ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Commercial & Creative Writing

The journey of my life

Updated on October 1, 2012

Not a journey of a day

i find journeys of a day

unsatisfactory in every way

i need lifetimes to explore

each step past the open door

From shadows of a sun-darkened land by Shabbir Banoobhai

The journey starts

I was born in Cape Town, a distinction I share with a few million others, I guess! I was born in 1943. That narrows it down a bit. I was born near Mostert's Mill. That reduces the num­ber still further. But really what makes me unique is not where or when I was born, but what I have done since.

Our births are accidents really, but the trajectories of our lives are the result of all the decisions we make from moment to moment, or don't make, as the case may be.

And so all the decisions I have made over the past 64 years have landed me here in Pretoria, with a wife called Catherine and a daughter called Caitlin. Along the way to Pretoria from Cape Town I have collected memories, skills, knowledge, an ex-wife and two older children. Not to mention a crowd of friends, some of whom are friends to this day.

The journey has been an interesting one, at least to me. And maybe if I share it with some others they might find something of interest in it also.

Like most people I have had ups and downs, moments of great elation and many too of sadness and grief. But through it all I have grown, and been enriched beyond words.





Click thumbnail to view full-size
Aunt Queenie's house on Main Road, Greenpoint, Cape TownDad pushing me (in front) and Chris in a wheelbarrow at the back of Aunt Queenie's houseMe, evidently on VE Day, 1945 at the back of Queenie's houseMe on the swing at the back of Queenie's house.
Aunt Queenie's house on Main Road, Greenpoint, Cape Town
Aunt Queenie's house on Main Road, Greenpoint, Cape Town
Dad pushing me (in front) and Chris in a wheelbarrow at the back of Aunt Queenie's house
Dad pushing me (in front) and Chris in a wheelbarrow at the back of Aunt Queenie's house
Me, evidently on VE Day, 1945 at the back of Queenie's house
Me, evidently on VE Day, 1945 at the back of Queenie's house
Me on the swing at the back of Queenie's house.
Me on the swing at the back of Queenie's house.

Early days in Cape Town

The reason for my being born in Cape Town rather than in the then Transkei where my father was a teacher, was Hitler. He overshadowed my life from the start and in some ways still does. Much of my life's journey has been shaped by his mad racial ideology and the need to oppose it, to find some way around it.

How Hitler came to have such a central role in my life was that my father volunteered to serve in the South African Naval Forces during Hitler's war, and was posted to that outcrop of rock in Table Bay known as Robben Island, infamous in recent centuries as a dumping place for people deemed by the authorities of the day to be undesirable, not fit for human society. My father's posting was to firstly train young women sailors known as SWANS and secondly to defend the South African coastal waters from the depradations of Hitler's U-Boats. He was responsible for the anti-submarine defence of the South Atlantic, a post headquartered on the Island.

So my pregnant mother was left with a family friend of my father's in Greenpoint, a suburb of Cape Town, with my older brother Chris. The family friend whose house it was, was Ms Queenie Stegman, a music teacher, a fact which was to have serious consequences for my family, but that's another story altogether.

So some of my earliest memories are of "Aunt" Queenie's house and garden. The house was old even then and big in an "H" format ground plan. The garden was also enormous for a town property and part of it was sold off soon after my birth and a big block of flats put up there. The garden was full of magic for me including a large, lazy old tortoise, bird baths and other wonders in front. The back garden had huge pepper trees and a very big old log on which I fantasised endless games of pirates and battleships, though that was in later years when we visited as a family, usually at Christmas time.

After my father got his "demob" suite and the allowance of I think it was ₤25 that all white ex-servicemen got on demobilisation, we went back to the Transkei and into the "old" house that my parents had left some four years before, but which, of course, I had never seen.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Me with my cat Freddy in front of our house in Blythswood.The dam at Blythswood. Don't know who the children are sitting on the wall. The dog is my dog Lucky.The dam again. I think I am the one with my back to the cameraAn old tree in the forest near Blythswood where I used to love to ride bicycles with my firendsMy best friend at Blythswood was Boy Bikitsha, here seen in front of the Blythswood Post Office
Me with my cat Freddy in front of our house in Blythswood.
Me with my cat Freddy in front of our house in Blythswood.
The dam at Blythswood. Don't know who the children are sitting on the wall. The dog is my dog Lucky.
The dam at Blythswood. Don't know who the children are sitting on the wall. The dog is my dog Lucky.
The dam again. I think I am the one with my back to the camera
The dam again. I think I am the one with my back to the camera
An old tree in the forest near Blythswood where I used to love to ride bicycles with my firends
An old tree in the forest near Blythswood where I used to love to ride bicycles with my firends
My best friend at Blythswood was Boy Bikitsha, here seen in front of the Blythswood Post Office
My best friend at Blythswood was Boy Bikitsha, here seen in front of the Blythswood Post Office

Blythswood

Early years in the Transkei were spent on the Church of Scotland mission institution called Blythswood. Memories of that time are almost all blissful, as if it were a time, at least for me, of almost endless dreamy fun. I played in the garden of our house making clay tablets like those from ancient Mesopotamia on which I scratched words which I fantasised would be my message to posterity. So even at that early age I was obsessed with leaving a leg­acy of words. The fantasy was fuelled by my father reading to me wonderful stories of the early archaeologists like Sir Leonard Woolley, unearthing fabulous ancient artefacts which extended our knowledge of those early times. I really believed my clay tablets would one dy be unearthed by future archaeologists who would search for clues on the tablets to my identity and the type of life I was living.

