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24/12/15 07:08 AM #34    

Bruce Johnston

Totally agree , after graduating I taught for two years at Beachwood and caned extensively. After twenty five years in the corporate world I returned to teach at DHS. Caning was abolished and if a class was interested and engaged punishment / disciplinary measures are not needed ( although throwing a few chairs in the direction of wayward boys tended to lengthen their attention spans). Caning was not required and I regretted my Beachwood days but recognize I was young and a product of an environment ( DHS 63 - 66) . We may have fond memories but distance lends enchantment and on critical reflection the teachers there today are doing a far far better job than those of our era.

24/12/15 08:53 AM #35    


Larry Butchins

Hey Bruce - it's been a while! I clearly remember other forms of "corporal" punishment. Our French teacher, Tom McGee was a classic example. He didn't cane; he just took the heaviest French dictionary he could find and belted us around the earhole with it! That got our attention - today it would land him jail for assault!

I often (to my everlasting pride) bent over in McIver's office to get "six of the best"....and also got whipped a few times in the prefect's room (I really bucked against the system: didn't wear my basher, left my blazer unbuttoned, went to town and movies out of uniform - all that crap). What were they thinking back then? Seriously: if any teacher in Israel approached a student in a remotely threatening manner we would have the parents, the police, the Knesset, the right and left wing parties and every single citizen up in arms, protesting, striking, and demanding the resignation of the Education Minister (hmmm, not a bad idea actually...) BUT - there was a measure of discipline and respect instilled in us all (fear?). I guess in the '60s we were still living with the legacy of 19th Century English public school traditions.

Compliments of the season to all...


26/01/16 01:19 PM #36    


Cedric Parker

Roger Jones from the class of 64 sent me this very interesting article on the #RhodesMustFall issue. Read it here. I'd be very interested in your comments on it.

28/01/16 05:56 AM #37    

John Mason

Hi Cedric,

The article on Rhodes was certainly provocative. That this kind of debate is still possible in RSA is encouraging. I have thought for some time that much of what appears to be wrong in contemporary RSA is a consequence of the misuse of power by an elite few who feel that they can rule with impunity. Corruption is almost inevitable in circumstances where there is not a very fine balance between those who wield power and those who desire it. I also have extreme misgivings about those who seek to rewrite history - even allowing for the reality that historians are products of their milieu and almost certainly have at times erred in their interpretations of events and people. How can we move forward unless we acknowledge the truth, or seek after it? That Rhodes was a philanthropist, at least in giving after he had shuffled off this mortal coil, should be acknowledged and valued -  but also scrutinised. I think we are gradually learning about the damaging consequences of the unbridled exploitation of our natural resources - there was a time when it was accepted that such unstinting exploitation was good and that we should do the same with human resources.
One of my concerns about philanthropy is that it invariably, or at least too often, involves patronage - which is just another form of control or an attempt to influence the outcome. We need to devise a system whereby individuals are able to succeed without depending on patronage. I have yet to be convinced that unfettered capitalism, where the incentive to strive is all about personal gain both in terms of wealth and power, is the answer. However, all the evidence in recent history has shown that socialism does not improve the quality of life of ordinary people, and that it too can lead to corruption and abuse on a terrible scale. 
I have found that it is possible to persuade young people - our future - that we can improve society by committing ourselves to the principle of striving to do worthwhile things merely because they are worthwhile, and not because we want status or self-aggrandisement. The problem with this, is that it is an absolute contradiction of all the banal and narcissistic values and practices of their world. There are just too many individuals and agencies promoting a world view which is the antithesis of selflessness.
Unfortunately, those who seek to rewrite the past by destroying symbols or records thereof, are merely making it more certain that we will continue to repeat the and tragedies and inequities that have bedevilled human history.

28/01/16 02:00 PM #38    


Geoff Caruth

Hi John


Agree with you 100%. Sadly, such views are held by a small minority. In a nutshell-"What a piece of work is man-NOT"!! I read today that Rupert Murdoch has just bought his new beau Jerry Hall an engagement ring for R 55 million!!! Even given the parlous state of our local currency I think the whole sentiment expressed in your post is perfectly illustrated by this vulgarity! How to change it? The brutal truth is it cannot be changed. I am not a pessimist by nature nor do I subscribe to the"Nasty,Brutish and Short" Philosophy but the failure on the part of most people to see the simple truths staring them in the face is depressing


kind Regards


28/01/16 03:19 PM #39    


Cedric Parker

Thanks for both your responses, John and Geoff. This is such an interesting debate and you've made your points really well.

