Phil  Gavin

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Personal & Present Details

PHIL  GAVIN - update 27/08/12 .....  note 'The Homestead' now has 32 Bedrooms
Phil & Bernice are to retire (again) at the end of November, 2012.
Youngest daughter Penny is to take over.
[Phil & Bernice retired from ESKOM in 1993 - almost 20 years ago !]

Dear Melvin
Cant say I know Mr Butler,but was very happy to hear that GHC is still going along.
Please give him my regards
On a personal note,Bernice and I are finaly going to retire[for the second time] at the end of November and Pennie [the youngest one[now 40 yrs old]] is taking over the HOMESTEAD [NOW 32 BEDROOMS], so we will have time on our hands
By the way. I believe it is your birthday soon [or have I missed it ?]
ARE YOU 70 OR 71?Happy birthday, but look how long it took !!  [72 on 30/08/12 so 4 weeks younger than you !]
Regards
Phil[Haggis]
P.S Give my regards to Lindley
-----Original Message-----
From: Mel Ashton (123) [mailto:mel@melashton.co.uk]
Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2012 4:13 AM
To: Mel Ashton (123)
Subject: William Butler

 
Hi All,
I received an email from William Butler asking to be included in the Isherwood’s pages / emails.
He is now included - his name and email address are on the Mail Staff page - and am currently awaiting further information.
Had another chat with George recently – follow the link from the Home Page.

If you forward this correspondence, PLEASE delete the forwarding history which includes my email address.
It is a courtesy to me and others who may not wish to have their email addresses sent all over the world.
Deleting the history helps prevent Spammers from mining addresses and also prevents viruses from being propagated.
Also, please use the Bcc: "blind carbon copy" when sending to more than one person.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Regards,
Mel Ashton
1 Tarn Court, Outwood, Wakefield, WF1 3HG
Tel: (01924) 834 464 / 07740 282 567
Email: mel@melashton.co.uk
Website: www.melashton.co.uk

 

 

PHIL  GAVIN - A 5th email - from Phil
(scroll down for earlier mailings)

DEAR MELVIN

I READ YOUR "COMMENTS" COLUMN WITH GREAT INTEREST AND DECIDED TO GIVE IT A BASH.

I JOINED ISHERWOOD'S IN 1956 AS AN APPRENTICE AND WAS VERY SOON GIVEN THE NICK NAME 'HAGGIS' BY TONY STOKES DUE TO MY 'SLIGHT' AFFINITY TO ALL THINGS SCOTTISH AND A TEENY WEE BIT OF AN ACCENT BUT FOR WHAT EVER REASON THE NAME STUCK AND I DOUBT IF MORE THAN A HANDFUL KNEW MY REAL NAME.

A GROUP OF APPRENTICES FORMED A BOND - MYSELF MEL ASHTON, IAN LINDLEY, TONY ALLOTT AND AN OUTSIDER TO ISHERWOOD'S CALLED TREVOR HOPWOOD

WE COULD USUALLY BE FOUND MOST NIGHTS IN THE 'FARE HOUSE' OR THE 'RAM' PUBLIC HOUSE [AT LEAST WHILE OUR MISERABLE APPRENTICE WAGES LASTED] .  I CAN RECALL GHC GIVING US A LECTURE ON WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THOSE OF US WHO PERSISTED IN FREQUENTING "LOW TAVERNS" AND PLACES OF ILL REPUTE".  I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A SOFT SPOT FOR GHC FOR THE WAY HE MANAGED US APPRENTICES AND IN MY ADULT CAREER I HAVE ALWAYS REMEMBERED THE TIME WHEN I WAS IN HOTTER WATER THAN USUAL AND GHC LISTENED INTENTLY TO MY HIGHLY EMOTIONAL OUTBURST OF INNOCENCE WHICH CONTAINED PHRASES SUCH AS