My other memories are of riding my bike over the rolling hills surrounding Blythswood or walking through the many groves of trees in the area and imagining myself an intrepid ex­plorer in the wilds of Africa facing untold dangers. I also spent many hours at the small stream running past Blythswood playing ship's captain on dangerous sea voyages.

The smells I associate with Blythswood are almost all of damp leaves turning into rich noursihing (for the plants, that is) leaf mould.

Another great memory of Blythswood is of the so-called "Boys' Boarding Department" which had a bakery attached where loaves of soft and tasty white bread would be pulled hot and steaming out of the wood-fired oven. Being the son of the institution's superintend­ent meant that I was tolerated there and even given thick slices of hot bread dripping with golden syrup.

Those were mostly, at least in my memory, idyllic days, the only blot on them being school, which I attended in nearby Ngqamakwe, and hated almost from day one! School was a rude interruption to my daily exploits as explorer, ship's captain, or even, sometimes, American Indian warrior, inspired by the tales of J. Fennimore Cooper, which my father also read to me.

In fact, I think I was given a childhood almost Victorian in tastes, with the Boys' Own Paper to read, tales of Baden Powell and of the relief of Mafikeng, the story of David Livingstone's exploits in Africa (he came to bring light to the dark continent, of course), and the wonders of the Royal Navy and of course, Nelson.

Me in my Dale College blazer
Me in my Dale College blazer

High school in King William's Town

As the turmoil of puberty hit me I started to feel less secure in Blythswood, especially as this coincided with my having to go to boarding school in King William's Town, where I attended the famed Dale College for three years. I boarded privately with a Mrs McGill who took in boarders and whose house was conveniently situated right across the road from one of the entrances to the school.

Mrs McGill was a one-eyed martinet who had a very narrow view of life - everyone was out to crook her in some way or other. I remember that she had at that time three schoolboy boarders and two schoolgirl boarders, and therein started my puberty discomforts.

One of the schoolboys, Rocco by name, was of my age and was, or claimed to be, well-versed in matters of sex, from which I had in my life until then, been totally sheltered with little knowledge and no experience. So Rocco's initiation of me into the wonders of sex was mind-blowing, to say the least. And from that day to now I have found everything around sex to be mysterious, glorious and painful. And maybe that's how it is meant to be.

School holidays were wonderful respites from the rigours of Mrs McGill's strictly regimen­ted household, welcome returns to the wonders of Blythswood. But the issue of sex had now come into my consciousness and made me restless where previously I had been rel­atively contented. I sought out every opportunity to explore this mysterious and wondrous thing. And the main source of my discomfort at that time was a young girl who I remember as slightly elfin, with pale skin, blue eyes and long blonde hair called Barbara.

I was determined to change myself from being an innocent to being at least as experi­enced as I thought Rocco and other school mates to be. So one day I used every bit of courage I had in me to ask the beautiful Barbara for a kiss. We were sitting on the bed in my bedroom while my parents and Barbara's grand parents chatted in the sitting room nearby. To my utter dismay and shame Barbara answered my request with a curt "no". I was devastated. I'm not sure I have recovered from that rejection even now!

Euphorbias near Buntingville
Euphorbias near Buntingville
A donga (caused by soil erosion) near our house at Buntingville
A donga (caused by soil erosion) near our house at Buntingville
A pool on the river below our house at Buntinville
A pool on the river below our house at Buntinville
Fr Bush in the chapel at St Andrew's School
Fr Bush in the chapel at St Andrew's School
Reflecting pool in stream below our house in Buntingville
Reflecting pool in stream below our house in Buntingville

Buntingville and Bloemfontein

But worse was to come. And it had nothing to do with puberty or sex. Blythswood had been taken over from the Church of Scotland in 1955 by the apartheid Department of Bantu Education and the writ of the government now loomed large in the affairs of the Institu­tion. The Institution had been founded in 1877 and the High School staff room had been used by all members of staff of whatever race since then. But of course the apartheid ideology could not tolerate such unholy integration. So when a new staff member com­plained about the staff room to the Regional Director of Bantu Education my father was duly instructed to create a separate staff room for black members of staff. My father flatly refused, saying that the staff room had functioned well enough for so many years and he saw no reason to insult his fellow staff members by now segregating it. He was almost im­mediately demoted and transferred from our beloved Blythswood to a former Methodist institution, now also run by Bantu Education, called Buntingville, just outside Mthatha (then known as Umtata by the whites).