The prevailing world culture encourages self-centredness and hedonism. When I reflect honestly on myself and my own motives I often see how strongly my life is influenced by this culture. However I can honestly say that in those rare moments when I am able to be selfless and make sacrifices for a worthy cause I know that I am in tune with God's purpose for my life. My prayer is that I can grow to be less influenced by power and greed, and become more like my Creator.

I believe that we're all broken in some way. None of us can elevate ourselves and look down on others with any justification. We're all a mix of good and bad. We should celebrate the good (Rhodes' financial legacy) and be very careful not to judge the bad too harshly. The truly great personalities of history are those folk that have shown abundant grace and mercy.

I was shocked to see that the author of the article was black. Unfortunately that is a reflection of the ingrained prejudice I'm trying to rid myself of.

29/01/16 11:28 PM #40    

John Mason

Hi Cedric,

Your faith has given you a wonderful capacity for honest self-appraisal. This would be a very different world if more of us were able to do the same. Besides the joy of reconnecting with Old Boys, with whom I had long assumed I would only converse with in the life hereafter, I have been able to read postings which provide such an evocative insight into our mutual spiritual and intellectual journeys. 
Shortly before I emigrated from South Africa in the early seventies, I had a conversation with a Doctor Barker whose life work it had been to provide the best medical attention for homeland Africans in a mission hospital in Zululand. I had become disillusioned, angry and cynical about the society in which I had been raised, especially with the Methodist Church. As a member of this church, I felt that their opposition to Apartheid had been weak - even pathetic - and certainly not consistent with the notion of loving one's neighbour. Doctor Barker's advice was simply that if I were to leave South Africa, I should do so without bitterness in my heart. I was utterly humbled by his words and made aware of the arrogance and hubris that could so easily be concealed by an outward display of righteous indignation.
For years I have maintained that for all its shortcomings as a society, especially regarding the treatment of its indigenous people, at least Australia did not have a system of institutionalised racism and oppression. However, increasingly I have come to the view that with respect to the rejection of asylum seekers, there is a sameness between the values and policies of recent Australian governments, and some of the worst abuses during the Apartheid years. Moreover, because refugees are a minority group, the situation for them is without hope, particularly those in detention centres. There is also a collective amnesia with respect to those who have drowned in their desperate attempts to get to Australia in unseaworthy vessels. And, if they do arrive on these shores they are treated as lepers or intruders. Not surprisingly, the incidence of self-harm in off-shore detention is a major embarrassment for those in the government - at least those who still have some empathy and are not in denial, or blinded by their jingoism. One of our most arrogant and insensitive politicians actually claimed that statistically Australia was the most generous country in the world. Presumably that also meant that we are also the most misunderstood, given the condemnation that has been directed at us by the United Nations.
Given these sentiments, I'm sure you'll understand how reassuring it was to find out through this website, which is so obviously a significant and time-consuming project for you, that an Old Boy from our cohort, Brian Brown, had not only at one time been moderator of the Uniting Church in New South Wales, but also a social justice activist. Evidence of the latter was that last year, he and other like-minded Christians were arrested, and released without charge for holding a prayer vigil for refugees in the offices of one of the politicians responsible for these policies and practices. 
So thank you once again for your commitment to this cause. Incidentally, through this site and the efforts of Rob Wilson, I have been able to reconnect with Punch Chapman, and to find that I was entirely vindicated in my admiration and regard for him as a school boy. I have also been able to have an ongoing conversation with Francois Everson, and able to show my son and daughter and others, that I had in no way exaggerated the stories I had told them about this splendid friend and fellow-adventurer!

30/01/16 02:24 AM #41    

John Mason

Thanks Geoff for your encouraging words. Yes, I sometimes bemoan the fact that, though some comfort can be drawn from James Shirley's poem 'Death the Leveller' - I have an idea it was a set text in our school poetry syllabus -  it would be so much more reassuring were it a case of Life the Leveller for the Murdocks of this world!

31/01/16 01:57 PM #42    


Cedric Parker

Thanks for your encouragement John. I find that the closer I get to eternity the more I want to try and make a difference with what's left of my mortal life. Other issues seem so puerile when stacked against God's purpose for us this side of eternity. I have been profoundly enriched by my interactions on this site - and by observing significant interactions between the Classmates.