"apprentice slave labour" ETC. AND THEN CALMLY SAID "WE HAVE AN OPENING FOR A BRIGHT YOUNG MAN LIKE YOU PHILIP - SHUT IT AS YOU GO OUT".
ON COMPLETING OUR APPRENTICESHIP A GROUP OF US ENROLLED FOR NIGHT
SCHOOL BASED ON THE IDEA THAT IF WE SPENT SOME TIME THERE OUR MONEY WOULD LAST LONGER DURING THE WEEK AND HENCE WE COULD BOOZE MORE OFTEN.  THIS SIMPLE DECISION HAD MORE FAR REACHING EFFECTS THAN WE THOUGHT AT THE TIME.  I LEFT ISHERWOOD'S WITH AN O.N.C. AND JOINED THE CENTRAL ELECTRICITY GENERATING BOARD AT HUDDERSFIELD, THEN TO EGGBOURGH, ON TO BERKELY NUCLEAR POWER STATION IN GLOSTERSHIRE AND EVENTUALLY TO MY NATIVE SCOTLAND WITH THE SOUTH OF SCOTLAND BOARD, HAVING PICKED UP A COUPLE OF B.Sc. DEGREES ON THE WAY.  BY THIS TIME I HAD MARRIED THE GIRL I USED TO GO OUT WITH WHEN I WAS AT ISHERWOOD'S AND WE HAD A SON AND THREE DAUGHTERS.
WE THEN DECIDED TO MOVE
TO SOUTH AFRICA AS BRITAIN AT THAT TIME SEEMED DESTINED TO BE ONE STRIKE AFTER ANOTHER.
SOUTH AFRICA WORKED OUT WELL FOR US AND I ENDED UP AS A POWER STATION MANAGER AND THE KIDS GREW UP IN A SUNNY CLIMATE.  BERNICE AND I RETIRED IN 1993 AND BEGAN TO BUILD OUR RETIREMENT COTTAGE.   IT IS NOW 2002 AND I AM STILL BUILDING AND THE "COTTAGE" IS NOW 19 BEDROOMS AND HAS GROWN INTO A
VERY BUSY HOTEL, SO RETIREMENT HAS ELUDED ME.

ANYONE INTERESTED CAN VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT:

www.thehomestead.co.za   - just click on the link (Mel)
THE GOOD LOOKING BARMAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPH IS YOURS TRULY!!
 
WELL MELVIN THAT ABOUT BRINGS YOU UP TO DATE ON THE LIFE OF A HAGGIS AFTER IT IS LET OUT!!
I PRESUME YOU WILL EDIT THIS TO MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS AND HOPEFULLY CORRECT THE SPELLING WHICH YOU WILL RECALL WAS NOT MY STRONG POINT
REGARDS
HAGGIS

PHIL  GAVIN - A 4th Mailing - from Phil
(scroll down for earlier mailings and up for later mailings)

Dear Mel

Bernice is going to send you a couple of photos via the Email system as soon as she has taught herself how it works. It was strange to see you say that you do not or cannot read cct diagrams anymore due to poor eyesight,I supose it was said half in jest but based in truth. I am always surprised to meet people after a few years and see how they have aged forgetting that I must really look quite decrepit myself. [It is a good job that I started off by being so good looking that the deterioration is hardly noticeable!! ]

Regarding info you asked about.

We came to S.A. in Jan 1975.

Philip Andrew Gavin was born 9\9\1966 He is now technician with Escom doing the protection on the 700K.V lines in Natal. He has a B.Com Degree and is now studying to be a lawyer[ I tried to keep him honest but I FAILED!!!] He has been married for five years and has a 20 month old daughter .

Pamela Anne Gavin was born 17\7\1968.She is a technician on one of Eskoms power stations[3600M.watts] she works on the instumentation and controls so she is light current qualified. She married a guy who was widowed at 27 years old and was left with three young girls. She has been married for 7 years and decided no more kids for them. They are planning very early retirement and will probably take over THE HOMESTEAD when Bernice and I hang up our boots.

