In Memory

Neil Whysall

Neil Whysall was a lively and popular schoolmate.  A Blackmores boy, he came from Dundee and was the youngest of three brothers who all attended DHS, and who all had the same nickname, "Monk".  In Neil's case, even some teachers addressed him as Monk.

At school Neil was active in the dramatic society, with roles in Much Ado About Nothing in 1960 and Hamlet in 1961. He was a member of the school swimming team and was an excellent diver. He was also a keen hockey player and was a member the ground-breaking school XI team that firmly established the game at DHS.  Below is the team, with Neil front fow, far right:

Neil married Ann Maule in 1974 and they moved to Johannesburg. They had two children, Matthew and Helen, who both now live in the UK.

In 2010 Neil suffered seizures and underwent surgery for a brain tumour. For a while he was uncertain if he would be well enough for our 50th Anniversay celebrations in Durban in 2011, but he did attend and those who had not seen him in many years were were grateful of the chance to reconnect with him.  Later that year he organized a gathering for our Gauteng members at the Mornngside Country Club.

In 2013 Neil suffered a stroke in Johannesburg, and he and Ann moved to the UK to be with their children and grandchildren.  Unfortunately his health continued to deterioriate and in May 2016 he was admitted to a care home, where he passed away a few months later on 15 September.  



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17/10/16 09:35 PM #1    

Christopher Harris

I counted. Neil as one of my friends while we were at DHS. He was small in stature, but that didn't stop him making an impact. He was a lively and amusing character, full of cheek and was generally well-liked. He and I joined up with the newly-formed hockey squad and played in the same teams throughout our time at School. As always, he was a live wire on the hockey fields, where he played at what we knew as "Half-back," alongside Keith McIver who was always our centre half. Neil regularly escaped Blackmore's at weekends to join my family in our Durban North home. He reciprocated by inviting me to his home in Dundee where I met his winderful parents.  He was a keen horse rider and introduced me to the joys of cantering about the hills above Dundee. I was not a keen as he was, as I prefer to control my transport by means of a steering wheel and brakes.  On another occasion, I was invited to join them at a beach cottage on the coast.  They were a very generous and hospitable family. I last spent time with him some years later while I was teaching in Ladysmith. Our hockey club was hosting a hockey tournament, and he had travelled from Dundee to join the revelry. I lost touch with him after that, until the Class-of-61 site started up, enabling us to renew our contact. Sadly, Neil became ill and contact dwindled once again. I remember Neil as a cheerful, friendly and energetic little guy, who must have had a significant growth spurt as he grew older, because my last memory of him is of a fairly big chap. He had lost his nippiness on the hockey field, too. He was warm-hearted, generous and a great proponent of justice and fairness, causes that he supported as vigorously as he played hockey. He was one of the good guys. My condolences to his family and his friends.

19/10/16 05:58 AM #2    

Stuart Clark (Class Of 1963)

Chris, thank you for your nice tribute to Neil.  I also counted him as a friend, even though he was two years ahead of me at DHS.  Like him I was small of stature (then!), from Dundee, and from Blackmore House.  So we had much in common.  His Dad Vernon worked in my Dad's construction company in Dundee, so I knew his family well (and his lovely Mum, Esme').  He introduced me to hockey at DHS - a game I played with more enthusiasm than skill, eventually playing until I was in my 60's, in international Golden Oldies tournaments - the last one I attended being in Argentina (by then hockey ability was secondary to whether you could at least still run!).  So I have much to be thankful to Neil for.  After DHS I used to see him at Mortimer Cup hockey tournaments in Dundee - he came down with the Old Johnnies team.  Sadly I did not see him again after I left SA in 1986, but I was kept apprised of his activities (and his illness) by my brother Murray in Johannesburg, who saw him occasionally at gatherings of ex-Dundonians.  My condolences to Neil's family.  He was a good man. 

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