The Ancient Marinades

So the old man went to Maritzburg College for their 150th anniversary 1863-2013 on Saturday. Sheila ignored his protests and arranged it all, including getting free tickets. He’s 91 and was in the 1938 matric class when College was a mere 75yrs old. Bailed halfway and went to work for the GPO (post office), then off to the war as soon as he could.

Wonder what memories were swirling around here?

PGS Maritzb College (2) 

PGS Maritzb College memorial
He thought he’d be the oldest there, but he was trumped by the only other chap from the 1930’s: 97 yr old Cyril Crompton – Matric 1933!!

Cyril Crompton (97) and Pieter Swanepoel (91)

He had driven down from JHB on his own! – watch out on the roads!
He’s driving back on his own tomorrow, but will be stopping off in Underberg to play bowls.

My old man believes in much activity. He does woodwork and metalwork, making clocks, furniture, mosaics and turning wooden bowls, etc; Drives around buying stuff at auctions, butcheries, SPCA sales, etc. Talks about selling stuff, but seldom gets round to it – too busy buying stuff! He says “keeping busy” is the reason for his longevity.
So he asks Cyril: What do you do to keep busy?
Cyril: A bit of gardening. The rest of the time I drink beer.

Cyril gave the old man a book he wrote on the war. They were both in North Africa and Italy. In his book “For the Adventure of it” he writes how he survived the Battle of Sidi Rezegh, ranked one of the bravest and most costly in lives in South Africa’s history.  He was captured, the ship was torpedoed and he was taken on a death march from eastern Germany (now Poland) away from the advancing Russian Army.  A gripping story.


Sheila replied:

All spot on except for the free tickets. Lunch was R140 pp. The organisers wore sworn to secrecy. Cyril was delightful, flirting with me throughout. I sat between him and Dad. We all loved the whole day. Will write a proper report which I’ll send Robbie Sharratt plus a pic of Dad and Cyril. Love Sheila

dad-maritzburg-college-1937 Dad 1937


Footnote: Cyril lost his drivers licence due to failing eyesight at 99, played bowls till he was 100, then passed away. Dad has renewed his drivers licence.

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