61 Year Grand Reunion

 

FLIGHT INFORMATION FOR THE REUNION  (20 July 2022)

YOUR FLIGHT ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE TIMES

Plan to arrive in Tel Aviv on 23 October in time to be ready for our 7.30 pm departure for our Welcome Reception.   You should allow an hour to get from the airport to the hotel.

Plan to depart from Tel Aviv on 31 October at mid morning or preferably later.   You should allow an hour to get to the airport, and you should be there three hours before departure time because of Israeli security procedures.   Therefore an early morning departure would mean that you would have to leave the hotel at two, three, or four in the morning --- after our grand farewell dinner the night before!  Later is better.

 

WE URGE YOU TO BOOK RIGHT AWAY BECAUSE PRICES ARE RISING RAPIDLY!  PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR FULL FLIGHT INFORMATION (INCLUDING FLIGHT NUMBERS) SO THAT WE CAN ARRANGE YOUR TRANSFER TO AND FROM OUR HOTELS.

 

PRE-OR-POST REUNION EXTENSIONS

Some of you have enquired about visiting nearby countries while you are in the Middle East.  There are direct, non-stop flights from Tel Aviv to Turkey (Istanbul), Jordan (Amman), Egypt (Cairo) and UAE (Dubai).  You can contact us for information about visiting these destinations.

More particularly:

Jordan.   You can take overland tours from Israel to visit sites in Jordan, notably the World Heritage site of Petra.  Some tours can be accomplished in a single day; others are multi-day itineraries. Google "Jordan tours from Israel" to see many different options.  Jordan is a friendly country with good transport, hotels, and other facilities.  

Morocco. Some of you who missed our Moroccan adventure in 2018, or who want to revist and explore the country further, can fly to Marrakech on the afternoon of  31 October on El Al flight 533.  Ian will hold an open house at his residence there for the first week of November, for any classmates who wish to drop by, socialize, eat and drink, plan expeditions, etc.   Ian can recommend guest houses or hotels in the immediate vicinity (a few minutes walk from the main square in the old town).

 

FLIGHTS FOR NON SOUTH AFRICAN CLASSMATES (USA, Canada, EU, and Australia)

We are already in touch with you about your flights.  Please contact us if you are unsure of the best route or need other information.

 

FLIGHTS FOR SOUTH AFRICAN CLASSMATES.

From South Africa to Israel:  We recommend El Al which has the only non-stop flights between Johannesburg and Tel Aviv.   The best fare is the "economy classic" but there are a limited number of seats in this category so don't delay!

22 October: El Al  LY52   JNB to TLV   departs 11pm arrives 8.35 am.

31 October. El Al  LY 51 TLV to JNB  departs 10.15 pm arrives 6.35 am.

 

Connecting flights between Durban/Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Your connecting flight to Johannesburg must allow at least three hours in Joburg for Israeli security procedures. Therefore we recommend:

Durban to Joburg (round trip "standard" fare) 

22 Oct:  Safair 289 DUR to JNB departs 6.15pm arrives 7.25 pm

1 Nov. Safair 412. JNB to DUR departs 8.15am arrives 9.25 am

Cape Town to Joburg (round trip "standard fare")

22 Oct:  Safair 102  CPT to JNB  departs 5.45pm arrives 7.50 pm

1 Nov:  Safair  101 JNB to  CPT departs 8.25am arrives 10.40 am

 

Please contact Ian if you need any more information:  drianrobertson@gmail.com, or phone or text or whatsapp to +1 212 675 6969.   See you soon!

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OUR CURRENT GUEST LIST    (9 July 2022)

We need to close our 61 Year Reunion guest list on 15 July, in order to confirm our various reservations for accommodations, tours, etc.

Below is our current list of classmates who have indicated that they will attend.  If your name isn't on the list but should be, or is on the list but shouldn't be,  please let Ian know by email, drianrobertson@gmail.com, or by phone or whatsapp, +1 212 675 6969.  If you are still undecided please contact Ian with any questions you might have about the event.  You can also send a message through the "Contact Us" feature on the home page of the website.

Attending are --

Peter Elstob

John Bartlett

Nick Gray

Henry Aitken

Ian Robertson   

Jonathan Beare

Denny Moffatt 

Lee Irvine 

Terry Dowdall 

Richard Dold           

Trevan Payne 

John Thompson 

Norm Dyer 

Tony Crosby  

Roger Sheppard        

Stuart Russell     

Dick Pollecutt 

Antony Bullimore    

Chris Harris 

Henrik Frolich  

Brian Gitlin   

David Douglas 

Paul Segall 

Jeff Linder 

Pete Jubber   

Anthony Hill   

Adrian Tronson 

Peter Slater 

Robert D'Aubrey  

Peter Heath 

Roy Henry 

Bruce Sparks

John Dickson 

John Cruise 

George Cruickshank  

Ron Wellisch   

Dave Sawers

Deryk De Marigny 

Neill Levy 

Douglas Wilson   

Vernon Goss  

Kenneth Gitlin  

Sid Rosen        

Karol Steine   

Brian Anderson 

 

Hoping to see you in October!