To some extent this was a blessing in disguise as we all grew to love Buntingville and its people and the surrounding area very much. There was a stream running in the valley below our house and I spent many wonderful hours there living in various fantasies as I had at Blythswood. What Buntingville lacked for me though was the sense of connection with history that I had felt at Blythswood. Because Blythswood had been founded so long ago and in such a pivotal area of the country, right on the interface between the amaXhosa people and the encroaching whites, it had a feeling of importance and significance which was somewhat missing from Buntingville for me.

But by now I was at a new school in Bloemfontein, St Andrew's School, an Anglican Church school where I became very involved in the Anglican ritual and belief system. I found a great sense of peace and wonder in the ancient rites of the church and in particip­ating in these as an altar boy.

And at St Andrew's I met a very important figure, the first of many such to have graced my life, who was able to open my eyes and mind to much wider perspectives than I had up to then experienced. This was the chaplain to the school, Fr Trevor Noel Wood Bush. He and I became very close, though not as close as some believed, in that there was a belief among the boys that Fr Bush was gay and that those who spent a lot of time with him were in fact his lovers. I had no evidence of this in the many hours I spent in his company, which were instead full of discovery of music, of politics, of many dimensions of faith of which I had until then not had any idea.

Fr Bush was passionately involved in anti-apartheid politics and introduced me to many of the ideas of the struggle against the apartheid regime. He got me involved in the white part of the Congress movement, the Congress of Democrats and I started to read journals like Africa South (later Africa South in Exile) edited by the great Ronald Segal. This was in the year of Sharpeville and the increasingly desperate campaigns against passes and the whole apparatus of apartheid generally. And the increasingly desperate responses of the repressive regime. So in this period my real awakening to society happened.

At this time also I had my first really seri­ous crush on a girl. She was Elizabeth, daughter of a South African ex-serviceman and his Italian wife. To me Elizabeth was the epitome of feminine attraction. At about the same time I found a reproduction of Annigoni's "La Strega" and thought that Elizabeth looked just like the woman in this painting. And Elizabeth gave me my first kiss, somewhat erasing the memory of Barbara's rejection a year so so before.

Then I wrote matric and failed. Not badly - I had two supps but failed them also. So then I went to Umtata High School where my brother Chris had also been a student some years before. This was a novel ex­perience for me as it was a co-ed school .

Made some really good friends in that year at Umtata High and then had to leave for national service which I did in the Navy at Saldanha Bay, about which the least said the better. Then only good from that year was to learn to sail, an activity I sincerely wish I could still participate in. I loved sailing and spent every moment I could on either a cutter or a whaler out in the bay. Intellectually the year in the navy only confirmed my pacifist tendencies which had already started to come to the fore a year or two before.

The "Ou Hoofgebou" at night. This building was the original building of Victoria College which subsequently became the University of Stellenbosch
The "Ou Hoofgebou" at night. This building was the original building of Victoria College which subsequently became the University of Stellenbosch

University

Then on to Stellenbosch University which was another great experience as it was there that I met probably the greatest influence on my intellectual life, Prof (then still Dr) Johan Degenaar. His teaching method made a huge impact on me, as did the content of his teaching. He was as close to Socratic as is possible in the modern day and age. Prof Degenaar asked more questions than giving answers and expected us students to find our own answers. It was truly wonderful to me as I for the first time in my intellectual life felt that I was being treated as a responsible adult. Another great gift he gave me was to introduce me to Albert Camus, a gift that has stayed with me my whole life. I still read Camus avidly. In fact I think I have read everything he wrote that has been translated into English.

Another great experience at Stellenbosch was joining a group of musicians (it was at the time of the "folk revival" in the States) who played "folk music" mostly of US and European origin in a local pub and at other occasions like a birthday party if we were invited. This group was called by one of its members the "Folk Ups" and we had a lot of fun and I felt very good being part of such a creative group. I loved playing guitar and became quite good at it. I also loved singing and these two loves have also stayed with me.

And the Folk Ups gave me another great gift, one of the great loves of my life, Mara. The Folk Ups were playing at a birthday party in Sea Point or Bantry Bay I think where the sister of one of the group's members was also a guest and I got talking to her and the talking rather quickly developed into more. I remember we sat on a swing chair together and got very involved with each other and I was hooked, totally and incredibly in love as I had never before experienced. I was in seventh heaven. I was over the moon. I was definitely in love.

