28 February 2011

Dear Editor

Happy 30th birthday, Monday Paper! I well remember your birth, and was present at your conception - a group effort at Welgelegen, home in 1981 to a polyglot UCT Public Relations team including Alumni Affairs, NIB (News and Information Bureau), the UCT Foundation, Schools Liaison, staff and student visas, visitor programmes, publicity and many other functions, under the leadership of Leon Dempers.

Monday Paper was brought lustily to life by the late John Shapley, whose lust for life was legendary. I well remember the laborious process that translated John's stories from a shambles of notes on scraps of paper and the backs of cigarette packs, always knee-deep in ash, to the cut and paste (real physical actions - not simply the press of the button) of galleys ferried down to the UPD (University Printing Department) in Obs. Hours spent there making it all fit together often saw John working very late on Fridays, but he was sustained by festive braais under the wisteria at Welgelegen. The distribution of the finished product - a kitchen table operation by George Benjamin and Satisfy Sotashe - often resulted in personal delivery by John on his latest powerful motorcycle.

Scores of people have had a hand in Monday Paper over the last 30 years and it is now a first-class product, with a dedicated team, the best facilities and - dare I say - much easier means of production at their fingertips. But to John goes the 30-gun salute!

Alderman Owen Kinahan,
UCT Council and formerly UCT Alumni Officer

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