 John Bartlett,  Terry Dowdall, Nick Gray, Lee Irvine,  Denny Moffatt, and Ian Robertson.

 

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OUR ENHANCED ITINERARY ..... AND AN APPEAL FOR DONATIONS...  (6 July 2022)

 

We have revised and enhanced the itinerary for our FABULOUS 61 year reunion in Israel this October!   See the new details below.

But first, please note --

1. We need to know by 15 July if you will be joining us.   If you haven't already informed us, you can send a message via the "Contact us" feature on the home page of the website, or you can send a note to Ian at  drianrobertson@gmail.com, or call him by phone or Whatsapp, +1 212 675 6969.

2.  We really need more funds for our adventure.    As you can imagine, this extended celebration is very expensive --  not just because of the various free tours, meals, admission tickets, and other delights, but also because we try to offer financial assistance to classmates who would find it difficult to participate otherwise.

Our current donors have been magnificently generous, but we need MORE donors and MORE funds to help make this the trip of a lifetime, to be enjoyed by as many of our classmates as possible.   So please think about this need as you relish the itinerary below --  and then send off some rands, euros, dollars, or whatever you have, to the SA or International accounts listed at the end of this email.

 

--   THE ENHANCED ITINERARY  --

 

Day 1.   23 October.   Tel Aviv

Arrival day, with classmates arriving until mid-afternoon.

We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our hotel.

The day is at leisure.  

Suggested meeting point to connect with early-arriving friends:  Noon and 4pm in the hotel lobby.

Evening:  7.30 PM departure for our Welcome Reception in a private residence. 

Our hotel is the beachfront  Marriott Renaissance ((https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/tlvbr-renaissance-tel-aviv-hotel/overview/ ) 

The lively modern city of Tel Aviv

 

Day 2.  24 October.  Tel Aviv

Breakfast at hotel (included).

Early morning:  welcome/information meeting.

Morning:  tour of the old Tel Aviv White City neighbourhood, with its famed Bauhaus architecture.

Lunch on your own in White City. 

Afternoon:  tours of the ancient port city of Yafo (Jaffa) and of a fascinating museum, the Perez Center for Peace and Innovation.

Dinner at an Arab restaurant in Yafo (included).

 

Early 20th century Bauhaus archicture in Tel Aviv's White City neighourhood

 

Day 3.  25 October. Tel Aviv

Breakfast at hotel (included).

North coast drive to visit Caesarea National Park (Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader archeology) and the UNESCO World Heritage city of Akko (Acre).

Lunch in Akko (included).

Visit to Haifa en route back to Tel Aviv.

Evening at leisure.

The city of Akko, famous since its days as the crusader fortress of Acre

 

Day 4.  26 October. Tel Aviv

Breakfast at hotel (included)

Day trip to Nazareth, Sea of Galilee (Tiberias), and Capernaum.  

Lunch on your own at Galilee.

Evening at leisure.

The Sea of Galilee -- actually the lowest fresh-water lake on earth

 

Day 5.  27 October.  Jerusalem

Breakfast at hotel (included).

Early hotel check out and transfer to Jerusalem.

Visit to Yad Vashem holocaust museum en route.  Lunch on your own.

Visit to Ein Karem, a charming village area of Jerusalem.

Afternoon: hotel check in.

Evening at leisure.

Our hotel in Jerusalem is the Herbert Samuel (https://herbertsamuel.com/en/herbert-samuel-jerusalem-hotel)


The picuresque Jerusalem village neighbourhood of Ein Karem

 

Day 6.  28 October.   Jerusalem

Breakfast at hotel (included)

Full day tour of Jerusalem Old City:  Oriental Bazaar -- Christian Quarter - Via Dolorosa -- Church of Holy Sepulchre -- Armenian Quarter -- Mount Zion -- King David's tomb -- Jewish Quarter -- Western Wall.

Lunch on your own during the tour.

Evening at leisure.

Jerusalem -- the iconic western wall

 

Day 7.  29 October.  Jerusalem

Breakfast at hotel (included).

Day trip into the desert.

Morning: visit the dramatic mountain fortress of Masada (a UNESCO World Heritage site).

