It was a day of reminiscing, fun, joy and good food- as the Laudium Secondary School, Class of ’72, gathered at the Lal Qila restaurant in Sandton, on Wednesday February 15, to celebrate their 50th reunion. Many of those present were happy to tell the Laudium Sun that it was an evening they thoroughly enjoyed, including Abdul Kader Kurta who detailed further…

When you reach the age of 60 plus know that your past is much longer than your future and the realisation sets in that we have less time to live than the time that we have lived so far. Once, we were the ‘Young Ones’ and as the song by Cliff Richard and the Shadows resonates in our minds we realise that we used to be “Young and Beautiful,” now we are just “Beautiful.” We have arrived at a point in our lives when we acknowledge “that the world around us is only beautiful when we are at peace with the world within us” (Rumi).

Born in the 50s living through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s having lived through and experienced the ravages of ‘apartheid’, forced removals, pass laws, 90 days detention without trial, the immorality act etc (Not unlike present-day occupied Palestine), all of which left an indelible mark on our characters. The pain and the suffering of losing loved ones and the traumatic impact of the ‘group areas act’ allows us to legitimately embrace the little of’ ‘apartheids children’ which we wear as a badge of honour. Nimmi Kolapen one of our classmates sent a post on WhatsApp which reads, “I’ve found that growing up in the 60s was a lot more fun than being in my 60’s.”

Nevertheless, amidst the struggles and hardships, bounds of friendship were cemented irrespective of religious beliefs, caste, creed or colour, never to be severed. Life is indeed a ‘hard teacher’ but we realise that when we understand what we do, we do for our own peace this comes about when we stop showing everyone how smart we are, seeking the approval of others and stop comparing ourselves to others. We are all unique there is no other you, you are the best. Though many of us contemplated to get together it was in fact the determination and encouragement of Harsula Gandhi who pressed the start button and contacted Haroon (Blue Lagoon) Dawood who in turn touched base with Pagie Pillay, Rafic Joosub (Blikkies), and Farida Ayob and the reunion of the class of ’72 became a reality. 50 years brought together the class of ’72 of Laudium High School. Many of the classmates had not seen or been in contact with each other from the day we bid farewell to each other and solemnly rugged out of the gates of Laudium High for the very last time. I speak for all when I say that out 50th reunion was the highlight of 2023.

When we looked at each other we saw our classmates of 1972, 17 and 18 year olds. We saw past the wrinkles, hearing aids, arthritis, pacemakers etc, just young, vibrant and energetic, recalling the past and reminiscing. It was a truly momentous and heart-warming evening. Head girl Naseem Gani and head boy Haroon (Blue Lagoon) Dawood of the class of ’72 addressed the culminating in our Matric year. Chandni Bedhesi now a resident in the land of the “All Blacks” New Zealand took a stroll down memory lane. The Lal Qila restaurant in Sandton was filled with the sounds of raucous laughter, joy, happiness and of course, a mouth-watering menu that served 60-plus different dishes. The abundance of food and good company made it a memorable event that the class of ’72 and their partners will relish for another 50 years, God willing. The Bard, William Shakespeare’s words about friendship come to mind when he remarked ‘I am Wealthy In My Friends.’

Amidst the celebration, the class of ’72 paid tribute to our fallen comrades, our classmates who had taken the journey to the Eternal Abode. We pray to the Almighty that He grants them His mercy and elevates their status in the Garden of Peace. We pay tribute to the late Abdul Kader Abdoola, Nilam Anand, Niru Bhoola, Yusuf Cassim, Vasidevan Chetty, Rasmi Daya, Dawood Hoosein, Yusuf Jaffer, Nafisa Mahimed, Nagin Mistry, Hanif Mohamed and Valeri Naidoo.

It was indeed a pleasant surprise to see our classmates who are now abroad making a special effort to attend the function. Tara Pema from Canada, Chandni Bedhesi from New Zealand, Rashy Kalyan & Dr Osman Carrim and Dr Kanchan all the way from the USA. Also present were Thilo Moodley and Aansu Singh from KZN, Dinesh Radia and Fathima Ghatta from Louis Trichardt (Machado), Dr Farouk Abba from Botswana, Faizi Sabdia from Mokopane/Potgieterus, Aysha HP all the way from the North West (Brits) and of course Harsula Gandhi from the place that none can pronounce, Gerbheqa (PE). As we approach the remainder of our lives, clinging to memories of years gone by, we often hear the oft repeated sentence ‘Life is short enjoy it’ but often we forget ‘Eternity is long prepare for it.’ Dear classmates of ’72 may we all and our loved ones be in the benevolent and merciful embrace of God Almighty.

Until the next time. Be blessed!
A K Kurta
Thank You and Kind Regards,
Yours in Technology.

Abdul Kader Kurta (KK).

Scenes from the Laudium Secondary Class of ’72 golden reunion… (Photos supplied).