Mara was my life from then on. Everything I did was somehow connected with her. And we had some really great times together and I learned so much from her about love and life and art and music and many wonderful things. Though we never actually had sex in the sense usually understood and were both still virgins technically when we parted a little more than two years later we had certainly explored and enjoyed each other's bodies, a great a wondrous experience for me. I will never forget her nor stop being grateful to Mara for all she meant to me in those days.

Joan. A photo I took of her around the time of our engagement
Joan. A photo I took of her around the time of our engagement

East London to Durban

But like all good things even this had to come to an end, and the end was the need to make a career and some money. This came in the form of the offer of a job on the East London Daily Dispatch as a junior reporter. This meant leaving Cape Town for the Eastern Province city of East London and necessarily a break with Mara who in any case wanted to travel abroad, which I could not afford to do.

Here started a whole new set of circumstances and learnings. I had to learn to type very quickly, a skill which has stood me in good stead ever since.

The job on the Dispatch also brought two other very significant people into my life. Firstly the editor, Donald Woods, who later became famous as the fugitive editor in the movie "Cry Freedom". He was a wonderful, though not always easy, person to work with. He had very high journalistic standards and expected the same of those who worked on his newspaper. He was always passionate about freedom in South Africa and was an ardent democrat. Donald moved the Despatch from being a mildly opposition voice to being a very vocal opponent of apartheid. The Despatch became only second to the Rand Daily Mail as a voice against oppression and the fascism of the National Party government of the day. I was always proud to have served under him.

The other person who came into my life as a result of moving to East London was Joan, my first wife and mother of my children Zak and Sarah. We were together for more than 30 years and they were wonderful, growthful years which saw us both learn so much, about each other and about life in general. We were both committed to the anti-apartheid struggle as well as to the bringing up of our children in as peaceful, non-racist and non-sexist environment as possible.

However, before we could get married, I had to find a job which would pay more than the pittance I got as a junior reporter and that led to a move to Durban in the province of kwa-Zulu Natal, then known simply as Natal. This I did at the end of 1969 and Joan and I got married on my birthday, 26 December 1969.

And from this came the next very influential person in my life, Fr Albert Danker, OMI. Fr Danker was of French Mauritian extraction and had what I regard as a typically French approach to life and learning, which I found very comfortable as it reminded me very much of Albert Camus and the man who introduced me to Camus, Prof Degenaar. Fr Danker was to be a great mentor and guiding light in my life for the next few years and was instrumental in getting me involved in small group work through the movement which he set up in South Africa called Family Social Action (FSA) which was a movement using the famed method of Cardinal Cardijn: see, judge, act - which in turn related well to the experiential learning method I would discover a few years later.

We lived, Joan and I, in Durban for about eight years and our two children were born there, Zak in 1971 and Sarah in 1975.

And then came that cataclysmic event in South African history - the 1976 childrens' uprising which started on 16 June that year. This was an event that shook the country and indeed the world. It was the beginning of the end of apartheid, though I'm not sure many saw it that way at the time. Joan and I were involved in all sorts of protest actions and religious events, prayer meetings and the like, around the issue of the childrens' revolt. And that led to the introduction into my life of another of the great people who have so influenced me - this time the Anglican cleric Desmond Tutu, at the time still the Dean of Johannesburg. Tutu was invited to Durban to preach at a service in St Paul's church by the vicar of that parish, an ex-Catholic priest called Dave Jones on the occasion of the 16 December prayer services called by the South African Council of Churches to pray for peace and reconciliation in the face of mounting repression by government security forces. I knew about Tutu because a few months before 16 June he had written a widely-publicised open letter to the Prime Minister, John Vorster, warning that the anger and frustration felt by blacks was at a critical point and could soon turn into overt violent resistance. Of course his letter was derided by Vorster who proclaimed his security forces were ready for anything and blaming Tutu for inciting violence by his letter.

When Tutu walked into the church in the entrance procession I could feel that we were in the presence of someone great. And when he spoke I was amazed by his eloquence, his wonderful use of words, his deep compassion and insight. I didn't realise it then, but I was soon to get to know Tutu even better and experience at first hand his warmth and humanity.


Durban to Johannesburg

It happened this way. I went down with a bad case of hepatitis and could not work for some six months, due to which I lost my job. A friend of mine Theo Coggin had been working for the Council of Churches in Johannesburg as the editor of an ecumenical news service called EcuNews, but wanted to leave for another position. He asked if I would be interested in taking over from him which I readily agreed to do. So we as a family uprooted ourselves from the now familiar territory of Durban to go to the great city of Johannesburg about which we knew little, and what we thought we knew we didn't like too much.

By this time, now mid-1978, Tutu had been made first Bishop of Lesotho and then General Secretary of the SA Council of Churches, so he was my boss, as part of the job of editing EcuNews, which was not technically part of the SACC, was also to be press secretary to the General Secretary. Which meant that suddenly I was not only working with Tutu but actually drafting press statements and the like for him. This was a challenging and wonderful time for me. Working for the Council was immensely exciting and the feeling that we were engaged in really meaningful work against the fascist regime was wonderful. And I met so many wonderful people.