Lunch at a Dead Sea resort (included).

Swimming opportunity in the Dead Sea.

Evening at leisure.

The mountain fortress of Masada, scene of a historic siege of Jewish militants by a Roman army.

 

Day 8.  30 October.   Jerusalem

Breakfast at hotel (included).

Morning trip to Bethlehem, with opportunity to attend Sunday church services.

Lunch on your own in Bethlehem.

Afternoon at leisure in Jerusalem.

Evening:  Grand Farewell Dinner.

Bethlehem, traditional birth place of Jesus

 

Day 9.  31 October.  Jerusalem

Breakfast at hotel (included).

Transfers to the airport during the day.

 

 ---  WE NEED MORE FUNDS  ---

As you can see, this is no typical school reunion, where you arrive, slug a few cocktails, have a tolerable meal, endure some speeches, talk to or ignore whoever is on either side of you, and then go home.  This is an extended, action-packed opportunity to reconnect with the men who shared a unique  boyhood experience with you, and it is only possible because of the exceptional generosity of our donors.  But we need even more funds to ensure the quality of all our experiences, such as transport, guides, and meals, and above all, to provide subsidies in one form or another for classmates who are on limited incomes.  So please do whatever you can to send some spare cash our way, now!

We have two options for transmitting funds:

SOUTH AFRICAN FUNDS:   From within SA, please send funds in rands to: 

John A Bartlett

Standard Bank

Acc: 42 145 016 9

Branch Code 009953

If there is space, please provide the notation "School Reunion" on your transfer instructions.  John will send an acknowledgement, but please let him know of your contribution by email to dr.johnbartlett@gmail.com, or by phone, 082 452 4179.

 

INTERNATIONAL FUNDS:  From outside SA, please send funds in any currency to:

I.A. Robertson 

Barclays Bank, St Andrews St, Cambridge, UK

Sort Code 20-17-19

Acc: 00768693

SWIFTBIC BUKBGB22

IBAN GB34 BUKB 2017 1900 7686 93

Your bank won't want ALL that information, but it will want some of it depending on where you are sending from.   If there is space, please provide the notation "School Reunion" on your transfer instructions.   Ian will send an acknowlegement, but please let him know of your contribution by email to drianrobertson@gmail.com, or by phone or Whatsapp, +1 212 675 6969.

The fund accounts will be audited by our classmate Lee Irvine, who has a distinguished career in financial services.

Hope to see you in Israel in October! 

John Bartlett, Terry Dowdall, Nick Gray, Lee Irvine, Denny Moffatt, and Ian Robertson

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ISRAEL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS RELAXED!!  (29 June 2022)

Our preparations for our fabulous 61 year reunion continue apace!  We will send you our updated, enhanced itinerary shortly.

In the meanwhile we have some good news -- Israel has further relaxed its entry requirements!

To enter Israel you now need:

--  NO vaccination proof

--  NO covid test before departure

--  NO covid test on arrival

--  NO quarantine period

And as before --

--  NO visa

We will keep up updated if there are any changes in the entry requirements.

Please note that our final date to let us know if you are coming is 15th July.   You can leave a message on the "Contact us" feature on the home page of the website, or let Ian know at drianrobertson@gmail.com.

Looking forward to seeing you there, 

John Bartlett, Terry Dowdall, Nick Gray, Lee Irvine, Denny Moffatt, and Ian Robertson

 

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HOTELS UPGRADED, AND AN EXTRA DAY ADDED  (14 March 2022)

We continue to refine the details of our exciting 61 year reunion in Israel in October!

First, we have been able to upgrade our accommodation in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to different hotels of higher quality -- at no extra cost!

Our new hotel in Tel Aviv will be the Marriott Renaissance (https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/tlvbr-renaissance-tel-aviv-hotel/overview/ ) The hotel is well situated on the beachfront, and close to the city centre:

Our new hotel in Jerusalem will be the Herbert Samuel  (https://herbertsamuel.com/en/herbert-samuel-jerusalem-hotel).  The hotel is a short walk to the old city.

And, in response to popular demand for more opportunities to explore Jerusalem, we have added an extra day to our itinerary -- so the dates of our reunion will now be:

Arrival day:  Sunday 23 October

Departure day:  Monday 31 October.

This additional day will add an extra US$125  to your hotel costs.  If this causes you financial strain, please contact Ian in total confidence:   drianrobertson@gmail.com, or  +1 212 675 6969.  (You can use Whatsapp, Signal, or Viber for a free call to this number.)

We are working now on expanding and enriching our itinerary in Israel -- watch for details!

