General Botha - Class of 1973
The following is Gavin Durell's report on the 30 year reunion that was held in Cape Town recently.
Class of 1973 - Reunion
A small gathering of classmates gathered in Cape Town over the weekend of 21-23 February to mark the 30th anniversary of their year at SAMNA General Botha.
As is normal with these types of gathering, it is not easy to assemble great numbers in one place at one time. The class has scattered around the globe but seven brave souls and families managed to mark the occasion together. Not that this should be considered the definitive or official gathering by any means. However, we hope that, following our effort, the rest of the bunch in Durban will make an effort and hopefully do something likewise later this year and maybe also manage to find a few missing AWOLERS into the bargain!
Those who attended were as follows:
#2431 Stuart Bradford
#2438 Gavin Durell
#2444 Tim Mc Clure
#2447 Ian Merriman
#2452 Peter Potgieter
#2459 Hans Tissink
#2463 Rob Whitehead
Guests of honour were Hub Stohr and Brett and Lynette Theunissen. Brett is the eldest son of Phil Theunissen #2460, who is living in Vancouver, so it was nice to have another generation representing him in absentia. He's a chip off the old block for sure, Phil!!
There were two Capetonians who were out of town and were unable to attend viz. Franci Nunes #2450 and Graham Clack #2433. We very much appreciated the presence of Stuart & Carol Bradford and Tim Mc Clure who traveled from Port Elizabeth and Durban respectively to join us.
We kicked off with an unofficial lunch at the Portuguese Embassy on Friday. The place still going strong, having been in business since 1972 and has been a favourite haunt of many a mariner since then. Little has changed in 30 years. Probably the only major change in three decades has been allowing the fairer sex entry to the hallowed establishment.
Saturday afternoon saw us out on the yacht “Spirit of Victoria” for a champagne sail in the bay in a brisk south-easter. Great sailing and a pleasant start to the evening's proceedings which was in the form of a braai held at the Oceana Power Boat Club in Granger Bay. The club now occupies the site where the old cricket nets used to stand and about as close to what was once our “home” at various stages, as you can get.
We observed a few moments silence in memory of our 3 classmates who had passed over the side in the intervening years viz: Peter Moon #2448, Gerry de Villiers #2436 and John van Zyl #2461. The roll was then called and we went through the whereabouts of all those we have managed to locate thus far. From a class of 36, as mentioned, 3 are deceased and we have accounted for all but 6 to 8 souls who are still being logged as AWOL - or not having reported in to HQ (The GBOBA) or the class website within the last few years.
Will the following “missing” members, PLEASE lay aft with your latest whereabouts and contact details. We need to complete the mission of finding and locating the rest of the class at the 30 year stage.
#2429 Jacques Adam
#2435 Michael (Monty) Demont
#2437 Andre Du Preez
#2441 Barry Holmes
#2446 Dave Melvin
#2453 Stuart Procter
#2456 Fernando Santana
#2462 Paul Wheeler
All enjoyed the very sociable evening and it was good to see a few old faces again and reminisce about days gone by. Let's not wait another 30 years before we do it again!! So, come on Durban, how about it??
We have decided to have our 30 year get together in Cape Town on the
weekend of 22-23rd February. As mentioned earlier, the plan is to
have a family braai on the Saturday evening as the "main event" and
perhaps a lunch time or brunch cruise on "Hot Dog" earlier that day.
Sunday is being left free to pursue your own activities at your leisure.
Another idea that has been proposed is to invite some of the
lecturers we all knew, to share in the fun! What do you think?
We need to finalise plans shortly, so could you all PLEASE RESPOND
to this message by simply indicating at this stage:-
a.) If you will be able to come.
b.) How many people would be able to attend.
Please respond by latest 19th January.
We realise that many of you are stretched across the
globe and cannot make it, but could all those silent bodies in SA
please drop us a line now or forever hold your peace until 2013!