimes.
 
Anyway back to the Hohenort.  Mervyn and Molly (Aires) and Monty and Arlene Ketz together with Roy Clark joined the party for the first time. Wonderful to see them all. Mervyn has, as Sharon (Sloshberg) so quaintly described it, grown into his skin. He was a thin, quite serious guy at the GSB. He’s now broadened out into the  lovely outgoing  guy that he is (and don’t get me wrong, he’s certainly nowhere near fat – he just fits his skin better !), Monty was always a smart dressing good looking fellow – not much change there, you’d certainly be able to recognize him as the Monty of old. Wives were all lovely (I said in the previous email – they are all “lovely”. I am not going down that particular track – ever !!! ) Roy Clark – gone are the dark sideburns and the dark beard – to be replaced by gray. I didn’t see a pipe anywhere in attendance either. To me his eyes twinkled more than ever they did from the front row of the GSB ! He, I don’t think, has lost more hair since the GSB, its just changed it’s colour somewhat !! What a delight to see these three guys. Better late than never and there’s a lot of fellows reading this who fall into that “never” category – you SHOULD HAVE COME.
 
The “moment” for me was when Iver arrived with a magnificent gesture  – he’d had his “man” pick several bunches of lovely roses from the garden in Stellenbosch and we put one vase at the end of each table. We had 4 tables, and the men changed tables after the first course, the ladies after the second and then after the third it was general move around. It was a wonderful evening, First Mike Cornelissen made a great speech saying what a wonderful occasion it was and then George also made a speech. My gosh can these fellows speak well. George ‘s memory is prodigious and he managed to transport us all back 40 years in time. He could remember events that we’d all forgotten (I certainly had). Then I said a few words – emphasis on few and they were very few by comparison to Mike and George’s excellent lessons in good public speaking !
 
 I’d organized that we’d have our own wines (and pay the corkage) and I’d chosen the red (Cloof CPS 2004 Bush wine) – a lovely blend of Cabernet, Pinotage and Shiraz, and “Bush wine” means the wine is allowed to bush – it’s not trellised per se. If it was a vegetable you’d call it organic. Super. The white was .. actually I’ve forgotten – it was a dry, very dry white Sauvignon Blanc with a slight grapefruity after taste which you could taste if you had been told about it, not otherwise !. The GSB had “given” us all a memento to take home of a bottle each. We’d had the GSB photo made smaller and into a label – so these wines are unique. The white won’t last, but the Red, which was the memento, will keep another couple of years I would think. I have drunk scads of this Cloof 2004. It’s a good wine.
 
I would say the food was generally very good, and the service absolutely top drawer. However we weren’t there for the food, the service or the wine. We were there to see each other again, to pick up threads of friendship forged in the scary hell hole that was the GSB 40 years ago. And this was done. I think everyone met everyone. Everyone had a good time and that, itself, just flew – time I mean. We got home amazingly at some time after 2 am. Hilary fortunately drove us home, no doubt ably assisted by Joan. Terry and I sat in the back and generally felt no pain and full of bonhomie – whatever the heck that is. I only found out from Terry the following morning that it was after 2 when we finished – he was saying that in Oz the staff would have thrown us out long before that ! Just as well we weren’t in Oz !
 
I got up early on Sunday morning to write to everyone and try and download some pictures. I hit the computer at about 7 and found that I’d been hacked. Fibrillations, panic etc. What had happened the previous morning (after our first night braai at the GSB)  was that I had received an email from what I thought was Mike Rademeyer – “mike radem (xxfriends@yourfanbox.comxxx)” the “x”s aren’t there but I have put them in to prevent accidental access in case YOU make a mistake too, and it asks you to “Check out my photos”   it further prints your name and asks you to confirm your password. Stupidly I did this, but then I was thinking I was dealing with Mike. I did check his email address but then I thought that he might have a separate account for his photo’s or something.  He has a Hotmail address in real life. All this is now  happening on Sunday morning. By 8 o’clock I had stopped all my bank accounts etc, and I had my computer man in my office (I now work from home)  and by 9.30 I was reassured that all was well. My firewall thingee had prevented access, fanbox are some legitimate crowd of photograph album keepers who obviously are paying someone to supply them with mailing lists, and the easiest way for that someone  to do that is to hack into other people (allegedly  these all emanate in the first instance from those with Hotmail accounts) and then bob’s your auntie and they get into your computer and steal your mailing list. Mike Rademeyer has definitely had this happen to him, and I expect that anyone to whom he has ever written an email, will be similarly approached. He’s already been emailed three times by other of his mail recipients asking him what was going on. You will understand that under the current circumstances I thought it was perfectly legit for him to be sending me photo’s but never again will I be stupid enough to give out my password. I expect if I was a hotmail account holder they would have got my mailing list(s) too. So if you get something from him that has the @yourfanpics.com thing on it – destroy the bloody thing ! I must add that he is a totally innocent victim in all of this  and just happens to have the dual misfortunes of having a Hotmail account and have been chosen.
 
I defibrillated somewhat and got on with the day ! The coach was to leave the GSB at 11.30. Several cars followed it as Mike and Gayle (Cornelissen) were flying out to the UK, Dave and Jill Watson were flying back to the Evil North, and Klaus and Jo were off to  visit Iver after the party. Andy  and (the lovely) Dorette were meeting us there as was Iver. What a setting. Hidden Valley  – high up in the Stellenbosch hills overlooking flowing vineyards as far as the eye can see. A beautiful clear day, blue, blue skies,  temperatures in the mid to high 20’s, no wind. Just the magnificent Cape at it’s magnificent best with a group of great men and their lovely wives having fun and rekindling friendships. The food was truly magnificent. Wonderful wines from the vineyards we could see. Slick Service, sublime setting and the company – the best in the world.!!.We left in the late afternoon. Back to the GSB. Fond farewells all round as the various people set off for their different homes in different towns around the world.
 
All in all – we’ve had a BALL. To those who came – thank you for making the effort. To those who didn’t – perhaps next time ? And next time will be in 5 year’s time for those of us/you still around then. We’ve decided 10 years is too long and next time it will be easy to organize – the work is done. The people are found. Internet addresses we have. A web site we have. It will be a doddle – and a(nother) pleasure.
 
Cheers to you guys and my love to the lovely ladies !
 
Michael Edwards
 
Phone    021 686 7501 office
Phone    021 685 4355 home
Cell       072 909 1599
 
Fax        086 502 4498
Postal     Box 304, Rondebosch, 7701