Looking forward to seeing you there,

John Bartlett, Terry Dowdall, Nick Gray, Lee Irvine, Denny Moffatt, and Ian Robertson.

 

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A CHANGE IN ISRAEL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS (23 February 2022)

Dear Classmates,

Israel has just announced that it will no longer require proof of covid vaccination to enter the country.

Instead, visitors will have to present a negative PCR test, taken at a professional lab within 72 hours of their departure.  You will need this test result to board your departure flight.

Additionally, all visitors will have to take a second PCR test on arrival at the Tel Aviv airport. Visitors will be expected to remain at their hotel until they receive the results (usually wihin a few hours)

Please bear in mind that every country's admission rules change in response to trends in the pandemic.  We will keep you up to date with any changes.  It is unlikely, but future changes may include reinstatement of a requirement for two or more vaccinations.

Best regards,

John Bartlett, Terry Dowdall, Nick Gray, Lee Irvine, Denny Moffatt,  and Ian Robertson.

 

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A REASSURING UPDATE   (12 December 2021)

Dear Classmates,

This message is to reassure you that despite the current fuss over a new covid strain, we continue to plan for our reunion in Israel at the end of October next year.  It seems to us that there is adequate time for the present difficulties to be resolved.

We knew when we selected our date that the pandemic could take an uncertain course. But with our members now within shouting distance of 80 years old, we felt we could not wait and wait for the dawn of a perfect year.  So we negotiated hotel block bookings that we can cancel without penalty as late as the middle of September next year.  If there is a need to reschedule our reunion we will consider our options nearer that time.  But in the meanwhile we will press on!

As we confront the challenges of our grand event in Israel, we are reminded of some lines from a poem we studied in 1961, Tennyson's "Ulysses", in which aging comrades contemplate yet another voyage of adventure:

So far we have 45 acceptances.  We look forward to seeing many more of you there!

Best regards,

John Bartlett, Terry Dowdall, Nick Gray. Lee Irvine, Denny Moffatt, and Ian Robertson

 

 

 

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                   ISRAEL 23-30 OCTOBER 2022

We are delighted to announce that our delayed 60 year anniversary celebrations will now take place in Israel from 23 to 30 October, 2022.   Israel will offer an extraordinary setting for our class to reconnect again, some 61 years after we matriculated from DHS!

Please note:

1)  We realise this expedition will challenge some classmates' finances so we are raising funds to provide subsidies where genuinely needed.

2)  We need some idea of attendance numbers, so when you have read the details below,  PLEASE give us some indication (not a commitment at this stage) if you might be coming.  A simple YES, NO or MAYBE  will suffice, but it will be helpful if MAYBE responses include a reason for the hesitation.  Please send your response, and any queries about the reunion you may have, to Ian at drianrobertson@gmail.com, or use the "Contact Us" tab at the top of the home page.  Thanks!

 

WHY ISRAEL AND NOT SOUTH AFRICA?

After long and careful consideration we decided on Israel as our destination, for the following reasons;

Convenience.   About half our members live in SA and about half elsewhere in the world.  Our 50th reunion in 2011 was held in Durban, so the foreigners had to make what was often a long, expensive, and complicated trek to South Africa.  This time we wanted to find a more central location for our far-flung members.  Israel is ideal: almost all of us can get to Israel on a direct, nonstop flight from the capital or other major city in their country of residence.

Cultural appeal.  The immense success of our 2018 gathering in Morocco created much enthusiasm among classmates for another destination with great cultural appeal.  Israel, the "Holy Land" so central to our cultural heritage, fits the bill. It is a fascinating country --  varied in terrain, rich in archeology, vital to three great religions, and full of contrasts between vibrant modernity and ancient tradition.

 

WHAT WILL WE DO THERE?

We will spend four days and nights in Tel Aviv, a modern, informal city on the Mediterranean, and three in Jerusalem, an ancient and more reserved city filled with sites of religious significance.  We will use each city as a base for tours to other locations of interest.  Below is a draft of our program (there may be minor changes depending on group size, travel logistics and any added activities).

Day  1.   Sunday 23.    Tel Aviv

Arrival day, with classmates arriving until early afternoon  

Meet and greet at airport

Day at leisure  

Evening reception at private residence

 

Day 2 .  Monday 24.  Tel Aviv

Breakfast at hotel

Orientation meeting in the morning

Tel Aviv explorations

Grand Reunion Dinner

 

Day 3.  Tuesday 25   Tel Aviv

Breakfast at hotel

Coastal drive to Akko (Acre) for lunch, with visits to Caesarea and Haifa.

