At my last visit (23 Jan) to Douggie Smith at his home in the Lake View Retirement village in Scottburgh about 75km south of Durban. I had made up my mind that I wanted him to celebrate his 95th Birthday in a bit of style as opposed to just sitting in his room at the retirement village. Knowing that he has a daughter (Jennifer) that lives in Umkomaas about +/- 10km north and I was not sure if she had made any arrangements to take her Dad out, so I invited Doug out providing that he had not already been invited out either by Jennifer or the Moth from the Hard Tack Shellhole where he is a member. Unfortunately his son Douglas lives way down in the Cape so the likelihood of him taking his Dad out was very remote. A week before the 8th I called Doug just to confirm that taking him out to lunch in Scottburgh was still on. He was delighted!
I had planned on getting to him around about 10 thirsty to have a beer, chat before going out to lunch. Sadly Doug was still struggling with a bit of an upset tummy so he declined the beer, but not Shatters ! It was a lovely cool day with a little light drizzle so off we went to the Bell & Anchor a great venue with sea views and open verandah.
I managed to twist Doug’s arm to have a drink to celebrate his 95th Birthday, and there we were. Got our waitress to take the photo ! at that age he does not seem to have to many teeth left so tucking into a nice tender steak just was not an option.
We had a great lunch, with a few ‘chibulis’ and in his case Capt Morgan and coke. We conquered the world with all the old stories, but it was just such a pleasure to have been able to share time with Doug and lunch as well. I guess that some of you that read this will realise that as one gets a bit older, a few of our ‘buddies’ do pass onto higher service. And Doug does not have too many of his friends left if any. All good times do come to an end and it was time to take Doug back to his home and for me to amble back to Durban.
Cheers Doug Smith on getting to 95, Congratulations, my friend. May God keep you safe.
Doug has said that he will get to the 100 ! !
Sadly on Wednesday 8th March Doug phoned me to tell me that his Moth friend “Digger” Robert Hugh Flavell had Answered the Sunset Call on Tuesday. Digger Rest in Eternal Peace.