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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Ages of a man. (A short biography)

During the move from my old cottage to where I live now I came across these photos of me, covering most of my life.

         Ps. 39: 4 - 5 (KJV)

        " Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I   may know how frail I am.
          Behold thy hast made my days as an hand breadth:..."

Photo above 1948. Not quite a year old. I did have a primary school photo, grade one, of me in all my gap-toothed glory, but somehow it has got mislaid, so the next photo is a jump of about 13 years.

High school photo, 1963. A very serious young man. I left school at the end of 1964 with a grade 10 certificate, known back then as a Junior Certificate. After completing my army training I enrolled with a correspondence school and completed my Matric, (Gd 12) I never liked school but I have always liked learning.

1966 Basic infantry training, (fit as a fiddle and able to run 20 km with one stop half way)1 S. S. B.,. (1 Special Service Battalion). This battalion was formed in the Depression years of the 1930's to provide employment for unemployed young men. During the 2nd World War the battalion earned a fearsome reputation in North Africa and later in Italy.

Photo above taken in 1974 while I was recovering from a severe illness. I had just spent three months in hospital and weighed about 30 kg's (70 lbs), took me another 9 months of recuperation before I could go back to work. Still had all my hair though, the baby is a niece of mine.

Wedding day 4th April 1980, 32 years old. I have been to several weddings during my lifetime, but I never enjoyed one of them as much as I enjoyed my own. This is and old Polaroid photo. Though the wedding was fun the marriage only lasted 12 years, my wife and I have been separated,  (not divorced) for 20 years. The long distance (1500 km) relationship works pretty well for us though.

Graduation day December 1994, 47 years old B Bibl. degree in Library and Information Science.(University of Stellenbosch). I got a lot of criticism from some people for wasting time at my age and going to university. A year later I enrolled for a post graduate Honours degree with UNISA, (University of South Africa).It took me two years of study, after hours, to complete, and I passed with distinction. UNISA is a distance learning institution, with students from all around the world. What most people don't know is that UNISA is one of the worlds biggest universities.

Self portrait taken a few months ago. Healthy, wealthy,and wise(?). Definitely healthy, the other two I'm still working on. One thing that I've learnt over the years is that education does not equal wisdom.

Ps 16: 6. (KJV)
  "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage."

Life hasn't been all sunshine and roses, and there have been some deep, dark valleys along the way. Many, maybe most, of my youthful dreams and ambitions came to nothing, but all in all life has treated me pretty well and I have nothing to complain about, but lots to be grateful for.


Gorges Smythe said...

Education doesn't always accomplish what we hope it will, but it's NEVER a waste. I know that you're glad you went. And you're right, education isn't the same as wisdom. It's obvious that you're healthy and wise; sorry about the wealthy part. It's a shame we BOTH weren't born wealthy instead of so darned good-looking!

Joyful said...

I enjoyed this short retrospective of your life. I really like the scripture at the end (Ps. 16:6). I've never read it in quite the same way before. I think you did well to go to university later in life. You probably were more determined then to reach a goal and it has served you well in terms of work.

Mark Kautz-Shoreman said...

They say that if you don't learn something every day, you've wasted that day. Can't get enough education. Your self portrait, you look like a twin for R Lee Ermey. He's a retired Gunnery Sgt. in the Marines, movie star, and has had several TV specials. Jump out on the internet and take a look.