In 1968 I founded the Friends of the Springbok Association in the UK, which was quickly followed by Friends of the Lion in South Africa. For fifty-one years we have continued to promote friendship between the Old Commonwealth countries, and have encouraged families to keep in touch. It is so much easier today with emails, WhatsApp, Skype calls and many others, but the reunion visit is still the most cherished of all.
Over the years we have used our substantial membership strength to lobby the Powers that Be to help us continue to develop these contacts. In the changing world of travel, sadly it has now become impossible to provide fares at a lower price than the airlines themselves.
My wife Dorothy and I continue to promote friendship between the UK and SA, and make frequent visits to our much loved South Africa. Even though I am now approaching 91 I am extremely well and have enjoyed a fantastic nine-week stint in South Africa with a party of 24 bowlers from the UK, playing against local Bowls club and enjoying the hospitality for which South Africans are so well known. My group played against 22 different clubs, and returned to the UK with wonderful memories of South Africa and of the old and new friends they had met.
After visiting South Africa more than 100 times since 1964, our latest visit has lived up to all our expectations. We have planned another Bowls Tour for 2020, and already it is fully booked, so perhaps I shall meet some of you on a bowling green in the near future.
In the meantime, look after yourselves and others around you.
Yours in Friendship,
Founder and International President