Wednesday, 19 August 2015


The "Athenium" in Camp Ground Road, Newlands
 - the 19th Century home of Fred Gibson
Who is this fellow?
Valmai Welsh & Roshan
Rinus & Maria van Someren

Michael and cousin, Kirsten Newill
Wendy, Michael, Priscilla

In Pinelands Garden of Remembrance


TERRY WALLACE, step-son of the late Helmine Wallace (nee Macleod) and Kerry Wallace, qualified in engineering and commerce at UCT and later, with a partner, started his own business, the well-known civil engineering firm of “Burger & Wallace” has not yet “retired” , and still remains very active.   Married to his lovely wife, Lindsay, a physiotherapist, they have two sons.  Stephen is a talented sportsman who captained the Rondebosch Boys’ High School First X1 Cricket team as well as the  school’s Rubgy  First XV team whilst his older brother, James , is more keen on camping and fishing.Terry and Lindsay plan to visit the UK next month (September) to watch Stephen playing rugby there.

JOHN DE KOCK, a former land-surveyor, and his wife, Hermine, left South Africa many years ago and settled in Oxfordshire in the UK . It has been with much sadness to hear the news this week, from his only daughter, Michele, of his death in March this year, at the age of 92. 

Last year (2014) John, at the age of 91,  had major heart surgery which was very successful  but subsequently had a fall and fractured two vertebrae and was again hospitalised. He made satisfactory progress and was discharged but developed an infection from which he never recovered. He died peacefully at his home as was his wish and his daughter, Michele, was with him at the time.  His widow, Hermine, is still a very active person at 88 and plays bridge and still drives. Her brother, John, lives quite close by and her daughter, Michele  (whose married name is "Heaney"), lives a two-hour drive away in London. It was John de Kock's wish to die at their beautiful home and his daughter, Michele, was with him at the time. 
John de Kock is survived in South Africa by only two of his "de Kock" family cousin peers, Barbara Geach and Brietta Altern, both of Cape Town.

Joanne, Anna Gibson, Anita

ANNA GIBSON, step-grandmum to Guy and Sally who lives in Johannesburg and will be 89 in December, was  recently hospitalised for an infection. We are very delighted to say that her daughter, Anita, today advised that she will  be moved from ICU into a ward and will start walking and building up her strength and we hope she will soon be able to return home. Our loving and caring thoughts are with her.

Len McLeod

LEONARD McLEOD, a past president of the Clan Macleod Society of South Africahas just returned to Somerset West from one of his regular family visits to the UK where he stayed with one of his four daughters. We hope that Len is fit and well again after having recently had a bout of high blood pressure and look forward to seeing him soon.



Pastor Roger Horwood
On Saturday, 15th August 2015, about 100 guests from all around South Africa and overseas, including the USA and France, attended the wedding of  David & Linda van der Merwe's, daughter, Jessica, to Richard. David van der Merwe is a cousin of Guy Macleod and Sally Newill.
The guests were met and greeted at Cape Town's  magnificent  One & Only Hotel at the Waterfront where they were served with Hors d'oeuvres and bubbly on the hotel’s beautiful terrace, whilst  enjoying the African rhythms of amaAmbush.

Vernon Buxton, David & Linda
The Wedding Vows then took place in the Ballroom, with Pastor Roger Horwood, emphasising that marriage is not a "contract" that can easily be broken but a "covenant" that is based on three vitally important elements - "Sacrificial Love" - where each partner gives not less than 100% to the marriage, "Unconditional Love"  and "Never Ending Love".

A scrumptious five-course dinner, which focused on traditional Cape dishes made from organic, locally-sourced ingredients prepared by the hotel’s chefs, then followed.
Vernon Buxton who has spent many years in the travel industry (including as a travel magazine editor) flew down from Johannesburg to be the Master of Ceremonies. What a marvellous raconteur he was and with such a great sense of humour!
The celebrations, with a fabulous DJ, continued until very late at night with much gaiety and dancing and included a photo booth complete with wigs and crazy glasses for a bit of "lovely, memorable silliness".

Michael Macleod & Kristelle
Amongst the guests were Guy & Roshan and 8 year-old Jalal and Guy's son, Michael, and his Belgian girlfriend, Kristelle.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this truly exceptional and memorable evening and joined together in wishing Richard and Jessica a lifetime of health, happiness and prosperity.

To Richard and Jessica, and to David and Linda and Richard's Mum, Sue, and to all the other overseas guests we wish you a “bon voyage” when you return home. 

