Bishops this year is 171 years old and, on the 4th March, in the offices of Stonehage Fleming, Hamish Sinclair (S, 1992) and Ari Tatos (W, 1976) hosted a fabulous Founders Day celebration.
Our guest speaker was Francois Louw (W, 2003) a pivotal member of the Springbok Rugby Team team that brought home the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
55 ODs gathered to hear Francois speak about the build up to the final (and the Boks firm belief in themselves to win), Japanese culture including how to take a Onsen (温泉 - hot spring) cleansing bath, the final five minutes and the victory parades back in South Africa. And then the hilarious reference to, with five minutes still to go in the final, when both teams looked up at the big screen to see the engraver carving South Africa into the Webb Ellis Trophy. Both teams looked bemusedly at each other with the Boks wondering whether then was the time to call it a day.James Gardener (W, flanker, 1974) welcomed everyone including Francois whom he regarded as among the top three loose forwards to have come out of White House. James paid tribute to the work of the UK OD Branch Secretary and went on to reflect on the influence and impact of Bishops, its unique culture and generations of some of the finest schoolteachers in the world. Led by him, we all proposed a happy (birthday) toast to Bishop Robert Gray and Bishops. Francois was then interviewed by Alex Price (M, 2008) and fielded questions sent in by the ODs.
|Francois - on attack, on defense |
Francois is thoughtful, articulate, disarmingly straightforward and amusing. He made us laugh, ponder and feel good about South Africa and the hope which the RWC victory had imbued in the country.
He has retired from international rugby and is seeing out his contract with Bath, with whom he’s been playing for the past nine years. And after that? Well it would be a brave man not to suggest a stellar speaking career for him and hopefully it won’t be the last time we hear him.
Graham Thomas (K, 1984) thanked Francois and Alex presenting them with a small gift in appreciation of their contribution to a terrific evening.
Which extended, long after we left Stonehage Fleming. Thank you, Damon Crowhurst (F, 1991).
For all the photos, click HERE