THANK YOU AND YESTERDAY AND TODAY

A thank you for your birthday wishes and some of my College and OB memories. My sincere thanks to all Old Boys, the Society and McGill Alexander for their birthday wishes and kind words. 1940 Obviously many years have passed since I first became a Pupil at Boys High and a family member in Milton in 1940 at the beginning of the second World War. Many of those whose names are remembered each year at the Armistice Service in November were at school with me and had died in action before I left in 1945 at the end of the war. At my age one understands that many details are not always remembered but many “human events” seem to stick, which for me has always been important. I remember in my first year after leaving school, as a student, squeezing enough money from my parents to buy a return train ticket from Randfontein to Potchefstroom for an Old Boys Weekend. I do not remember many details but clearly remember being invited to a sumptuous lunch at the home of Billy Bate, who was OB Chairman at the time and owner of TOD SUTTIE who supplied our school uniforms and clothing for many years. We had roast beef and Mrs Bate insisted I had a second helping which left me slightly uncomfortable and over fed. Five years at boarding school had probably left me with a slightly shrunken stomach. 1966 After my first OB event I was soon playing hockey for the Old Boys. Our home ground was at Old Johnians Linksfield. My hockey season Sundays followed a regular pattern until I got married and went to the UK in 1953 for several years. I was fortunate in the UK to meet a friend from Krugersdorp High School who said I must come and play for Selfridges the large store in Oxford Street London. After protesting that I had no money for my hockey kit Selfridges provided all my requirements for a few seasons. Our home ground was next to the famous Old Wembly Soccer Stadium. Coming back to my Sunday hockey pattern I lived at Millsite a row of mine houses. To get to my hockey game I had a long walk to Millsite station, catch a train to Johannesburg and bus to Gallagher corner Orange Grove and then a longer walk to Old Johnians grounds Linksfield. The reverse going home which meant I would leave before sun- up and depending on the time of our match maybe arriving home before sunset, to a Sunday lunch that had been in my mother’s old black coal stove since lunch time. Some years later during a Sunday afternoon snooze, the custom at that time, Cyril Herr (Chairman 61-66) phoned me and said he felt he had done his share and asked me if I would accept the position of Chairman. I accepted and served in that position for the next 11 years. Perhaps two of my best achievements were initiating the Annual Dinner with Terry Collins at the Wanderers and persuading Terry to go with me to an Old Boys Meeting.

The rest is history with Terry being one of the most consistent and passionate Old Boys in our long history. A regular memory of Terry was the phone ringing at my house on many Sunday evenings

and my wife shouting “your girlfriend is coming to have a chat with you”. Since those times we have had many wonderful Chairman and Committee members. 2013 So today 2013, having experienced the 100 year Anniversary of the School and in 2011 of the Old Boys Society we are facing unbelievable new challenges in todays world. For some of us who have been involved for many years it is very obvious that the Old Boys require todays young men to manage todays requirements in a fast moving new world. I know Geoff Peck 1970 and myself 1945 along with some older long time Old Boys feel blessed and impressed by the young Old Boys who now have the future of Potch Boys Society in their hands. Our trust and thanks go to Greg Mortimer M, Craig Wilson CA G, Darien Nolan Attorney M. My thanks also go to good men like Athol Weddell, Vic Jardim, Percy Fell and Andrew Cole who have been the mainstay of the society for many years. Dates and names can be found in: College A School With A Heart. The High School For Boys Potchefstroom 1905-2011 (McGill Alexander: Barnard and Milton 1960-1965) Thank you and all Staff and Old Boys who have been an inspiration for me over many years.

Wally

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful