In Memory

Louis Buckle

Louis Buckle is remembered as a kindly and courteous classmate.  His memories of the school were entirely positive.  He recalled that he "loved every minute of the experience -- a real privilege.  Great teachers, great traditions, and wonderful friends".  He did break the occasional school rule, however: his lunch breaks were spent smoking cigarettes at the nearby homes of classmates Dick Pollecutt and Garry Grant, and he regularly attended Saturday night parties without his school uniform and "paid the price for it."

After school Louis attended the University of Natal at Pietermaritzburg, where he took a M.Sc degree in Agricultural Economics in 1969.  He married Janet Elsworthy in 1970 and they had two daughters.

Louis's early career was in Zimbabwe, where he worked as an economist for the Nedbank Group from 1972 to 1980, and then as general manager of African Distilleries until 1983. Thereafter he worked in South Africa for Gilbey's Distillers, first as general manager and then as director until 1995.  He then ran a Caltex garage in Pinetown for three years before becoming a commercial property broker in Durban and then in Somerset West.  He retired there in 2010.  This photo of Louis and Janet was taken at that time:

And here is a photo of Louis with his grand daughter Stella:

Louis and Janet attended our 50 year reunion in Durban in 2011, and were greatly moved by the spirit and warmth of that occasion.  Here are two photos of him from that occasion:


Unfortunately Louis was diagnosed with Parkinsons' disease several years ago, and then with Lewey body dementia.  From 2015 he lived in a care facility in Hermanus.  He was still able to recognize Janet earlier this year, when the couple celebrated the 50th anniversary of their wedding at a ceremony attended by his daughters and their families.  Several classmates sent messages to Louis and Janet on that occasion.

Louis Buckle passed away on 23 July 2020,  leaving his wife Janet, his daughters Lisa and Tara, and their families.  In a message to the Class of 1961,  Janet writes that "Louis was very proud to have been a DHS boy and cherished his schooldays."



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21/09/20 07:56 PM #1    

Dave Guy

Such very, very sad news. I remember Louis just like it was yesterday. He stayed in Riley road as did Garry Grant, Richard Bell and myself. The houses in the area were fairly dated. However Louis' house had been recently built. The Pollecutts stayed in Juniper road which ran parallel to Riley road. I enjoyed many a smoke with "the chaps". Louis was a dashing, trendy chap who enjoyed a good party. So pleased to read that he did so well on his life's journey. I used to obtain lots of news re Louis through his brother in law Ian Gaitskell, who was a lecturer at the University of Natal, Durban. RIP Louis. Thanks for the memories. You will be remembered as one of the boys. Another of the 1961 class who has left us. My sincere condolences to his family.

22/09/20 11:24 AM #2    

Richard Bell

Louis & I became close friends when we were doing our M.Sc. degrees at the Agricultural Faculty of N.U., Pmb. in the late 'sixties.  Every morning & afternoon at tea-time, the M.Sc. students would meet in the courtyard outside the lecturers' staffroom, for prolonged chats on a myriad of subjects.  As Soil Scientist Nev Reeve said, no matter what the opening subject was, the final topic would always be rugby, motor-cars or sex !

The next time Louis & I had a close tete-a-tete was sitting on the stand at the DHS swimming pool during our dinner at the school in 2011, emulating the notorious sixth form photograph taken in 1961.  Louis & I sat next to each other & caught up on the past decades.  The ladies took memorable photographs from the opposite side of the pool.

Louis & Jan submitted wonderful pictures, inter alia, of their daughters & sons-in-law on their wedding days &, later, of Louis playing with his grand-children.  He looked happy & well at that stage.

Ian & John asked us to write to Louis as the problem progressed & many of us did this, receiving gracious replies from Jan, giving us updates on Louis' condition.  It was with profound sadness that we heard of Louis' steady deterioration & his recent passing away.  Our deepest sympathy goes to Jan & their daughters, sons-in-law & grand-children.  Louis was one of the best & enriched the lives of all who knew him.

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