Guy Fawkes: The Big Bang Theory

It was about 1986 and Guy Fawkes was coming up, my favourite day of the year as a kid.  I motivated my friends at Kentron to make it a memorable event as I had the ideal place in the sticks at Crowthorne.  We passed the hat around the department and collected enough to buy a number of big boxes of fireworks.  My partners in crime in those days were Martin Clark (RIP), aero engineer, Grant Wilson, mech engineer, better known for pulling a moonie at the drop of a, well, pants.   Other notable miscreants were Dave Thompson (RIP), and Richard Wainwright.  The first two and myself formed the Terrible Trio as we shared a lift club and were similarly irreverent and always looking for fun or kak.  We decided that between us we had 12 years of engineering study and so were well qualified to design a proper skyrocket – stand aside Elon. 

Continue reading

Vignettes on Ian Buchanan McCleland

Before my recent 8-day visit to Port Elizabeth and my appearance on Gino’s Spot, I never had any information on the other legs of the McCleland family tree. After Helen McCleland contacted me I now have a font of information on the Tisdale family line courtesy of Neil McCleland.

Neil has agreed to provide information in the form of vignettes which I will post as I receive them.

Main picture:

Continue reading

Military Record of Harry William McCleland

I never knew my grandfather, Harry William McCleland, as he passed away in 1924, twenty-nine years before I was born. Harry William was attested into the Union Defence Force at Roberts Heights aka Voortrekkerhoogte at the age of 43. It was in all probability desperation which spurred him to be attested at such an advanced age. After failing twice at farming, once due to a flood in the Gamtoos Valley and then as a cattle farmer at Destades due to the rinderpest and then being declared insolvent, Harry had relocated his family of five children [at that stage] to Schoenmakerskop. Without an income and a family to support, joining the army was Harry’s solution to his financial woes.

Main picture: Harry William McCleland in army uniform

Continue reading

Evaluation of the Rev. Francis McCleland

The objective of any biography is to obtain an understanding of what motivates that person and how they handle situations, especially the troublesome ones. Essentially what one attempts to do, is to understand what makes a person tick. Even in the best cases, vital pieces of evidence are missing, hidden behind the veil of their private lives. Just ask a divorced person for a resume of their ex-spouse and compare the response with what is publicly known about the person. The mask will slip, and the real person will be revealed. So it is with Francis McCleland except that Francis’ obnoxious actions towards third parties became common knowledge and were not restricted to one person. Being so egregious, the other parties took public umbrage at Francis’ actions and hence his personality – or at least  to the putrescent bits.

Continue reading

The Art of Mea Culpa and Conduct Unbecoming

Bruce Koloane obviously agreed to plead guilty to his three charges at his disciplinary hearing which meant that no evidence was led and, hence, no red faces, particularly for No. 1 – that is if his face could turn red.  Thinking about it, even if he was melatoninally challenged like me, he still would not
blush as he has no sh

But I digress. Pleading guilty is very useful in certain cases.

Main picture: Uit klaar parade, Officers Course, Tech Services Corp, Dec 1981

Continue reading