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In Memoriam

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Old Friends that have passed on, in 2005:

We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families and the loved ones of the Old Boys mentioned below who have passed on:

David Hasses ('54) December 2005
David Dickman ('59) November 2005
Alwyn J Holmes November 2005
David Atcheson ('65) November 2005
C F Muller ('28) July 2005
Alan B Gooch ('40) June 2004
Esre Greenblo ('34) 2004


Tributes to Old Friends who Have Passed On ...


Archive: Current | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

March 2006

by George Muller('53)

Eugene died suddenly in Port Elizabeth on 29 November 2005. He was a prefect both at SACS and at St John's Hostel. He was 70.

Eugene excelled at cricket, athletics, gymnastics and boxing. He was also bugle major in cadets.

He retired from Nedbank as an auditor after a lifetime in banking, mainly with Barclays in Rhodesia.

Eugene sent his apologies to classmates attending the 1953 matric reunion in November 2003; he had not fully recovered from operations to arteries in his leg. His wife Lorraine says by last November he had recovered well from his operations and seemed his old self again.

Besides Lorraine, whom he married in 1961 in Bulawayo, Eugene leaves a son, Glen, a daughter, Lindy, and her triplets, aged five.

I remember Eugene especially as a stylish boxer, who won WP Schools titles as he advanced through the weights, as well as his Lukin Shield bouts with Bishops. He was awarded various honours, including full blues.

On reflection, I cannot remember him ever losing a bout -- and that included at least one encounter with a feared individual who later became SA amateur champion.

After school Eugene remained active in sport, playing cricket and adding tennis to his achievements.

His funeral in Port Elizabeth was attended by brother-in-law, Eric Damsell (circa '50) of Cape Town.


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December 2005

Passing Of Oldest Old Boy
by Leo Benning ('52)

South Africa’s second oldest Masters Athlete, 98 year old Connor Johnston passed away this past Monday from old age. He was not on any medication and was not suffering from any illness, he just faded away. In the last year or so of his life he showed no interest in anything and had become very forgetful. Steve Johnston (‘65), his son and a top field athlete in South Africa supplied the following:

Up until the age of about 93 he had been a very active walker and at the World Veteran Championships in Hanover, Germany, in 1979 Johnston M70 won both walks, the 10km and 20km road walks in 1:01.01 (a championship record) and 2:07:54.7 respectively. There was no 5000m walk at these championships. For these achievements he received the SA State President’s Award. He still holds a number of Western Province 5000m and 20km records and his M70 5000m time of 29:08.8 and M70 20km of 2:07.54.7 are still South African records.

Johnston served in the Second World War in North Africa and wrote a book on his experiences there called `Camouflage in the Desert` about 5 years ago. He worked as an architect until he was 79. He had also worked as an architect in New Zealand from 1961 to the early eighties

For a number of years he was the president of the Western Province Masters Athletics Association in Cape Town. Due to a serious knee injury sustained in a car accident in 1982 his very efficient walking style was badly affected. A subsequent operation did not eliminate the problem entirely and Johnston could not straighten his knee properly but this did not stop him from participating in the sport he loved so much. He was knocked down by a drunken motorist while he was competing in a walking race in Rondebosch, Cape Town and was badly injured. A true gentleman of our sport has departed from this world. It was a privilege to have known him.

SACS was proud of Connor Johnston!


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December 2005

A Tribute To Patrick Beattie (’40)
by his brother, Norman('39)

Patrick Beattie passed away in Melbourne, Australia in July 2005. Pat, as he was known, matriculated in 1940 and on leaving school was appointed as a Management Trainee at the United Tobacco Company S A Limited, a subsidiary of the British American Tobacco Corporation.

At the beginning of 1943 Pat volunteered for aircrew training in the South African Air Force, wherein he qualified as a navigator/bombardier. The final part of his training was done at Young’s Field, where his course instructor was Lieutenant “Froggie” Efroiken, a SACS Old Boy who had been Pat’s Platoon Commander in the cadets at School.