And to Richard and Jessica and to David and Linda we look forward to your next visit to South Africa.

Saturday, 8 August 2015


Sandy Webster & David Van Der Merwe
Michael Macleod & Jessica
On 8th August 2015, Guy and Michael Macleod were amongst the family guests of USA cousins, David (whose mother, Olive, was a “Buxton” and the daughter of Gladys and “Mannie” Buxton) and Linda Van Der Merwe, at a family and friends “get-to-know-one-another” lunch at the magnificent, 5-Star “Hollywood Mansion” guest house in upper Camps Bay.

"Hollywood Mansion", Camps Bay
Inside "Hollywood Mansion"
David and Linda and Linda’s gorgeous daughter, Jessica, and handsome Richard and his charming Mum all flew out to South Africa for the special family wedding next week.
Linda and Jessica are two of the loveliest and most delightful and engaging people you could ever wish to meet and, together with Richard, truly spoilt their guests with the finest of South African wines and a specially prepared and most delicious and tasty spread of food!

What a splendid and happy afternoon at such a stunning location where happy and excited family and friends mixed and chatted prior to next week's wedding ceremony and reception to be held at the “One & Only” Hotel at the Waterfront in Cape Town. After the wedding the family plan to tour some game parks in Botswana before flying back to California, USA.

                                                                                - penned 8th August 2015


 Richard Seymour
In April 2010 Guy met his "Gibson" cousins, Cmdr. (retired) Richard Seymour, RN, and his wife, Anne, and spent a night with them at their charming home in Hardington Mandeville (near Yeovil) in the UK's beautiful garden county of Somerset. And then, after nearly five years on 14th March 2015, Guy, along with his wife, Roshan, and son, Michael,  hosted a family dinner at The Terrace at Kelvin Grove.

Judy, Anne, Guy, Richard, Roshan
Standing - Elgon, Michael
Present at the family dinner, together with  Richard and Anne, were "Buxton" Harfield Village cousins, Elgon and Judy Buxton. 

It was a most enjoyable occasion with lots of stories and laughter on the first-ever visit to South Africa by Richard and Anne, who also spent two weeks touring the Garden Route. (Richard had previously visited Cape Town on his own during WW2, whilst serving as an officer in the Royal Navy.)

Elgon Buxton is the son of the late Fred and Aimee Buxton of Kommetjie and his lovely wife, Judy, is an enthusiastic family “archivist” who  has undertaken some quite amazing family-tree research, including Guy’s and his sister, Sally’s, respective families.

Richard Seymour is the son of one of Guy and Sally's  late mother’s cousins, Helen (also known as “Barney”) Luxmoore-Ball, whose father (Colonel Luxmoore-Ball) and mother Margaret “Daisy” (nee Gibson) acted as “caretakers” and helped manage the Gibson brother’s 7,000 hectare farm, “Waterval”, near Midrand, in Gauteng for over six years during the 1920’s.

In 2008 Guy translated the late Dr Bernhard Louw’s family historical book, entitled “The Gibson Brothers of the Red Star Line” from Afrikaans into English,

                                                                                     - penned on 8th August 2015

Thursday, 6 August 2015



John at Priscilla Macleod's 21st
John Constable - a true “officer and gentleman” - was born and raised in Great Britain. He is the son of an aristocratic Englishman and, along with a sister and two brothers, was raised in the finest of British traditions where he attended a public school and later worked in property and finance in the City of London. His hobby to this day is motor cars (especially vintage cars) and he relates how he once raced with celebrated British racing driver, Stirling Moss!

In England, John moved in all circles, which included celebrity film-stars and on occasion even a member or two of the British Royal family. Yet John still remains down to earth and treats and respects everyone, regardless of who or what they are or their status in life, with respect and courtesy. As Rudyard Kipling said in his poem, “IF”, John, to this day, can “walk with crowds or walk with Kings nor lose the common touch”.

One of John Constable's longest-standing South African friends is Guy Macleod whom he met in Cape Town over thirty years ago when he first moved to South Africa. Guy and John later worked together at the same  property and investment firm in Cape Town and it was through knowing Guy that John also met his future wife at the home of Guy's parents in November 1995. John became a good friend, not only of Guy's, but also of the Macleod family and has, inter alia, joined  the Macleod family at their  Christmas Day lunch as well as at many other special family gatherings. John, who knew Guy's two younger daughters and lived, for a short while, at their home in Pinelands when Priscilla was a few months old and her older sister, Robyn, was just two  was also a special speaker on the occasion of  Priscilla's  21st birthday party in August  2006. 

