I am just back from two weeks in Cape Town, I lived in South Africa for five years in the Seventies and have visited regularly over the years so it is very much a home from home. I took the opportunity of contacting the Merchistonian Southern African Representative Robin Hall (60-64) who had been at Merchiston at the same time as I.
We exchanged emails before I arrived and arranged to meet up. Robin was good enough to take me out for an excellent dinner. Our wide ranging discussions over dinner covered a variety of hilarious situations and characters that we remembered from our time at school tinged with momentary sadness at the early passing of several of our contemporaries.
Robin indicated that he had been in Cape Town since 1975 and had enjoyed every minute of his time there. I, on the other hand, had spent two years in Cape Town and departed in 1975 for the bright lights of Johannesburg before returning to the UK, resuming work as a Solicitor and then qualifying as an Advocate and practising at the Scottish Bar until retiring. Accordingly our paths had actually never crossed while in Cape Town .
Having recently attended a reunion at school followed by a meal in Colinton for my peer group I was able to give Robin a fairly comprehensive update on all those that had been present; the majority of whom he knew and recognised.
At the conclusion of our evening Robin indicated that he was still in touch with Bill Mitchell (60-63) who had also been a pupil at Clifton Hall with him before Merchiston. Coincidentally following the Colinton meal I had travelled in the same bus back to town with Bill.
Overall it was a extremely pleasant evening which certainly demonstrated to me all too clearly that " Tempus Fugit " [ as they say ].