Tutu was a demanding but very fair person to work for. He was also very inspiring and as I got to know him better I just knew that this was a man not just for South Africa, or even for Africa, but for the whole world. Of course I was totally delighted when the world recognised his worth, his contribution and his commitment to peace, justice and human rights, by awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize, the second South African to receive this great honour, the first of course was that great leader of the African National Congress, Chief Albert Luthuli.

Then early in 1980 another chapter in my life and growth began. The Council restructured its organisation and as so often happens when such changes take place the job I was in suddenly disappeared and I had to look for other opportunities. And a great opportunity opened up for me in the form of a job at the University of the Witwatersrand's Centre for Medical Education. Because there I met another individual who has meant so much to me and from whom I learnt so much, Dr Peter Cusins. Peter was technically my boss at the Centre but quickly became my best friend and teacher. Peter was highly committed to experiential learning which I recognised as having much in common with the Cardijn method to which Fr Danker had introduced me some years before. And I was hooked again!

The rest of my life has been taken up with trying to live out the values of the See-Judge-Act method and Experiential Learning - values which put the person at the centre, the person and his or her experience being always the starting point of learning. And that has led me into some interesting paths and I have grown so much through adversity and difficulty in sticking to these values, in sticking to the idea that growth means growth in independence and responsibility. Not everyone wants to hear or accept these values. But for me they have become the kernel of all that I do. Even as I now start out on a new career of Life Coaching these values are at the core. Life Coaching is about facilitating people using their own experience as the starting point and from there developing their independence, their growth toward full humanity.

The last thirty years have been full of so much, both wonderfully uplifting and bitterly sad. I made mistakes - who doesn't? And one of these mistakes cost me my marriage of more than 30 years and lots of heartache for lots of people. But as yin and yang alternate out of the bitterness and heartache a new life has begun, both literally and figuratively. Literally in the form of the daughter of my new marriage with Catherine. This daughter, born in 2002, is called Caitlin and she is a new source of joy and growth for me. The figurative new life is as a Life Coach which I have started since retiring from formal employment at the end of January 2007. It has taken me a while to work out the direction my life should take, but the two areas of focus for me now are writing and Life Coaching. That is where life has brought me in this year of opportunity, 2008.

I'm looking forward to the new stage of the journey.

Photos of Sophie and family taken on 16 December 2008

Click thumbnail to view full-size
SophieSophie and Aunty Caitlin. Please note the outfits!Sophie with Daddy KevinSophie with Mommy SarahSophie, Caitlin and GrampsSarah and Sophie again!
Sophie
Sophie
Sophie and Aunty Caitlin. Please note the outfits!
Sophie and Aunty Caitlin. Please note the outfits!
Sophie with Daddy Kevin
Sophie with Daddy Kevin
Sophie with Mommy Sarah
Sophie with Mommy Sarah
Sophie, Caitlin and Gramps
Sophie, Caitlin and Gramps
Sarah and Sophie again!
Sarah and Sophie again!

A New Phase of Life

Since writing the first part of this Hub I have entered a new phase of life - being a grandfather!

On 16 May this year my first daughter Sarah had a baby girl called Sophie Ella, and so my second daughter Caitlin, is now an aunt. Her response to hearing this news was, "I'm an aunt and I'm only six!"

I had initially planned to write a separate Hub on this glad event but decided to add it to my life story, as that's what it is - a continuation and new phase of life.

I visited my daughter and her daughter yesterday and took the asccompanying photos. I hope you find Sophie as captivating as I do! 

Copyright notice

The text and all images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are by Tony McGregor who hereby asserts his copyright on the material. Should you wish to use any of the text or images feel free to do so with proper attribution and, if possible, a link back to this page. Thank you.

© Tony McGregor 2008

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mcarolyn profile image

      mcarolyn 8 years ago from Philippines

      Goodluck on your next journey in life :D

    • profile image

      K Cobain 8 years ago

      You have a lot to say about yourself but very little of your life with your first wife and children? Are they not a part of your travels thru life?

      I am surprised at your mention of the greatness of TUTU, no mention made of all the trouble and the money he raised for the armed wing of the ANC!

      I too spent many years in the SANDF, eventually retiring abroad because I refused to serve under terrorists, why should I compromise my beliefs for a load of Truth and Reconciliation crap led by a thug called Desmond Tutu.

      No I am not a racist, I believe in getting recognition for the work you have done and if you are qualified to carry out a particular job you should get it.

      South Africa has since the break down of the "Apartheid" era become even worse in its reversed racialism, do not even try and deny this. The only people who are thriving in SA nowadays are the bootlickers and the crooked politicians whih would appear to be the majority of them, go look at their past record and then speak.