                                                               -  penned by Guy Macleod on 6th August 2015


In 1947 my parents, Gordon and Patricia Macleod, moved from Buccleuch, near Johannesburg, to Cape Town where we lived with my maternal grandmother, a widow living in Plumstead, for about three years. I was aged 5 and my sister, Sally, was a few months old.

I went to a nearby kindergarten run by a “Miss Bane” where I met and made friends with Peter Newill. On one occasion my mother, pushing a pram in which my baby sister of a few months old lay, had arrived at Miss Bane’s home to fetch me. My mother often related how, as Peter Newill (aged 5) and I came out of the school, young Peter peered into the pram and, turning to my mother, said to her: “Mrs Macleod, what a beautiful daughter you have!”. This quaint true story has done the rounds ever since, especially by Sally’s and my late Dad for, many years later, in 1968, Sally and Peter were married in St Saviour’s Church, Claremont!

Sally and Peter have been blessed with a loving marriage and a wonderful family. They have been married for 47 years and have four children and fourteen grandchildren. Craig and his wife Kate and their four children, living in Australia; Kelly and her husband, Yaron and their seven children, in Israel; Taryn and her husband, also named Craig, and their four children living in Plumstead; and Kirsten, their youngest daughter, in Cape Town. 

Recently my sister reminded me how it was through me,way back in the 1980’s, that she, her husband, Peter, and son Craig, were introduced to St James Church in Kenilworth, Cape Town. 
                                                              - penned by Guy Macleod 6th August 2015.



"Skipper" & Anna on their Wedding day 
In 1963 my late maternal grandfather, Frederick Chapman-Gibson (aka “Skipper” to his friends and family) and then aged 72, married a nursing sister, Anna  Susanna Costopoulos (nee De Klerk), who was  a widow, aged 37, with two young children, Anita (9 ) and Peter (7).

Skipper was the son of one of two 19th century transport pioneering English brothers who founded South Africa’s largest privately-owned coach and mail transport companies in the late 19th century, known as the “Red Star Line”. (#)

There are many stories that can be told about “Skipper” Chapman-Gibson, a dynamite-transport entrepreneur, inventor and a generous and kindly man, who adored his pets (dogs and cats) and entertaining friends and acquaintances alike with his “tricks”. One intriguing story relates to the 1950’s “discovery” of an ox wagon  allegedly containing some of  President Paul Kruger’s gold found in a spring on Skipper’s 52-acre estate at Buccleuch in Gauteng!

"Buccleuch House" built in 1936
"Buccleuch Castle"  built in 1949
Anna (aka “Anne”), who was a qualified nursing sister, and “Skipper” spent 15 years of marriage together  until ‘Skipper’s” passing in 1978. Skipper and Anna began their married life living on Skipper’s  ship look-alike home in Buccleuch (see photo on left), then a few years later moved to Skipper’s “facsimile” of a Union- Castle Line  mailship, known as “Buccleuch Castle”(which Skipper had  built in 1949) (see photo on right) before finally moving to Glenhazel, Johannesburg.

Anna Gibson, a beautiful woman to this day (she will be 89 in 4 months’ time) has always been greatly loved by her family and friends. She epitomises serenity, tranquillity, caring and kindness. Skipper was truly blessed to have met her. After his demise Anna became a matron at a retirement home in Johannesburg and later moved into a retirement village in Randburg. 

Anna is currently, at the time of this posting, in ICU in Sandton and is in all the family's and everyone’s prayers.

(#) There will be a future post on the history of The Gibson Brothers of the Red Star Line.

                                                      - penned by Guy Macleod 6 August 2015.



Five Oaks farm near Lady Grey
I have three special girl first cousins who are sisters and are  descended from 1820 Settler stock on their father’s side and from Scottish, Irish and Huguenot stock, on their mother’s side.They are  Anne, Jocelyn and Beth (Anne being the eldest and Beth the youngest with about one year between each of them). They are the daughters of my late uncle, Keith Hockly, a much loved and respected Lady Grey sheep farmer and later aspirant MP and supporter of Dr Jannie Steytler ’s Progressive Party and my late aunt, Josephine (born Macleod).
Anne, Jocelyn and Beth grew up on a farm called “5 oaks” and went to boarding school at the Holy Cross Convent in Aliwal North and later to Queenstown Girls High. Every year the Hockly family used to drive to Cape Town to spend the Christmas school holidays with our paternal grandmother, Angelique Macleod (born De Kock). And such happy childhood memories  and stories we can share together -  with  stories to fill a book or two!

