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Posted 11 November 2009

Sydney Dinner

The annual Sydney Dinner was held on Tuesday, 10 November 2009 at the Holiday Inn.

A list of Attendees:

  • Andrew Cohen
  • Graeme Reid
  • Howard Davy
  • ustin O'Sullivan
  • Jack Stoch
  • Brian Lavine
  • Harry Luchtenstein
  • Deon Shapiro
  • Graham Liebenberg
  • Mark Liebenberg
  • Grant Price
  • Mark Zimmerman
  • Peter Venter
  • Wilf Millin
  • Wayne Spanner
  • David McMaster
  • Neil Ludwig
  • Rainier Kruisinga
  • Diedrick Kruisinga
  • David Penkin
  • Russell Klugman
  • Grant Katz
  • Lance Rosenberg
  • Anton Rosenberg
  • Michael Elamrye
  • Ian Fullerton
  • Andrew Thompson
  • Dan Ryan
  • Robert Hall
  • Lyle Abel
  • Colin Davidson
  • Ernie Kirtsen
  • Warwick Staples


  • Don Espey
  • Chris Kevin
  • David Goldberg
  • John Lake
  • Kevin Lilly
  • Richard Willis
  • Peter Willis
  • Richard Hugo-Hamman

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Posted 29 October 2009

1959 – 50 Year Class Reunion, March 2009 

by John Maconachie – Vice President OBU, Convenor

Planning for  this event started a year prior to this event.  The 1959 matric class was the last in the Old School and numbered only 70 pupils.  We could not trace 10 and 10 had passed away which reduced us to 50 possibilities, of which 20 live overseas.  Considering that we had 32 attending, this was no mean achievement.  They were :-

  • Heinrich Asch    - Local
  • Peter Auld     - Johannesburg
  • John Badenhorst    - East London
  • Mike Bennett (Vice President, OBU) - Australia
  • John Bradshaw (Head Boy)  - Sasolburg
  • Alan Bryant     - Kleinmond
  • Geoff Chait     - Local
  • Melvyn Cohen    - Local
  • Wilfred Gohring    - Local
  • Robin Henry     - USA
  • Pat Hill     - Local
  • Alan Ipp     - Local
  • Buller Jensen    - Local
  • Alan Kaimowitz    - Local
  • Brain Kantor    - Local
  • Ivan Kapelus    - UK
  • Noel Lipshitz    - Local
  • Des Lord     - Australia
  • John Maconachie    - Local
  • Andy McPherson    - Local
  • Robin Merrifield    - Canada
  • Charles Moon    - Johannesburg
  • John Morgan (Dep Head Boy)  - Local
  • Herbert Sacks    - Canada
  • Leonard Solomon    - Local
  • George Strachan    - Local
  • Billy van der Westhuizen   - Still Bay
  • Dave van der Meulen   - Pretoria
  • Clive Wolff     - Canada

Dave Griffiths, from Klerksdorp, could not attend due to illness.  Ralph Lang, from Namibia, missed his flight and Jim Nesbitt could not make it from Japan.

The reunion kicked off with a cocktail  party in the Brodie Room, OBU Pavilion.  We were accompanied by our wives, invited guests, Past Masters and the two Headmasters.  Cliff Alexander, who was a pupil at Michaelis House when I was a Housemaster, very kindly agreed to cover the whole event photographically and produced an excellent CD.

Thursday morning saw us all gather at the Junior School with Francois Nel (Headmaster).  All were very impressed with the facilities compared to what it was like in our day at Wandel Street.  Thursday afternoon 12 of us played golf at Mowbray Golf Club, sponsored by Ivan Kapelus and Brian Kantor.  Thursday evening was the date for our stag dinner at the Wild Fig restaurant in Mowbray.  Past Master Doug Brown entertained us with recollections of dealing (not all pleasant) he had with us while we were boys.  Dave van der Meulen very kindly sponsored the wine.

Friday saw some of us at the High School Assembly, followed by breakfast and a tour of the dorms at Michaelis House.  We were then taken on a conducted tour of the High School by historian, Neil Veitch.  The High School is a magnificent set up and incomparable with the facilities we had in Orange Street, those 50 years ago!

Our last port of call was Orange Steet itself, which has not changed much.  The Rosedalians in our midst were fascinated by being able to recollect their time there and in particular the manner in which the “Boss” conducted himself. 

In closing I wish to thank John Ince, Sandy Edwards, my colleagues, both Headmasters and their staff for their co-operation and assistance in making this event the success that it was.  We look forward to September 2012 for our next reunion.