Pat was posted to the Middle East, where he had the misfortune to be shot down in the Aegean Sea after attaching an enemy convoy. He was officially reported, “Missing in action”. Some two months later it was learnt that he was with Greek partisans high up in the Greek mountains. Six months later, by way of secret arrangements, he was picked up in Italy (notwithstanding that Greece was fully occupied by enemy forces at the time).

After the war Pat resumed duties at his company in Cape Town.

At School Pat played hooker from the U11 to U19 school rugby teams. Cecil Moss was the captain of all these teams. After leaving school Pat joined the Hamilton’s Rugby Club and initially played for the U19 team and then successive Hamilton teams as hooker and team captain. It was at Hamiltons that he met up with SACS Old Boy stalwart Francis Mellish.

A few years later Pat was sent to Bloemfontein to supervise the building of a factory and the installation of machinery, etc and to manager the business there. He joined the Ramblers Rugby Club and on occasions represented the Orange Free State.

A few years later he was sent to Salisbury, Rhodesia, where he established a new factory, etc and was then made a Director of the company. He captained the Salisbury Rugby team and later represented Rhodesia.

He was later transferred to the Head Office, Johannesburg where in keeping with the company’s policy to diversify, he created Willards Snack Food Company, which within a few years had a multi-million rand turnover.

Pat retired in 1982 after 40 years service with UCT and returned to Cape Town with his wife, Desireé. In Cape Town he renewed his association with Hamiltons and regularly attended the SACS Old Boys dinners.

Being an active man, he got tired of retirement and became a knowledgeable consultant in Sectional Title matters and later became a sectional Title Manager of Pam Golding Property Management Services, a position he held until he and his wife decided to join their son, Russell and family, in Melbourne, Australia in 1997.


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December 2005

Tribute to Henry Charles Ginsberg
by Bruce Ginsberg ('64)

Chas Ginsberg, the Clanwilliam farmer who became known as the “Rooibos King” after he turned the Cederberg region into the “Ceylon of Africa”, died in London during April, at age 92.

Chas Ginsberg is credited with having domesticated one of the few wild food plants in the world and turning it into a major agricultural crop. With his flair for marketing, the “11 O’clock Rooibos Tea” brand” became, and still is a popular national and international beverage.

Rooibos in its wild state occurred sparsely on the slopes of the Cederberg mountains. Chas and his father, Barend, encouraged a local doctor to experiment with propagation. He managed to successfully germinate the rooibos seed and the Ginsbergs then persuaded their friends among the local farmers to begin planting as an auxiliary crop.

In the early 1940’s Chas laid out the first dedicated large-scale rooibos plantations on Die Berg, Môreson and Stillerus farms.

He also owned Capsa Tea Company whose Grandiflora and Cyclopia brands were for many years the only commercially packed honeybush available on the South African market.

He also developed new technologies for drying the tea and introduced sophisticated cutting machinery used by the tea industry in India.

In the late 1950’s he began transforming large parts of his farm into vineyards and planted a million-and-a-half pine trees and a range of orchards.

Chas was born on March12, 1913 and came to SACS at the age of eight not being able to speak a word of English. He became a rugby player of note, captaining the Clanwilliam rugby team as well as playing for North Westerns. After the Second World War, in which he was an officer, he played for Hamiltons Rugby Club with his old friend, the legendry Springbok fullback, Gerry Brand.

He leaves three children.


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December 2005

Obituary: Solly Kessler
by Suzanne Belling

On 6 June this year, communal elder statesman Solly Kessler, who dedicated 46 years of his life o the Jewish Community, passed away suddenly at the age of 76,

Democrat, legal adviser, expert on anti-Semitism, Solly called himself a “Board man through and through”. He did not have to articulate that. Every member of the Cape Committee – past and present – turned to him for advice and to tap into the vast resources of knowledge he kept, both on file and in his head.

