Class of 53 together again

31 March 2003

Together again: These members of the architecture class of 1953 were part of the recent reunion gathering at the Centlivres Building, (from left) Basil Clark-Brown, Joan Seirlis, Mike Boltman, Bernadine Boltman, Ray Butcher (from Zimbabwe) and Shirley Pitman.

TRACKING down people who were fellow students 50 years ago proved to be quite a challenge for the organisers of the School of Architecture's 1953 reunion.

Enquiries at UCT led to records of exam results in the archives department, and, with the help of the Alumni Relations Office, a healthy 20 responses were finally gathered for the reunion.

One of the organisers, Wilma de Villiers, said two functions were held, a “meet and greet” at the School of Architecture and a dinner at the Alphen Hotel. Of the former venue, De Villiers noted that it was a “very different building from that of our student days”. “We were accommodated in wooden pre-fab buildings on the south side of the rugby fields, on the site that is now a car park.”

Professor Dave Dewar welcomed the group and brought the alumni up to speed with news from the faculty; the structure of the courses, the students and the University in general. “It has grown to an extent we would not have envisaged 50 years ago,” De Villiers commented.

“Most of our classmates have retired, but some are still practising or devoting their time to other interests,” she continued. “With the exceptions of one from Zimbabwe, one from Canada and one from London, all currently live in South Africa.

"During the course of the dinner, we had a call from a former classmate, Andrew Gunde, in Germany, saying he was with us in thought.”

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