Pour yourself a long cool drink and read on about how a love of rum, camaraderie, life and our city culminated in a fun book.
One of the Algoa Bay Yacht Club ‘Teak Deck’ and Rum Club stalwarts, Warwick ‘Dog’ Owen, has just published a book of 22 short stories, FITS. FITS is edited by fellow old Muirite, Neville Ross and with witty cartoons by another old Muir boy, Derrick Nesbit. And, if three Old Muir boys in the same room and publication were not enough, Warwick added layout expert (and old Muirite) Derek Potgieter to the mix as well.
Fun In The Sun is an apt title for the emergence of Spring 2011 and for an author with such an eternally sunny disposition.
FITS invites you to go back to a better time – one when the only admonishment from your parents was to be back home before the sun went down, a time when you were free to explore and discover on your own time and own turf, a time when the pressures of technology only surfaced when your torch failed you whilst you were fishing, at night, on the river, alone.
Neville Ross captures the essence of FITS in his well written foreword:
This book is a witty and down-to-earth account of incidents and adventures that celebrate the life of the author. It takes the reader back into the 50’s, an era devoid of drugs, hijackers, terrorists, suicide bombers and the like. The ozone layer and global warming were phrases waiting to be used and understood.The story continues into what could be called the latter years describing, in satirical detail, names, places, events and people. The reader would probably have to be knowledgeable of the jargon and slang that prevailed some 50 plus years ago, but as one reads, the simple innocence and gentleness of those times is revealed.
The vivid description of cinema or bioscope attendance in the 50ties with dense smoke and standing rendition of God Save the King, at the end, is classic and a wonderful glimpse of life in those times.
Picture a group of friends striving to find identity in their adolescence years and maturing to be successful retirees in a world vastly different, the only catalyst being the ‘slow’ march of time affording the ability to adjust, adapt and accept.
Being part of many of these humorous happenings makes me able to appreciate these events with fond memories.
The relentless and driven character of the author is also noted depicting someone whose swansongs are ‘just do it’ and ‘give something back’ and who practices those dogmas in his everyday life, striving to be a valuable individual in society.
I asked Warwick what his life influences were; “My parents, the nuns, really strong and faithful good mates, some great bosses that believed in me, learning about the demon grog, life on the street and learning to be streetwise on the factory floor. Especially my wife Lyn and our daughter Megan for the encouragement and keeping me and my volatile personality in check.”
Warwick is well known as the guy who is the driving force behind the establishment of the Due North Rum Club which meets and celebrates the now defunct naval tradition of the Rum Tot. Whilst having fun this tight group of comrades also manage to give back to the sport of sailing and mankind in general.
It was Warwick’s questing mind that led him to begin corresponding with Charles Tobias of Pussers Rum which was to prove the tipping point to publication of FITS when Charles wrote as follows; “What a hell’uva writer you are! You can really write – and how much I enjoyed your narratives! I hope to meet you down there one day – and soon – and to spend a night sinking a few tots and gamming about all of those old drinking holes and the time you spent in them. And your father must have been a great dad! I can tell from the way you write about him. I’ve saved what you’ve written, so when we meet I’ll have a copy in my pocket.”
Of course the abiding wish of the Rum Club is that the original rum as drunk by British Navvies, Pussers, will be freely available in South Africa soon. The only thing is that I still struggle with is getting my head around the name, Pussers, and the pronunciation in a South African context.
When asked why people should rush out and add FITS to their book collection Warwick said; “The book is all about my mates and I growing up, attending great schools – Materadmirabilis Convent and Muir College, Uitenhage – in the 50’s with lots of satirical short stories of our life experiences in Uitenhage along with our forays to Port Elizabeth pubs. What Fun we had in the Sun!”
The FITS first edition is available exclusively from Fogarty’s Bookshop @ R160.00 including VAT.
Latest posts by Alan Straton (see all)
- EP Cricket Board to focus on cricket development - 22 January 2020
- Kirsty Iversen at Work - 22 January 2020
- The Market Leader in Medium and Heavy Commercial Segments - 22 January 2020
- Oversight inspection at Jubilee Park Primary, Uitenhage - 22 January 2020
- How to choose the the correct legal status for your business - 21 January 2020