      As for becoming a life coach, well, if people nowadays are that bl%*dy weak that they need a stranger to tell them how to live their lives then all I can say is, aag siestog arme klein moffie, moet mamma jou neus en jou agter ent kom vee al is jy getroud met iemand van dieselfde geslag.

      Oh and btw: I was involved in a lot of the crap which took place from the mid 70's to the late 90's before I left for pasures a lot greener, and also a far better society in which to raise my children. My daughter by my first marriage has joined me here as well.

      Although I am divorced from my first wife and believe me it still rankles and hurts me deep down I still do love and respect her, BECAUSE she was my first true love and is the Mother of my fantastic daughter.

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      K.Cobain - I hear a lot of hurt and anger in your comments. Since you don't leave any way for me to really get back to you I will just leave this comment here and hope you will read it.

      I do still love and respect my first wife and the two wonderful children we had together and that is why I do not go into very much detail in this piece which is a very brief overview of my life.

      I don't know where you have gone to live now but some of us have stayed here in this wonderful country South Africa and still work to bring light and love to it. It is worth it.

      If you can call Desmond Tutu a "thug" as you do then I can only say you have been made blind by your pain and anger, about what I do not know.

      As for the Life Coaching thing, there is nothing "sissie" about having someone to talk to. I'm sure you have friends with whom you share stuff.

      You seem to have a need to judge others - try not judging but understanding them. If you want to contact me feel free to do so. I will never judge you but will always try to understand.

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      South Africa, and all the South Africans have the best country in the world with the propensity for greater greatness imaginable.

      K. Cobain,

      Reading your comment, which you are fully entitled to.

      Tonymac, A great hub and an insight that I as a white "Stadsjaapie" have some other insights and slants.

      Why do I make such a bald sweeping statement. If we had only utilised and husbanded our countries resources and not squandered it with petty and senseless legislations, yes I am referring to that "apartheid issue". With the brains, brawn and ingenuity we have had available, we would, could and should have been the greatest ruling country in the world.

      South African inteligence was the architect of United Nations amongst other things.

      Also in closing I am a South African, and although we have problems now, they are not insurmountable as the naysayers forecast.

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for your comment Rodney. I have often wondered if anyone has ever been able to put a cost to that monumental waste of money, and everything else, called apartheid? It must be huge. And I'm so pleased to find another South African who believes, as I most fervently do, that our current difficulties are not insurmountable. We got over apartheid, didn't we? Adn what we're going through now is nothing like as bad as that was!

      Love and peace,

      Tony

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      Tony- WOW!! 1943 even before India got independence. How was the world like just after the second world war?Mahatma Gandhi Started his political journey from S.Africa. I would love to visit the sun city too (where Miss World is often staged).

      Rodney- I happened to chance on a hub by sixtyorso and found that there is acute electricity shortage in S.Africa. I hope it is resolved by the new nuclear power plants and other alternative energy systems in place. I hope your positive attitude and prayers of millions from around the world also save the neighboring Zimbabweans from their worst health epidemic under Mugabe. A weak neighbor certainly pulls even a strong nation down.

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 8 years ago from South Africa

      Interesting life you have led Tony. I am of roughly the same vintage (a season or two less aged in the oak so to speak). Good hub. I am amazed at the tone of some of the comments. Pragmtism and moderation in all things make for a eaceful life. I see that we South Africans ae becoming quite a contngent here on hub pages!

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks Countrywomen. I feel old enough already! But seriously, Zimbabwe is in a terrible state because of the anti-democratic antics of Mugabe. It is so sad. I remember having a huge party at my home back in 1981 when the Lancster House agreement was signed and then Mugabe won the election. His party's campaign mascot was a chicken and so we have masses of chicken dishes at the party! And now he has become a monster. Too, too sad.

      I am a great admirer of the Mahatma and believe his satyagraha and ahimsa to be the way forward for us all.

      Love and peace,

      Tony

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      Great thanks sixtyorso! Appreciate your comments.

      Love and peace,

      Tony

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Tony, if it were not for England's so called fair play interferance in the events leading to Lancestar House agreement, Mogabi would never have risen to centre stage.

      Would the end result have been better or bitter, we would never know, although having relatives who were there at them, they were not amused at Englands antics.

      Sixty, we SA's are growing, here, pretty soon we will find more as we surf among the Thousands of hubbers.

      Countrywoman, yes South Africa has been a springboard for more great leaders as you so rightly remind us, Mahatma Ghandi. The electricity question has changed its shifts again and other generating means are being explored rather than building a second nuclear generator plant.

      Strangely enough, we have had fairly few days of power outages to our area, for a couple of months now.

      Sun City, is a great place and does host massive spectacukar events, like the Miss World, the Million Dollars Golf Challang an invitation only golf tournement.

      Love peace prayers are really needed for all the world.

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for your comment Rodney and its good that more and more SAs write about the things that concern them on places like this.