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Posted 15 October 2009

1949 Reunion  
by Kenny Penkin ('49)

The class of ’49 held the reunion of its members to celebrate 60 years since they matriculated in 1949 commencing with a gathering in Fransch Hoek of 8 couples and 2 unattached over the weekend of 12th September, 2009 amidst beautiful surroundings with great food where bonding after all these years took place. On Monday 14th, a Memorial service attended by wives and partners was held at noon in the Brodie room conducted by Gordon Battaliou who read some beautiful prayers of thanks for our survival and the parts played by our parents and teachers and then brought back many memories of our school days. We also respectfully remembered some 16 members who had passed on. Kenny Penkin delivered a prayer of thanks in both English and Hebrew. Neil Veitch who had written the book on the 170 years kindly took us round the old boys’ quad in the new school.

Lunch at Forries followed and on the Tuesday night some 16 class members (of the original 55 in 1949) attended the School Annual Old Boys dinner.  The following night a successful braai, organised by Norman Snitcher, was held at the Brodie room. Wynne Rigal, (Edmonton), Mervyn Immerman, (Sydney) and Gordon Battaliou, (Torquay) came from overseas  for the celebrations as did members from throughout South Africa e.g. Andrew Nesbitt, (Natal0, Jolyon King, (Pretoria), Godfrey Beattie, (Port Elizabeth), Pretoria and Arthur Hawthorne (after 60 years), (Kimberley, now Western  Cape). A photo of those attending the braai is appended with names.

The gatherings were enjoyed in a wonderful spirit of camaraderie and joy with lots of memories being discussed and updating of where we have been and what we have done over those 60 years.  The planning of the get together was greatly assisted by the excellent secretarial services of Johann Botha and the committee of Ben Rabinowitz, Kenny Penkin, Lionel Blumenthal and Norman Snitcher. We are looking forward to some overseas members who could not attend from overseas joining us for further smaller gatherings in December 2009 and in January 2010 – and then on to ‘planning our 65th!’

Back row: Benny Rabinowitz, Natie Wapnick, Gordon Botalliou, Kenny Penkin, Wynne Rigal, Johann Botha, Leon Movsowitz.

Front Row: Eric Damsell, Andrew Nesbitt, Norman Snitcher, Godfrey Beattie, Harold Scher, Lionel Blumenthal, Mervyn Immerman.

Others who attended, but were not present at the taking of the Photograph are Ralph Lee, Arthur "Hootie" Hawthorne, Jolyon King, Llewellyn du Toit, and Cyril Fisher.

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Posted 11 June 2009

A Blast from the Past - SACS Old Boys Reunion in Israel 
by Jeff Lederer ('63)

As the familiar strains of the school song "The SAC is the College for me" echoed through the clean Spring night, I wondered to myself what on earth the neighbours were thinking ? I doubt very much whether they could have guessed that this simple gathering was a reunion of some 40 or so S.A.C.S. Old Boys in Israel, who were meeting in the house of Mr and Mrs Abe Jaffe in Ramat Hasharon.

This unforgettable occasion took place on the 15th May 1989 on the 41st Anniversary of the founding of the State and was the brainchild of a few, who managed to provide a memorable evening for so many.

Most of the gathering had emigrated to Israel after the founding of the State and came from all walks of life from lawyers, doctors, architects, engineers, and accountants, to kibbutznikim and moshavnikim. The oldest matriculated in 1919 and the youngest in 1970, a difference that mirrored the various age groups, spanning half a century.

Master of Ceremonies was Jack Rabin. who managed to limit the speakers to a minimum of anecdotes, kept the ball rolling from year to year and with plenty of humorous asides.

DR KRIKLER matriculated in 1919 (!) was the initial speaker and told of how his family had moved to Muizenberg because of his mother's ill health. He attended S.A.C.S. at the time of Billy Baxter (the only one present me thinks who studied under this Headmaster) and was lucky enough to study Hebrew under the watchful eye of a teacher from "Palestine". He recalled the Spanish 'Flu Epidemic of 1918 which laid low pupils and teachers alike.

NORMAN SPIRU (1941) a great sportsman (boxing) described how he gave a lift that very evening to Dr Krikler and how to his amazement had discovered that this very same physician had operated on his toes when he was a child in South Africa. He had not set eyes on him since that fateful day in Muizenberg some fifty years previously. Some 50% of his class failed the 1941 matriculation because of the difficult war situation.

MARCUS GELB (1931) who seemed to be one of the more elderly members present, told of his days as a star S.A.C.S. cricketer and captain of the Rugby team. He later played with great Springboks such as George Van Renen and the like.