02/02/16 04:03 PM #43    


Denzil Andrews

Hi John

If I recall some time back you made mention that you had previous contact with Derek Nelson-Esch

I have sent emails to him on an address his brother Mike gave me but have had no response - he could well not be interested or possibly I have the wrong email address

I believe he has done exceptionally well in the States and I think mention was made of him having a property in Cape Town which he sometimes visits.

Whatever the outcome of your contact with him please extend my best wishes to him particularly with his life's success - great stuff Derek 

I have been in contact with Mike Lalouette but to date he has not registered, altho I am confident he won't slip thru our clutches!!

Kind regards


03/02/16 02:27 PM #44    

John Mason

Hi Denzil, I have been in email contact with Derek. I have reiterated how much you and others valued him during his time at DHS, and would appreciate his being at the celebrations. As you know he is very much the strong-willed character he was at school, and like many other Old Boys has mixed feelings about his school experiences. Your information on his success and various achievements is accurate. I sense that I may already have pushed too hard to get him to the reunion. Nevertheless, you can rest assured that whenever I email him I shall remind him that this get together should be like no other, and definitely worth the effort.

Cheers, John.




05/02/16 04:06 PM #45    


Denzil Andrews

Thanks for your feedback John

I fully understand and appreciate anyone who has negative thoughts either on their school experience or in not wanting to attend the reunion.

There are always those individuals who have a special place in your heart because of their fighting spirit, those that have overcome adversity and as in Derek's case, been highly succesful post school.  In saying that riches and success are not always a true measure of a man but rather their inner qualities and strength of character.

I really wish Derek continued success and will miss his participation at the reunion, but do understand

Kind regards


18/02/16 08:11 AM #46    

Ted Browne (Class Of 1967)

22/02/16 12:42 PM #47    


Cedric Parker

For those of you that didn't see this article - it represents the positive values that DHS now embraces. When Jiggs Gray was initially exposed as a paedophile (thanks to Graham Bell's relentless crusade) there were heartfelt concerns by senior management at DHS that this would reflect very poorly on the school. These concerns have been quenched by subsequent events. Click here:  /000/1/0/1/28101/userfiles/file/DAILY_NEWS_120216_cropped.jpg

07/04/16 10:22 AM #48    


Guy Frawley

On the lighter side: i felt that I should share this photo with you all.

I recall purchasing these beer mugs in the centenery year and was actually amazed that I still have them. They no longer serve their purpose but one remains next to the bath and is used to was my grandaughter's hair when she visits.The other is used by a friend of mine for their tea when they visit!

Really have difficulty connecting to the 50 year time warp - it feels like yesterday!

07/04/16 01:44 PM #49    


Geoff Caruth

Howsit Guy!

I agree with you 100% about the 50 year time warp. It is just unbelievable. If we had been talking about this during break back in '66 we would all have been hosing ourselves trying to picture the battered survivors hobbling around muttering about the good old days and remember when you could buy a Coke for a tickey and Maritzburg was a Nommer Asebelief trunk call! haha varicose veins and dodgy prostates,hip replacements and attending funerals.

What a Hoot!

Hope you are well



07/04/16 02:14 PM #50    


Denzil Andrews

Well done Guy on even retaining the mugs - believe it or not I still have an old ashtray and I never even smoked!

It rarely comes out unless someone visits who smokes.

I sincerely hope you can make the cocktail party and looking forward to sharing old memories. Now with the phoito I'm sure to recognise you - very dashing in grey!!

07/04/16 07:01 PM #51    


Larry Butchins

Guy - nice to see you!

What struck a chord with me was your comment about your grandaughter using a Centenary mug to wash her hair! We are all grandparents, (I guess a good many of us anyway), and the 50 year "time warp" as you aptly put it was beautifully summed up by Clyde Bartel in a message to me when I turned 60 (and THAT was already a few years back): "from 16 to 60 in a heartbeat!" Also, to paraphrase Paul SImon: ""How terribly strange to be (almost) 70." But somehow I still feel as young as ever, keeping fit and busy with a dozen projects on the boil...enjoying my two grandsons and being fully involved in my kids lives: they are all three of them "millenials" with wonderful, bright, intuitive, creative, even disruptive opinions, attitudes and approaches to life. Keeps me and my wife alert and on the run!


Larry B

08/04/16 08:56 PM #52    

Stan Coffey

Geez Guy, please tell us what elixir you are on. I want some!!

