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News > Passing of friends > Ridgley Hall (1959,O) passes away

Ridgley Hall (1959,O) passes away

Megan Hall pictured here with Ridgley at her wedding in 2006, sent us this interesting write-up about her father's life.
Ridgley and Megan with a picture taken from the 2016 OD Magazine of the Class of 1959
Ridgley and Megan with a picture taken from the 2016 OD Magazine of the Class of 1959

We received an email from Megan Hall, daughter of Ridgley Hall (1959,0) of the sad passing of her dad on 3 March 2024.  Ridgley died at the age of 83, after suffering a stroke.  She sent us the following obituary:

Ridgley was born in Springs in October 1940 in the Far East Rand Hospital, and had both an elder and a younger sister (Denison and Gillian, respectively). At the time, his father Robert worked at the Victoria Falls Power Company while his mother Kathleen was later a research administrator at UCT Medical School and librarian at the Cardiac Clinic. They initially moved to Cape Town hoping to get a ship to the United States during the Second World War so that his father could recover his sight after losing it in an electrical accident. However, the family were unable to do so and ended up buying a house in Sandown Road, Rondebosch. His father subsequently regained his sight and began working in Vredenburg.

Ridgley and his sisters had many friends in the Rondebosch neighbourhood and spent a great deal of their time playing and riding around. Ridgley attended Bishops pre-primary and then Bishops primary, meeting Robin Borden, David Carter, John Green, Patrick Henderson, Robert Satchel and others there. During his time at Bishops college, he was involved in a serious car accident and missed several months of school. As a result, he stayed back a year and so always considered himself part of both the class of 1958 and the class of 1959.

He often spoke of attending dance classes on Friday afternoons as the reason he did well in Latin, since passing the weekly Latin test was a requirement of attendance. He loved to dance and later even had a pair of blue suede shoes. After inheriting some money from an aunt around the age of 20, he had a wonderful time driving a convertible MG, drinking fancy wine, and living in a cottage in Chelsea Wynberg, but that soon ended, and he then spent several years studying while working in order to become a chartered secretary. In this early part of his working life, he conducted time and motion studies, and worked as a diver and diamond sorter on a dredger, MV Rockeater, off the Namibian coast. Later, he joined auditing and accounting firm Peat Marwick Mitchell (later KPMG).

His auditing work took him to many Italian-owned businesses in Cape Town, and he learned to love espresso coffee, cassata and other Italian treats. In 1968, he married his girlfriend of some years, Maureen Kennedy, and they settled in Rondebosch. Soon after their first child, Megan, was born, however, he lost Maureen to suicide. His parents took over the care of his daughter, hoping always that he would marry again, but he never did.

He had other relationships that were significant to him; these included a relationship with Sue, then a preschool teacher and later a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, with Sandy, a primary school teacher, and with Maureen and Rose in later life, amongst others. He continued to live alone in Rondebosch for many years, working for Leyland, Pres Les, printing and fishing companies, and a printed circuit board manufacturer, in financial manager or accountant roles. For many years, he also ran his own tax consultancy after hours.

In the early 1990s, he moved to the Marina da Gama and took up kayaking, enjoying the proximity to the vlei and the sea. Although he didn’t pursue team sports due to his early back injury, he was an avid member of a gym until he was almost 80, and lived a physical life, undertaking many home renovations and going on long hikes in his middle years. He also played a role in several organisations, including volunteering for Life Line for several years, the Marina da Gama Association, and working hard to understand himself and others better. He practiced transcendental meditation since his 30s, and didn’t drink because he found it interfered with his ability to meditate. His membership of the OD Union was important to him, and he enjoyed the regular lunches and get-togethers.

He was not an easy man, and sometimes offended and upset people, although he enjoyed company and interacting with people. He was a generous, thoughtful, and loving father and grandfather, and took out his grandchildren Holly and Huw every Sunday for many years, which he valued enormously. He was fascinated by technology, undertaking a graduate-level course in information science (then called Business Data Processing) at UCT as a mature student. He loved to be at the forefront of developments, and read the news, especially the financial and economic news, assiduously.

At the time of his stroke, he was living independently in the Marina da Gama and planning to move to a retirement home in Pinelands in the next few months, nearer his daughter and her family. It is a great sadness to his family that this never happened, but they also acknowledge his long-held wish to remain in his own home as long as possible.

We are deeply grateful to Megan for sharing this detailed and honest account of her dad's interesting life.   Our sincerest condolences to the whole family.

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