ARNIE FRIEDMAN (1950) told of the influence of the Jewish Youth Movements on their lives and the fact that so many of his class came on Aliya. He mentioned Hans Freund, the teacher in German who took the Jewish pupils for "prayers" and where subjects from Israel, music and South African politics were discussed.

PHILLIP SIVE (1948) one of five of his class present at the meeting (rivalled only by the class of `52) recalled the ladies of ill repute who frequented the upper end of Long Street. There was a heated dispute as to whether brief encounters of a dubious nature were held in the Rosedale Cricket Pavilion or in the Little Theatre Workshop.

GEORGE BEROLD (1933) mentioned that ALL his matriculation class had been Jewish. Their Afrikaans master (Mr Van Niekerk) had been better known by his nickname.

ABE JAFFE (1948) related how he, as a Prefect in Rosedale, had been an innocent party to the theft of the September 1948 examination papers. The guilty parties were eventually exonerated and disqualified from writing the final exams.

JONATHAN SHIFRIN (1970) told of the retirement of "The Boss" Whiteford and the initial period of Mr Paddison.

HESTON JACKSON who was at SACS during 1937-38 was at Dryfe House but left because life was difficult at that time.

HAROLD KAUFMAN (1951) reminded the gathering of the days when the boys dashed from St Michael's Rugby, ground to Cheder in Hope Street.

JACK RABIN(OWITZ) (1948), the M.C. noted that many of those present were active bowlers and some had even represented Israel at the recent seven-nation  tournament in Guernsey. There was a suggestion that a SACS Old Boys Bowling Team be formed and international tours organised.

The different periods under the various headmasters were discussed viz Billy Baxter, Jock Allan and "Boss" Whiteford.

MEIR JAFFE (1948) described how he had used a pamphlet issued by Kibbutz Afikim in a School debate (This was in 1948, remember!)

OCKEY RABINOWITZ (1943} related how Mr Van Niekerk had told their matriculation class that they should all further their studies at the Eisenberg Agricultural College, for all they were good for was for manure. There was laughter when he told of the antics of their cricket coach, Jack Newman and his brush with Thompson a promising player.

KALLY SACHS (1946) today President of the Israeli Bowling Association, mentioned that only two of their class of 28 passed the final examination. The reason was simple : the lads used to stay up all night watching the female soldiers showering in the adjacent W.A.C.'S barracks.

TEDDY KAPLAN (1952) a Springbok and later Israeli International sportsman, recalled how Raymond Sive had been edged out of certain victory in the mile at the 1952 triangular meeting with Bishops and Rondebosch.

He remembered that SONNY SOLOMON had gotten six of the best when his Whiskey flask broke on the final day in the Matric Class. As an active sportsman still today, he urged his fellow ex-scholars to participate in keep-fit programmes.

ARTHUR SCHIFF (1943) the Springbok marksman, reminisced about the mathematics master, R.H. Dick who supervised the marking of the annual athletics championships;.

WOLFIE KANTOR (1941) described various activities, including his brush with Laurie Karstadt, the Boxing Coach. He voiced everyone’s feelings when he summed up : “I had a wonderful time at school, but the best time of my life is now, when I can be here under a clear sky. Let us be thankful to all those who made it possible.”

The Only Sabra present was HYMIE LIDSKY (1940) who was born in Tel Aviv - Jaffa, but left in 1930 for South Africa after the Arab riots.

Finally, HENRY GILD (1957) recalled his Ez days with Impy Stierlin and Isaac Nurock (1952) related an embarrassing encounter with "Boss" Whiteford. The formal part of the evening ended with a heart-rendering version of the school song and war-cry.

Many familiar sounds, some long forgotten, were heard once more - sounds like "Nancy" , Japie Irvine, Rosedale, Willie Westall, Dryfe House, Hor Taalbond Examination - words that long since had disappeared from our vocabulary.

ALL IN ALL, it was an enjoyable reunion, but not a very deep or intellectual exercise. It seems that most of those present remember sporting events more than academic escapades, and more especially the mischief after hours, more than the classroom routine.

Someone asked whether there was anybody present who had created anything, perhaps a bustling business or an enterprising factory ... there was a long silence.

For me personally, there was something which stood out, the strong representation of those who matriculated between 1935 - 1956 and the fewer members of later years. Perhaps this is in accordance with the development of Herzlia School, which attracted many would-be SACS scholars following its establishment in the 1950's.

if any positive step is taken as a result of this meeting, perhaps it should take the form of some sort of a commemoration for those SACS Old Boys who fell in the line of duty.

A special thanks is due to Mr and Mrs Abe Jaffe for their warm hospitality.


            WOOLF 1965

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