After matriculating at Queenstown Girls High School in the Eastern Cape the three girls studied for careers in medical fields - Anne became a nurse and midwife and at one stage ran a breast-feeding clinic from her home in Plumstead. Anne is married to Theo Du Plessis and they live on the West Coast where Anne has served as Commodore of the local yacht club.
Jocelyn, who now lives in Cape Town, became a medical technologist and for many years lived in Johannesburg where she worked at the South African Institute for Medical research.

Beth, who started off as a trainee nurse, later went into the corporate world. She is married to Peter Muzzell (a cricket enthusiast and renowned for preparing cricket pitches in the Eastern Cape) and they live in Port Elizabeth. 

Between the three sisters they have eight children and several grandchildren and they and their spouses are currently enjoying their retirement years which includes camping and travelling to interesting  places all around South Africa like, for example, the Kgalagadi Game Reserve.

                                                                 - penned by Guy Macleod 


Monday, 3 August 2015


I have known Dr John Cowlin, a remarkable achiever and whose late father was an anaesthetist, for more than 26 years.
John Cowlin was born in Cape Town in 1949 and matriculated at Westerford High School in Rondebosch, Cape Town, in 1966. In 1967 he did his compulsory national service in the army before studying medicine at UCT where he graduated with an MB. CHB, in 1973.
John married Margie Travers-Jackson (who also went to Westerford High School) and they had two children, John and Lisa.

Medical doctor

Between 1974 and 1981 John did his housemanship followed by surgical registrar training. He had a practice in Sandton and was regarded by one of my late Dad’s co-directors, Gerd Niterl, as “one of the finest GP’s I have ever known”.

Furniture-manufacturing business

John, whose hobby, had long been cabinet-making, set up a small factory in Johannesburg in 1981 making motif furniture. He sold this business in 1983 and returned to the Cape where he set up a practice as a GP in Somerset West.

Co-partner of surgical clinic

John missed the “action and pulse-beat” of Johannesburg so decided to relocate back to Johannesburg in 1986 where, in partnership with a group of local doctors, he established the “Sandton Surgical Clinic”. The popular clinic was later sold to a public company - Life Health Centre. At this time John was also consulting to Rossing Uranium Mine and the National Department of Health on health maintenance issues and it wasn’t long before he was offered a position with one of South Africa’s largest medical aid organisations - “Medicaid”, which was subsequently absorbed by the Medscheme Group.

Pioneer of pharmaceutical benefit management

John developed a particular interest in studying the utilisation and funding arrangements of medications consumed by members of medical aid schemes. In 1991 when he went to the USA to do further research in this area he discovered that the focus in the USA was on hospital benefit management rather than on pharmaceutical consumption.
On his return to South Africa John adapted some of the principles he had learned in the USA into a model for marketing and managing chronic medical programmes in South Africa and, in partnership with Medscheme , in 1993 he established a pharmaceutical benefit management company, “QHS” (Quality Health Services). This was the first of its kind in South Africa (and probably in the world at the time) and I was personally privileged to serve as his Admin Director.
John realised the importance -  in order  to survive in business - that  one should have some form of basic financial and accounting understanding and so, in 1996, he also completed several short courses in finance and accounting as the Wits GSB (Graduate School of Business) .
Over the ensuing five  years the fortunes of “QHS”, which was renamed “PBM” (Pharmaceutical Benefit Management) in 1996, rose meteorically with compounded earnings of some 40% per annum! And then in 1996 John was appointed to the Medscheme main board of directors.
In 1999 when the “PBM” PE (Price-Earnings ) ratio was "18"  John exercised a “put” option and “retired” at the age of 50!


Dr John Cowlin
John Cowlin, who  has had a lifelong love of good wines and is a true wine connoisseur, started studying wine-making in his early “retirement”  and bought 30 hectares of vacant land in Simondium (near Paarl) in 2000.  There he personally constructed a house and wine cellars as well as various out buildings and planted vineyards and established “Cowlin Wines”. He soon learnt that the most important factor in successfully promoting and marketing wine was correct branding. By 2005 he had succeeded in establishing  “Cowlin Wines” as a strong regional brand, exporting to Canada, Denmark and Japan as well as supplying local bottle stores and upmarket restaurants.

