TRIBUTE TO EUGENE MAREE ('53)
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
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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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
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
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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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
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
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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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
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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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
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
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
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
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
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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
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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