The Durban Alumnus Association


If you thought that 2020 was a disastrous year, 2021 has not been any better as far as activities go of the Durban Alumni Association. Here we are well into the final quarter of the year and we have still not yet had any formalized meetings, let alone our AGM. At least we managed that in 2020. All that has been arranged is a getaway to Umngazi River Bungalows at the end of November.

I did report back a couple of weeks ago and gave all members an option of three proposed history tours. I requested that members get in touch with Finn Christensen so we could take a straw vote. I am pleased to report that Finn has reported a very lively interest in the three proposals. Isandlwana came out on top. Now I was privileged to attend a talk on Ken Gillings through the South African National Society by Pam McFadden who is the curatrix of the Talana Museum. In fact some of you might recall the late Ken Gillings who was very generous to us and took us on a number of tours and I distinctly remember him taking us to Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift and painting in particularly vivid style as only he could, the desperate fighting in Rorkes Drift from room to room! Now Pam McFadden is a graduate of our University and also UNISA and she is responsible for archiving all the papers that have been donated to the Talana

Museum. Amongst those donations were the papers of the late Ken Gillings. During her tenure she has built up probably the most well-resourced museum in South Africa. She has also done extensive research into the military conflicts fought in KwaZulu-Natal and she has agreed to conduct a tour around the Talana battlefield. In addition to that she will be able to give the same talk I was privileged to hear in the archiving of the material that has been bequeathed to the museum. I cannot give a definite date but it will take place on a Friday afternoon. If you are interested, you will have to get to Dundee because the next day has been devoted to Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift. As regards Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift you will recall that I suggested we get a Black guide to take us around because while we have had excellent guides before, they have perhaps tended to see this momentus battle through the eyes of the British/White settlers. Let us hear it from a Zulu point of view and she has a certain well-respected guide, Mr Bryan Mncube in mind. Another bit of good news I can give you is that deo volente the AGM will be held on the first Monday of March 2022. Apart from the AGM and this proposed tour to Northern KwaZulu-Natal,

Elizabeth Forsdick has very kindly extended an invitation to members of the Alumni to visit her beautiful garden on the South Coast in either late June or early July. In the winter months the aloes and indigenous plants in her glorious garden will be on full show.

This is obviously something to whet your appetite. Please rest assure that you have not been forgotten!

I must thank Finn Christensen and his team for holding things together. Without them we would be lost. Also, congratulations to Nomcebo Msweli on the recent birth of her son. I just hope she is getting enough sleep!!

Let us hope that 2022 is going to be a better year than the last two and that we will be able to meet and engage in our normal activities as we have done in the past.

DATED at DURBAN this 19th day of OCTOBER 2021.

Kind regards.

Robin Ralfe


Read more about the Durban Alumni Association here.


Committee Members - 2022 :


Robin Ralfe (Chairman)

Tel: (031) 202 7122


Finn Christensen (UKZN Alumni Relations Manager)

Tel: (031) 260 2823


Anne Youngleson

Tel: (031) 202 7122


Denis O’Leary (Treasurer)

Tel: 083 635 9826




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Many thanks for your continued support.

Alumni Relations Office



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