Paula Alexandra Gavin was born 22\12\1969[she is a real shit stirrer and never misses a chance to shock, come to think of it we had a milkman like that at the time!!!] She is HOD [electrical] at one of Eskoms power stations [also 3600Mwatts], she has a B.Sc [elec] a B.Com and is now studying for her Masters degree in Business Leadership. [She has her mothers brains-I HAVE STILL GOT MINE!!]  Paula has been married six years no kids but starting to go broody. But too busy with her career at the moment to do anything about it[I think she will order her familly through a mail order catalogue!!]

Pennie Anna Gavin was born10\6\72.From an early age she was a "people person" and could talk to people from 9 to 90.She has a diploma in Hotel Management and is the manager of a big hotel in Tzaaneen [northern SA] She has been married for 4 years and has a 22 month old boy and a 3 month old girl-she says that’s the lot!  She has been a great source of information to Bernice and me in making the Homestead a success, but is not interested in running the place-wise girl !

By the time Pennie was born I found out what was causing it and decided to stop!! 

Well that about covers all the topics. I have tried to email "Dad" but had no reply so I do not know if he got it or if he is also to blind to be able to read it or even too busy having his "convivial" pint to answer it!!  I still have not located GHC Email address as I would really like to hear from him.

Regards

HAGGIS

 

PHIL  GAVIN - A 3rd Mailing - from Phil
(scroll down for earlier mailings and up for later mailings)

Dear Melvin,

I hope that this email finds you in good health and a lot quicker than it takes me to type it.
I rely on Bernice to do this sort of stuff but she is out shopping, the rain is pouring down so I'm having a go at an Email.  It looks from your web site as if you are into computers in a big way, designing sites, etc.

Bernice and I retired in 1993 she used to run a big Eskom store and I was a power station manager, so we had done quite well for ourselves and reckoned there was no point in working till you die..

We bought a few acres of ground and decided to build a two bedroom "retirement cottage".
Well I have been building ever since, we now have 19 bedrooms, mostly ensuite and I am half way through building a 350sq mtr extension which keeps me interested in my retirement.
So if you feel like a holiday in S. Africa, fly out and we will provide the beds and grub and be happy to see you again.
With the present exchange rate of the Rand it makes the thought of going to Britain a nightmare so I doubt if we will ever go back this side of being sixty five, when Bernice and I intend to hand the business over to our eldest daughter and her husband.
s you will have gathered, our "retirement cottage" has grown firstly into a B & B and now into a moderate sized Guesthouse / Hotel.
Bernice is great in the kitchen, trains her own staff and most importantly earns enough money to allow me to carry on with my hobby, building.  [I always knew she would come in useful if I kept her long enough].

All the kids are married, Philip has a daughter of 18 months, Pennie has a son 20 months and a daughter 2 months.  Paula is a DINKY - [Double Income No Kids Yet].  She is head of the electrical department at Eskom's newest power station.  She thinks she will never get pregnant as she says "I just can't seem to swallow the stuff". [she is the comedian of the family and never misses a chance to shock].
Pamela is a technician with Eskom [light current] and now runs her own department.  She married a guy who was widowed at 29 and had a ready made family of three girls, so they have decided that three is enough.  They have been married for 7 years and seem quite happy.  They want to retire early and take over 'THE HOMESTEAD'.  Which is what we called the place.
By the way, we have a website you can look at, it is a bit out of date as it does not show the new extension but it will give you an idea.
The address is www.thehomestead.co.za .

My finger is now numb and I am going to try to send this.

Regards,
Phil  [Haggis]

Bernice Gavin

The Homestead
PO Box 672
Bergville
3350
Tel/Fax: 036 448 1328
email:  homestead@saol.com
website: http://www.thehomestead.co.za

 

 

PHIL  GAVIN - A 2nd Mailing - from Bernice
(scroll down for earlier mailings and up for later mailings)

Dear Melvin,

At last we know how to reach you.  What a thrill to hear from someone that in a sense belongs in the past.  Last night I logged onto your web-site it is a wonderful idea of yours.  We paged through your photos and to see even myself looking back at me was unbelievable.
I was eager to see what you looked like now and was surprised to see the weight but recognised your smile.  But don't worry Phil and I have also put on weight.  I am going to try and send you photos.  (See TOP  for Pictures - Mel).