Although in 2006 John sold his wine farm and relocated to Simon’s Town from Simondium he has recently (along with his daughter, Lisa) again  devoted himself to re-promoting the “Cowlin Wines” brand.

Yacht Club Commodore

John has long been a deep-sea fishing enthusiast and in 1999 he built and launched a 40-foot sport fishing vessel named “Tshaya” and in 2002 was elected Commodore of the False Bay Yacht Club. In 2013 he was, for the 2nd time, elected Commodore.

BA (Hons) degree  & evolutionary biology author

After retiring from business and having sold his wine farm John, who has an extraordinary photographic memory, decided to enrol as a full-time student at the University of Stellenbosch where he studied History and soon graduated with a B.A. (Hons) cum laude. He had also meanwhile developed a strong interest in evolutionary biology, driven by “an incurable desire” to understand why there is a human need to believe in the unseen and why it is so deeply ingrained in the human psyche. John is currently writing a book on the subject which he hopes to publish in 2016.

John Cowlin’s advice for aspirant entrepreneurs is this:

“If you want to be successful and are really driven to succeed, dreams are essential. But remember that in order to turn your dreams into reality it requires hard work, dedication, self-discipline and total commitment. Don’t become frustrated or discouraged when you find that sometimes things take longer and cost more than you budgeted for”.

"John Cowlin, medical doctor, businessman, entrepreneur, family man and friend,
is an inspiration for everyone" 
 - Guy Macleod

Sunday, 2 August 2015


Roshan Nambafu Macleod is a lass with a mission and that is to excel at wherever she applies her mind . 
The eldest of 5 children she had to go out to work  to help her mother support her 4 younger siblings after the sudden death of her father just after she matriculated. (With her help, two of her sisters eventually graduated - one as an enrolled nurse and one as a primary school teacher.) 
Years later, Roshan met and married Guy Macleod on his “déjà vu” visit to Entebbe in Uganda.
Encouraged by her husband, Roshan has already completed several short courses to improve her knowledge and skills including Xhosa, Bookkeeping, a Paralegal Practitioner's course, First Aid levels 1 & 2, Home Based Care, St John's First  Aid and a Dale Carnegie course and in 2014 she started “Macleod Care” in Plumstead, Cape Town. 

Roshan, who is the mother of an 8 year-old son, is also an able seamstress and gourmet cook and is currently doing further additional on-line courses.
Roshan is self-effacing, intelligent and very spiritual. She has a ready smile and is a compassionate carer who believes in “going the extra mile” and helping her fellow human-beings wherever and whenever she can.


John & Guy
John Miller and I first met 46 years ago, in 1969, when we were completing our B.Com. degrees and were both doing a course in Economic History 2B at the University of Cape Town’s Hiddingh Hall Campus in Orange Street, Cape Town.

Our Economic History lecturer was Mrs Marcelle Kooy, who later became an associate professor. Sharing the same interest in history in general and economic history in particular John and I tied for “first place” in the  B.Com. Economic History 2B class in 1969.

"Reconnecting" in recent times we now we meet regularly for breakfast or coffee where we ruminate and muse over current events in the world and in South Africa and postulate solutions to the world’s and South Africa’s economic and socio-economic problems ...... the joys of 20/20 vision in hindsight!

John, whose late father was the MD of Shell South Africa until 1970, was raised as an Anglican and attended school at Kingswood College in Graham’s Town. John also relates how, after matriculating and later graduating from UCT  he went to see my late Dad, Gordon Macleod, at his office in Paarden Eiland, who encouraged him to obtain his first job within the Barlow Rand Group.  

John started his career at Barlows in one of their two trucking divisions in Johannesburg as an Oshkosh trainee  on 1st January 1970 and for the next 12 years steadily and successfully ascended the corporate ladder, reaching the position of National Sales manager at Isando. In 1982 John left Barlows and joined Orbit Motors, one of the “jewels” in the Mercedes-Benz dealer crown. When Orbit was sold to Malbak and  McCarthy’s took over Malbaks’s share in mid-1995  “McCarthy Truck Centre” was born with John heading up their marketing. 

John retired in 2009 after 39 years in the South African truck industry -  having spent 12 years with Oshkosh and 27 years with Mercedes-Benz.
A successful corporate  businessman, husband to Anita for over 45 years, father to Kevin, Carol and Debbie and now a grandfather, John Miller is a man for all seasons who takes life in his stride and is a  good friend who has sound advice and words of wisdom to offer. 

-          posted by Guy Macleod 2nd August 2015