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Miscellaneous Contributions by Members

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December 16, 2018. Please see the wise words sent in by Derek Brent.  It is titled "Special Words to Live by"
Tony Close (added June 5, 2009)

I have seen Neil Stirks questions about Tony Close in the guest book.

This might be of interest and is my personal acount in brief of working with Tony.

At Forbes in the 60's Tony had a metal caliper on his leg and sometimes used a crutch He had bright red Ford Cortina GT , which he spent hours cleaning .  
I am not sure where or when but he smashed it up with very little injury to himself.  He then acquired the later model Ford Cortina GT, metallic gold in colour.
His favorite drinking place was Vila Manica and that car certainly knew its way home, often at great speed.
The Portuguese Customs had recently moved to their new premises in  the petrol station buildings . One evening, or early morning, that GT came thru the
petrol station at great speed and took a corner very wide, straight into the steps of the old Portuguese Customs House, He hit those steps so hard that they were 
actually dislodged from the building.  In this accident he messed up his leg and arm and his throat/voice.
When he came back to work he used a small tree trunk as a crutch!!

I next came across Tony at Beitbridge, driving his white Landy. He  Mauby and Scotty were at one time in the house on the river, where he tried, unsuccessfully, 
to raise ostrich chicks.  I think at that time he acquired an Alstion that  he called Chibules.  The army suddenly found that Tony Close was not doing his fair
share of military training and sent him forms to fill in In his terrible writing he filled it in and when he came to the part where they asked  if he had had any opertations,
he thought for a while and wrote PTO. On the reverse of the form he listed 16 operations, and sent it back, Nothing more was heard from the Army.

Tony's mom lived in Pietermaritzburg and for some reason he never kept in touch with her, and she, annually, used to phone the Collector Beitbridge and enquire 
whether he was still alive.  Tony and Chibules were transferred to Byo in the late 70's where he  acquired a newer, more modern, blue Landy.
He lived a few houses from where I lived and when he went on leave he entrusted me with the care of his old white Landy. This Landy had a sticker across the centre 
of the steering boss "DO NOT DRIVE THIS LANDY WHEN  PISSED ".

When I resigned and left for SA Tony was in examining in Byo office. On occasion my daughter, who at the time worked for Tupperware needed guidance/info on 
Customs procedure and phoned Tony. The last time she phoned him he could hardly speak and had to call on the services of another customs officer to relay the 
answers.  When we went up to Byo for Dan Schoonraads daughters wedding we popped in to see Tony, now driving a Toyota Cressida ,and sitting in what I knew
as the drawbacks office At first he did not recognise us, but when we told him who we were he was delighted and pointed to a certificate on the wall
acknowledging his long service in the Customs Dept. It was very difficult to follow what he was saying and it was obvious that his health had deteriorated .
Chibules had long since passed on but he now had two Alsations .

Despite his difficulties Tony was a super person to know and had a real good sense of humour and I often wonder how he is.

Alan Howard

Chris Heron finished in position 10221 out of about 35000 runners and 338th in his age group.  Chris thinks that's pretty good for an old toppie.  Mom & Dad look suitably proud!!chris heron in london marathon