As we said, we are now running our own guest house, never thinking 15 years ago that we would do this, but we enjoy it and meet quite a lot of people which I think keeps one young.  Phil has not been in good health.  He had cancer in 1987 in his back, then in 1998 he had a angio-stent which is where they put a tube in the artery of your heart and now for the last year he has had sugar diabetes.
However, saying all that he is no different - still stubborn as ever and still insists on doing it HIS WAY.  Totally frustrating to me at times but never boring.  How he has the energy to build like he does I don't know.

How do you the web site I designed ?  Of course I do not have the technical know how to to put it into practice but I hired two young fundies.  The graphics expert was very in tune with what I wanted and simply put things where I wanted them but I think that it is effective. 

What I wanted to ask you was "what happened to Eli".
I returned to England for 3 weeks in 1992 and found Eli and Mary, and they came to see me at my sister's place as she had had a bad stroke.  They did not look any different so please can you tell me what happened to him and what Mary is doing.
Also what has happened to Ian and Ann,  Trevor Hopwood,  and Tony Allott.
In 1992 someone told me that Tony Allott still lived in the same house.  As you can guess, I came over by myself just to see my sister and family.  Mary did tell me that that you were divorced and I looked up in the telephone book to try to contact you but with no luck.  I am happy that you have found someone else, as life can be so lonely as we grow older.

Phil did quite well in his career but was eager to retire.  3 of our kids followed in his footsteps in the engineering field and work for Eskom.

Please seriously take our offer up to come and stay with us.

One funny thing happened last night when we were looking at your web-site and Phil saw someone called "Dad" and then said that surely he was still not alive as he thought he was old when he was at Isherwoods.  The funny part was that he must have only been 20 years older than Phil in those days.  Phil also loved to see the photos of George Crossland.  He often tells the story about the time when Phil was "doing his nut" as normal in George's office, so the story goes and when he had finished, apparently George then said, "Phil - we have a great opening for a bright young chap like yourself, Close it as you go out".  Phil never forgot it and I am sure has used it on some of his own "bright sparks on the power stations".

Please keep in contact now and tell me about the others.

Cheerio for now and Godbless.

Love, Bernice

Bernice Gavin

The Homestead
PO Box 672
Bergville
3350
Tel/Fax: 036 448 1328
email:  homestead@saol.com
website: http://www.thehomestead.co.za

 

 

PHIL  GAVIN - the first email from Phil
(after some 12 months trying - scroll up for later mailings)

Dear Melvin

Your Email eventually found its way to me via my son Philip who works for the S.A. Electricity Co ESKOM.

I retired in 1993 as did Bernice and we have been doing our thing since then.

The kids are all married and Philip has a 20 month old daughter and Pennie has a 22 month old son and a two month old daughter so we are grandparents now.

I am typing this with one finger so I will keep it short and let Bernice send all the news later as her typing is much faster than mine.

We own a wee guest which I built myself to keep Bernice out of trouble (it started of as a two bedroom retirement cottage but you remember how I used to make sure everything was big and strong)
It has now got 19 bedrooms, most of them ensuit.
So if you fancy a holiday in sunny S.Africa you find the air fare and we will provide the beds and the grub.

Regards,
Phil

Phil Gavin

The Homestead
PO Box 672
Bergville
3350
Tel/Fax:  036 448 1328
email:  homestead@saol.com
website:  http://www.thehomestead.co.za

 

A Guest's Poem.  (Copied from Phil's Website by Mel)

" The Homestead"
Just quite simply we want to say,
"Thank you for our lovely stay".
The Weeks have fled, the days are gone,
But what has been will linger on;
In the memories of us all,
The Homestead we shall oft recall,
Delectable food served in style,
Each service rendered with a smile,
The Beauty of each scene we'll treasure,
Friendship's warmth in generous measure,
And as we talk of all we've seen,
Of choice places we have been,
So truly, we shall not forget
The special people we have met
Surrounded there by vale and hill,
At the Homestead,
                                        Bernice and Phil.
By :Fred Fowkes from Krugersdorp on  Christmas 1999 and the Millenium

 

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