WOBU - Wynberg Old Boys Union - Our Heritage

Wall of Remembrance

Mendel Kaplan - 19-11-2009

Mendel KaplanIt is with a sense of shock and deep sadness that we heard of the passing of Mendel Kaplan in Cape Town on Thursday, 19 November. Mendel was a great benefactor and loyal supporter of the School and Old Boys' Union. His interest in the School's achievements throughout the years has really been appreciated by all.

The upgrading of Silverhurst, now Kaplan House, the building of the Bill Bowden Pavilion and the re-siting and refurbishing of the Eric Tasker and Wynberg Heritage Museums in Kaplan House bear testimony to his generosity and ongoing interest. They are a living memorial.

The Union offers its deepest sympathy to his wife Jill and the whole Kaplan family. He will be sorely missed.

Richard Hamburger - 19-06-2009

It was with great sadness that we heard of the sudden passing away of Richard in the early hours of 19 June 2009.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Cathy and four young children Cameron, Reece, Kendall and Riley.

Richard had taught Physical Science since 2004 at Wynberg Boys' High and has been an integral part of the Old Boys' Union Committee for the past few years.

Harold Fay - 17- 4- 2009

It was with deep regret that we heard of the passing away of Harold on Friday, 17th April 2009 in Constantiaberg Hospital. Harold, a 1950 matriculant, served on the Old Boys' Committee for many years and was President of the Union from 1977 to 1978. He also served on the School Committee.

We send our condolences to his wife Janet, sister Barbara and sons Derek and Stephen, (both Wynberg Old Boys) and their families. Harold's grandson, Kewen is currently in the High School."

Class mate Richard Penn writes ...

COLIN JOHN GOTTGENS (GOTTY) 19-11-1969 to 23-09-2008

Colin, an Old Boy and a Littlewood Man, will be sorely missed by his mates. He is remembered for his quiet determination, perfectionism and brilliant sense of humour. Never in the spotlight, but always directing where it should shine. Nobody quite mastered his skills controlling the special effects of the magnificent Wynberg Stage
Productions, where he cut his teeth for the career he was destined to follow. The show is over and the curtains have come down, but he truly left us all, cheering for an encore.

He sadly leaves behind his wife Judith and daughters Amy and Emma.

RIP Gotty."

Class mate Stan Kahn writes ...


We'd know each other since the early 1950's, when his mother ran a little country hotel in Tulbagh Weg. My older brother had gone to Wynberg, as a boarder, in 1953 or 1954, and that was the original connection.

My father had a hotel in Prince Alfred's Hamlet, and we used to give 'Droopy' a lift to the old boarding-house, the precursor to Littlewood House - which had been built in 1892 I think?
Wynberg boarders started very early, and Droopy had been there for a couple of years before I went in Standard 4, in 1956.

Nick-names had a kind of a flexibility and fluidity about them, and so 'Droopy' easily evolved into 'The Dog' which, as everybody who remembers the comic knows, was Droopy's full name. I think I never heard any of these names used with anything else but a tone of affectation towards him.

He was a boarding house fixture, as constant as 'the Boss' or Mazie, in the time that I was there, and held in universal affection. Whether it was meeting 'under the clock' at the old Cape Town station for a Saturday morning away rugby fixture, walking up from the school to the Wynberg Camp for the annual sports day, or oiling and 'knocking-in' new bats at the cricket shed, and putting dubbin on rugby balls in the little ball-room under the stairs of the senior school, on a Friday afternoon for Saturdays' games, these are the contexts in which I remember him. Doing all those little things that the boarders did, and which probably played quite a significant part in casting and shaping us.

He liked to eat and drink well, and had a long-time interest in and passion for politics. Eventually he finished up, in his retirement, as an ANC town councillor, in George.

Who would have thought that would have been possible, when we left Wynberg in 1962?

For our class' 25th anniversary, which was before the internet, e-mail and all that, he pulled together a dinner, and great conviviality and fellowship, at a club in Victoria Street, Cape Town.

We kept in touch over the years, had a meal when he was in Johannesburg, and spoke telephonically, every now-and-then.

Just a couple of years ago he said to me, apropos nothing in particular "... I'm 'Dog', not 'the Dog' ", and that was that. That's how he was listed on my cellphone.

When I got a call from that number on Monday, there was no need to formally pass on the news that Dog had died.

He'd told me some months previously that he'd been diagnosed with a cancer that was beyond treatment, and that he'd been told to go out and make the most of the time he had left. On Monday his time ran out.

The wishes of Dog's Wynberg Boys' family go out to his nuclear one.

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Union Officials:

Union Business Manager
Hugh Rowles
Tel: 021 797 2101
Email: hrowles@wbhs.org.za

Manager Bill Bowden Pavilion
Glenda Martindale
Tel: 021 797 2100
Email: gmartindale@wbhs.org.za