      I have also started blogging on News24, focusing on the up-coming elections here, so anyone who wants to read my thoughts on that can go to http://mynewsblogs.24.com and look for me - I'm tonymac04 there also! Actually I would love some comments on those blogs also.

      Love and peace, and many thanks again to those who have taken the troubel to read and comment on my Hub.

      Tony

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      Tony- I am so sorry I didn''t want to make you feel old. I was just curious as you have seen the world when so much was happening. I guess in my era the berlin wall fell and USSR disintegrated. We learn everything about Mahatma Gandhi very early in schools and we call him as Father of the Nation. He really lived the way he talked. A great man is not some one who gives great speeches but some one who practices what he preaches.

      Rodney-I didn't know it was UK which helped Mugabe to come to power. Now how much responsibility does UK take to contain the troubled country because of Mugabe's leadership. I heard they had some power sharing agreement than it was called off. Do you think like Iraq any military option would be used to deal with Mugabe if peacefully he is not abdicating power. A weak neighbor is not at all useful for any nation to be strong. I am sure their must huge migration to S.Africa with their hyper inflation and dire health crisis. Yes the whole world needs the prayers but Zimbabwe needs it in real time.

      Sixtyorso- I guess now you don't feel so left alone due to the time zone issues. You have quite a good company with Tony & Rodney.

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      Hey there Countrywomen I was just joking really! I don't feel old nor does my age worry me at all! And yes we South Africans do seem to be creating a presence on HubPages, which is great. I think the more people read about South Africa from relatively ordinary blokes like us the more understanding there will be for our problems and our potential.

      Love and peace,

      Tony

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

      Tony I like your style,

      Must say you're just a youngster.

      For get your first critic. He sounds like he has moved on.

    • roastedpinebark profile image

      roastedpinebark 8 years ago from Iowa

      I admire you, tonymac04, you're humiliaty in past comments reassures me that there are good people out here.  Even though we all have different beliefs and opinions I'm glad that I've found another hubber that looks past it and truly loves and respects those who leave them on hubpages.  I actually am fond of Jazz music as well, and have participated in jazz band competitions for about 7 years in school.  Thank you for sharing your life with all of us and inspiring others, I truly look up to you!

    • profile image

      Law to Success Mastery 8 years ago

      Whoa! What a journey! If only most people could be that introspective about their life.

    • eonsaway profile image

      eonsaway 8 years ago from New Mexico, USA

      Just started reading different hubs, a writer I am not. Don't have time to read too many hubs, have a life that requires money to exist. So for now I want to find a few writers that I like and read their written thoughts about life's adventures. Do not always comment on your writings but so far find them fascinating.

    • H.C Porter profile image

      Holly 7 years ago from Lone Star State

      What a life! And you wrote it so well! I am glad I was able to read this through your post in the forum. Thanks for sharing

      hc

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      HC - thanks for the read and the comment. It has been quite a journey!

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • obsexed profile image

      obsexed 7 years ago from Sensual, USA

      It seems you have lived a varied life, and have seen a lot of change over the years. I am glad to read you continue to grow and enjoy what life offers. Thank you for sharing your experiences and insight!

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Obsexed - thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my life story. I appreciate it very much indeed!

      HubPages is so great in that we learn about each other through our reading of Hubs. It's great.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 7 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      You have a beautiful family. I really enjoyed reading your life's history. You're a good writer. Your Aunt Queenie's house and property sounds like my grandmother's in Calgary, Alberta (but your aunt's is on a larger scale.) I'm preparing a book about my grandmother's life. There are so many reputable places online now that print one's text and photos.

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Pamela - thanks so much for visiting, reading and commenting. Thanks also for the kind words. My anut's house has in the last year or two been demolished, to my great sorrow. I was in Cape Town last year on business and went to the house expressly to take a decent set of photos of it now that I have a good camera, only to find an empty plot where it once stood. Such is the march of time!

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 7 years ago

      very nice life story

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Lgali - thanks for the visit and the comment. I guess I have had a pretty full life!

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • mhuze profile image

      mhuze 7 years ago from USA

      I enjoyed reading your story. Nice pictures.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Because for some reason I don’t always get notices of all the new hubs posted by the people I follow, I sometimes make the rounds to see if anything new has been posted. Since you are obviously too lazy to do a bit of work to entertain your friends, I was reduced, or so I thought, to reading some of your past postings. And how fortunate this laziness of yours turned out to be.

      I am so pleased that I stumbled across this story of yours “The journey of my life “. So human, so real, it draws the reader from even before you were born, you rascal, through the first attempt to get a kiss, to the first kiss from the La Strega look alike (you lucky sot), to the first 30 year partnership with what must have been a decent woman, to the sweet Caitlin and the delicious Sophie, but even more important from all of these important events in your life, your brave father. What a hero he was to stand up to those bullies, and how proud he would have been to know that his teaching by example has not been to waste.