In the course of his many years of service on the cape Council of the SAJBD, Solly was treasurer, vice-chairman, chairman (from 1981-1983) and, at the time of his passing, an honorary life vice-president, regularly attending meetings. He was brimful of ideas and was in the forefront of the of the action in the centenary year of the Cape Board. Even on the day of his passing, he was working on a project for the procedures in terms of the Board’s new constitution, which he had drafted.

Firm and determined in his views, Solly spearheaded many developments and changes in the community through his quiet and irrefutable logic. One such initiative was the public ballot system to further democratize the Board’s voting process, as early as the 1950’s.

Born in Cape Town, Solly matriculated at SACS gaining fifth place in the province in the matric exams. He was one of the first pupils to study Hebrew as a matric subject. In 1946 he went on the first year-long post matric youth leadership course in pre-state Israel. It was the very first machon for South Africans. This followed on from his involvement as a youth member of the Great Synagogue Choir and being one of the founders of Bnei Akiva in Cape Town. In the early 1940’s.

Solly graduated with the BA LLB degrees (with five class medals) and went on to practice as an advocate for 6 years. He later opted for the side bar and, as an attorney, joined his brother’s practice in 1957. A practicing attorney thereafter, he also took a course in Cape Town about 16 years ago for admission to the Israel Bar.

Solly viewed the establishment of the Jewish religious Instruction department of the Board as one of his main contributions to the community. His chairmanship of the peoples College, an education project for adults which eventually became the Community Forum: chairmanship of the Council for Adult Jewish Education (CAJE), the Zionist Luncheon Club and Histadruth Ivrith. He was a sworn translator (Hebrew-English and vise-versa) and was a member of the Western province Zionist Council for many years, including a term as vice chairman.

In the 1970’s Solly created the Board’s Eye View, serving as the publication’s editor for several years; subsequently, he was the author of numerous articles, including columns on “Community Issues” in the Cape Jewish Chronicle and he also made a number of important contributions to Jewish Affairs over the years.

Naturally, Solly was one of the main protagonists in ensuring protection against hate speech when South Africa’s new constitution was drafted. The National Board’ Constitutional Committee, then under the chairmanship of Judge Ralph Zulman, made representations to parliament, and Solly was asked to address the joint Parliament Committee in November 1999.

Solly leaves his wife Lily, son Dr Franklin Kessler (a radiologist in Israel), daughter Vivienne Anstey and five grandchildren. Lily was at his side at every Board public function and Vivienne, a past vice chairman of the Cape Board and still a committee member, inherits her father’s legacy of love for the Jewish community.


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December 2005

Harold Ivan Barnett - Eulogies from two proud sons

From Neil Barnett
I am greatly honored to be the son of Harold Barnett.
My Dad , vitally embraced life itself.
My Dad embodied everything life had to offer and as a family we were privileged to learn from his ways.
Dad’s early involvement in the defense of his country and the world, his involvement with family ,business, our schools, our sports, our travels, even our trials and tribulations and all our endeavors, my Dad always applied his unique and personalized spirit of involvement.
My Father was a true gentleman who showed his love for his wonderful and beautiful wife Marlit in so many ways too numerous to mention here.
Dad , we will forever miss your presence, you had a great innings and as far as we are concerned you are still in !

From Peter Barnett
I will always remember Dad for his love of Life…..And for the love he showed his beautiful wife ,Marlit.
I stand here proud to be the son of one admired and loved by so many
He taught me about respect , discipline and truth. He had a great sense of humor and shone bright like a light.
Dad inspired in me a life long interest in physical fitness.
Thank you Dad for setting such a great example in how to live life to the Full.
Thank you for the great birthday parties you and Mom held for us.
Thank you for the love you and Mom showed us.
You will be missed –but never forgotten.
We love you , Dad
May you rest in Peace, Soldier.

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