Geoff, what do you mean? Battered survivors hobbling around, varicose veins, dodgy prostrates, hip replacements!!! If you want to be silly by completing 30 Duzis, speak for yourself! (LoL)

05/06/16 04:32 PM #53    


Gary Maas

Great coctail party guys it certainly a memory wake up good to see gus like Roy Neal John Wallet Rod Coleman Densil,Warren,the list is endless even a mention for Hilton Langauge i have a letter his mom wrote to me in 1964  and i quote his death was by devine wish for devine reasons .Thanks guys for the memories i will end it by wishing you all this message .FOREVER YOUNG I WANT TO BE FOREVER YOUNG!!!!!!!!!!!



06/06/16 04:51 PM #54    


Denzil Andrews

Thanks Gary - it certainly was a great evening altho the festivities continued well into Sunday pm

I surprised you mentioned Roy as he tells me he out fished you regularly!!

I'll be following up with Candice tomorrow when I see her - a complete shambles but I'm sure she will get it corrected to save further embarrasement

 Thanks for the Forever Young wishes - to one and all as well

10/06/16 06:29 PM #55    

David East



Hi - here's a short tale that added to my respect for Wrinkles who put many a stripe on my backside.

I and 3 other classmates had committed yet another heinous crime and were sent to Wrinkles for disciplining. The prefect who has caught us, told Wrinkles what we had done (I cannot remember what it was) and left.

Wrinkles looked at us and started with  the boy furthest from me. "What's your excuse, boy?"  The  boy launched into a complicated excuse with me watching Wrinkles. The next boy burbled another far-fetched  tale.  And, the last boy before me did likewise. I realised that Wrinkles had not bought any of the excuses and he seemed to be getting more and irritated.

Then Wrinkles looked me.  I immediately deleted the cock and bull story I had concocted and said: "I have no ëxcuse, Sir."

He got up, and advised the three storytellers that they were getting 3 cuts each. I was rewarded with 2 cuts.     





24/02/18 12:18 AM #56    


Larry Butchins

Wonderful article about Alan Turton. I took art with him and was on of of the trips to Sunnyside (I think Doug Drysdale was also with us) - I was either in 3rd or 4th form. I vividly remember setting out very early one morning for a hike up the nearby mountain: it was bl...y freezing and we had been given warm goat's milk on starting out. Felt sick all the way there, up the mountain, and back! I also clearly remember the river and the firs along its banks, sketching them, trying to catch the evasive light...Reading this article clarified why Alan loved that place so much.

Anybody else remember that trip? Or similar?


Larry B

12/10/18 10:58 AM #57    

Dave Geary

Hi All, I have just finished reading Larry's recently published book Train in the Distance. I copy below my five star review on Amazon and would urge you to purchase it either in print or on Kindle. Well worth the read and it will help sustain our "impoverished author".

The title of Larry Butchin’s first novel is from Paul Simon’s song “Train in the Distance”. I must admit that whilst the title vaguely stirred a memory the lyrics were lost in the mists of time. Intrigued as to why he had chosen this title I looked up the lyrics and the final stanza was a revelation:

What is the point of this story
What information pertains
The thought that life could be better
Is woven indelibly
Into our hearts and our brains.


There could not be a more apt title. Larry Butchins was a cohort of mine at school in Durban and post school, during a successful journalistic and PR career, he consistently voiced his opposition to the heinous system of apartheid.

The book, based on biographic fact, is a riveting read. At times it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction as the main protagonist pursues his ideals. Never maudlin it draws one into the South African apartheid era where the regime became increasingly oppressive using both the military and police to brutally crush opposition.

Disillusioned with the situation he and his family seek normality in Israel only to find that man’s inhumanity has no geographic boundaries. It would be remiss of me to elaborate further on the plot suffice to say that the book is full of intrigue and tension and it caused me to introspectively examine my own views. Well worth purchasing.

Regards to from a wet York.



19/02/19 03:51 PM #58    

John Mason


Hi Cedric,  I note that Maurice Presley is not listed on this site. This I’m guessing is because he was not in our cohort but was a year ahead of us. He was the son of a Baptist minister and I think he lived on the Bluff or thereabouts. He was in Blackmores and I seem to recall that he used to cycle home on Sundays. I was not a close friend, but have regretted not making an effort to get to know him better when I had the opportunity. I have often wondered how his life worked out after school. I do have one very vivid memory of him taking a spectacular catch to dismiss Garth Joyner in an inter-House cricket match on the oval one afternoon.

I hope you are well and have come to terms with the contrasting weather conditions that can be typical of Tassie. I once took a touring cricket team on a week’s tour of Tassie, and we barely got to bowl a single over throughout the week in late January owing to persistent rain. Cheers, John Mason.





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