Evening at leisure

 

Day 4.  Wednesday 26 Tel Aviv 

Breakfast at hotel

Day trip to Galilee - Nazareth -- Capernaum

Evening at leisure

 

Day 5.  Thursday 27  Jerusalem

Breakfast at hotel

Transfer to Jerusalem

Visit Yad Vashem holocaust museum en route

Arrive Jerusalem hotel early afternoon for check in

Religious  sites 

Evening at leisure

 

Day 6.  Friday 28 Jerusalem

Breakfast at hotel

Religious sites

Optional Bethlehem visit

Evening at leisure

 

Day 7.  Saturday 29  Jerusalem

Day trip to Masada and Dead Sea

Lunch at Dead Sea resort with swimming opportunity

Grand Farewell Dinner.

 

Day 8.  Sunday 30 Jerusalem

Breakfast at hotel

Departures for airport

 

GETTING THERE

Passports:  Your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date of your entry to Israel.  If you need to renew your passport, please check how long this will take in your country as there are currently extensive delays in the UK, USA, and elsewhere.  South Africans who need new or renewed passports should not delay, given the bureaucratic uncertainties there.

Visas:   You do NOT need a visa if you reside in SA, UK, EU, US, Canada, Australia, or Norway -- which should cover all of us.

Covid proofs:   Covid entry requirements for every country change constantly.  However to enter Israel you will certainly have to show proof of two vaccinations, and very likely three.   We strongly recommend that everyone hoping to make this trip gets two vaccinations plus a "booster" jab.   You may also have to provide evidence of a recent negative covid test.  We will update you on what the exact requirements are closer to the time.   

Flights:  Airlines are currently expanding their flights and destinations, and definite fares for the period of our reunion are not published yet. There will likely be many more options at the time.  However, as a guide the following are the cheapest round-trip, non-stop, economy-class fares to Tel Aviv for next September.  Airlines may charge extra for baggage, seat selection, etc.

Joburg:   El Al --  R 7400 

London:  El Al, EasyJet  -- £ 250

Manchester:  Easy Jet - £ 265

New York :  Delta -- $ 830

Los Ángeles:  El Al -- $ 1000

Toronto:  Air Canada -- CA$ 1100

Montreal:  Air Canada --CA$ 1020 

Paris:  Easy Jet € 200

 

One stopover is required for:

Oslo via Munich:  Lufthansa -- NOK 2200

Alicante via Munich:  Lufthansa € 250

Australians -- Sorry guys, as usual you will have a long haul, but you do have a choice of places like Hong Kong, Bangkok, Istanbul and Dubai to change planes (or to lay over for a mini vacation).  Qantas, Emirates, Cathay and El Al are in the A$2000 range.   We can make a reservation at our hotel for Australian classmates who want to arrive a day early to recover from jet lag.

 

STAYING THERE

Hotels:    We have negotiated block bookings at favourable rates at hotels in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.   The rate is set in US currency at $125 per night, which means that your total for the week will be US $875  (at current exchange rates, R12,000, CA$1080,  £640,  €755, A$1180, NOK 7365).  Just let us know you are coming and will add your name to our bookings list.  You will pay the hotel directly on check out.   

In Tel Aviv, our hotel is the Leonardo Art Hotel which is located on the city's sea front: https://www.leonardo-hotels.com/leonardo-art-hotel-tel-aviv 

In Jerusalem our hotel is the Jerusalem Leonardo Hotel which is close to the major reigious sites:   https://www.leonardo-hotels.com/leonardo-hotel-jerusalem

 

WHILE WE ARE THERE


Meals:   All breakfasts are included at the hotels.   We will provide a reception, two dinners at the beginning and end of the tour, and lunches on our excursions.  You are on your own for most other meals, but Israel has an abundance of eateries at every price point.  Let us know if you have special dietary requirements.

Tours and transport:  We will provide all transport and guides for our various excursions.   We will provide group airport transfers,  and where possible individual transfers.

Mobility issues:  We will make special arrangements for anybody with mobility issues, including provision of a wheelchair if necessary.

WE NEED FUNDS--

We have some funds on hand already but need more for this fabulous event!!  We can accept money (which will be held in an attorney account) and airline frequent flyer miles, or you can sponsor part or all of a particular meal or tour on the spot with cash or credit card.  Please let Ian know if you can help out.

AND NOW:  

If you have not aleady done so PLEASE  respond ASAP to Ian with some indication of YES, NO, OR MAYBE you will attend. You can email Ian at  drianrobertson@gmail.com, or you can use the "Contact Us" tab at the top of the home page.

Hope to see you there!

-- John Bartlett, Terry Dowdall, Nick Gray, Lee Irvine, Denny Moffatt, and Ian Robertson.