      Tony, I think that you are intelligent enough o understand what I mean without more words.

      PS: What happened to Boy Bikitsha?

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Dimitris - your are so kind, my friend! Thanks so much for searching out this old Hub - indeed, it was a very early one! And thanks, yes, I do understand.

      My laziness is legendary, BTW! But I just posted a new Hub a little while ago, so it has not totally overcome me!

      "Boy" Bikitsha was killed in a car crash in the early '80s. But as a result of my Hub on Blythswood I made contact with his widow, Mpumi a year or so ago. And what a lovely connection that has turned out to be!

      Thanks again for such a lovely comment.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Zac828 profile image

      Zac828 7 years ago from England

      Tony, this is an amazing hub, wonderful to read and so rich. It inspires and delights and should be published elsewhere for the world to see.

      Thank you.

      I'm sending a link to my dad who now lives in Cape Town, I'm stuck in England, but we keep in touch.

      Very glad that DeGreek linked me to this page.

      All the best to you

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      Tony, what a wonderful journey and journal of your life experiences, we all have them and now have have a vehicle to share them here in the hubs. No matter what we share we will have critics and that's okay, life isn't all about peaches and roses, we have to endure the slings of arrows from time to time, just don't let them penetrate the real substance and issues shared. I loved this share and I am delighted to have been referred here by De Greek. I rate this UP big time.

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Zac - you are so kind. Thanks for a wonderful comment.

      Saddlerider - thanks for a thoughtful and caring comment.

      My life has been truly blessed by friends and colleagues of note, and now I have two more!

      Thanks very much for the visits and the comments. They are deeply appreciated.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • RunAbstract profile image

      RunAbstract 7 years ago from USA

      Really great! Wonderful photos also! All around, very interesting.

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      RA - thanks for the kind comment. Much appreciated.

      Love and peac e

      Tony

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 7 years ago from Florida

      Tonymac04, I loved this hub, and I thank DeGreek for giving me the link. A few years ago, I took an Elderhostel tour of South Africa. It was wonderful! And to get me ready, I read Mandela's autobiography. By the way, Camus is one of my favorite authors. I would appreciate your reading some of my hubs, but they don't come close to this!

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Mystery lady - thanks for the compliments! So glad to meet another Camus fan.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Thanks for the insight Tony! It's a great view!

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Micky - you are too kind, sir! Thanks for stopping by.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      It appears your life's journey prepared you to be the example you are today. I do admire your calm composure. That must be partly something being born with, as well. Some will call you "an old soul". Your diplomacy and kindness is inspiring- considering some comments above.

      You know by now, I might not agree with everybody on all matters, but I do believe we will be able to overcome the hurdles awaiting us in this country of ours.

      I see a lot of positive things around me lately, and I am greatful to be part of it. The "evil and bad" things will be sorted in due time, if not totally disapear due to dying a natural death.

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Francis - as usual you are very kind, and I truly appreciate your comment! Thanks very much.

      There are many positives around us and if we are positive ourselves we tend to see them!

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • mulberry1 profile image

      mulberry1 6 years ago

      You've certainly known some interesting people and had some amazing experiences. I'm sure there are many more to come. You sound as if you're in a good spot now and yes, your little Sophie looks perfectly captivating :)

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Christine - I have been very fortunate in the people I have come across in my life, no doubt about that! And you have reminded me that I need to update this Hub - Sophie has a baby brother called Daniel now!

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      So nice to have your children and now grandchildren in your life. Sounds as though you will be able to teach them many good things gleaned from your life journey thus far. Enjoyed reading this. Thanks!

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Peggy - I am grateful indeed for your lovely comment! I have had and continue to have a wonderful journey. I am in Cape Town right now, enjoying the place as always although we are here to bid farewell to mother-in-law Esme who died last week. So another milestone on the journey is passed.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Heart Felt Book profile image

      Cheri Taylor 6 years ago from New York, NY

      WOW I ADMIRE YOU.. I LOVE TO TRAVEL.. GREAT STUFF! KEEP MOVING FORWARD!! YET I NEED TO GET UP TO YOU.. WONDERFUL HUB! THANKS FOR SHARING

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      HFB - thanks for stopping by and leaving such a great comment!

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • mannyrolando profile image

      mannyrolando 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading about your very interesting life journey and the many influential people that have crossed your path! I love that you also included many photographs including those of your beautiful daughter and granddaughter. I look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Manny - thank you so much for those kind words. I'm glad you stopped by and enjoyed the read.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 6 years ago from UK

      What a wonderful life Tony! I feel blessed to read it. Thank you for writing, you are very special.

    • tonymac04 profile image
      Author

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Jantamaya - thank you for a very special comment! You are kind and very special too!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • profile image

      alma jane 5 years ago

      its really nice story.....

    Click to Rate This Article