Welcome to MyPE Port Elizabeth’s de facto community web site
Our mission: To provide the residents of Port Elizabeth in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, with a medium whereby Port Elizabethans can openly share and discuss information and issues – topical, hard hitting and informative, inclusive and decisive, relevant and … FUN!
Our Ethos: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society. If need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
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MyPE was founded by Alan Straton and Hilton Shorrock in 2005 as a means of giving back to a city that we both love and are extremely proud of – our first article was published on 5 December 2005.
After a long bout with cancer Hilton left this world on 5 September 2008 and Alan wrote this tribute after his internment on 12 September 2008:
In The Shade of the Belhambra
Friday the 12th of September was the day that we said goodbye to Hilton Shorrock in a very small private ceremony. Hilton chose to be interred in the shade of a magnificent Belhambra tree within sight of his Mom, Rose and Stepfather Tony’s homestead on the Kariega Game Reserve. To say that I am jealous is an understatement.
The setting is unique and so quintessentially Hilton. Along with Giraffe, Rhino, Wildebeest, Impala, Waterbuck and more roaming the area, the Belhambra (Phytolacca dioica or Ombu, as it is known in South America) forms a distinctive focal point of peace and tranquility, welcoming a weary traveller with shade in the Valley.
Hilton, through actions and words, always made me assess what the actual worth of man and humankind was. As I look back on his varied and interesting life I always start with the image of him sitting in front of me at school in his Grey Blazer and my amazement at his many given names, this, to me was indicative of his uniqueness and a foretaste of coming greatness.
Hilton was always one who had the courage of his convictions, followed through on them, and was always questioning and engaging people in the most positive of ways. His many adventures in the SA Defence Force and the eventual realisation by the SADF that they would be far better off in releasing Hilton from his obligations caused great mirth and respect.
Leaving South Africa, working on a farm in Israel, moving to London and establishing a business there with Michael Rizzo and then giving it all up to travel through India for 17 months in a quest to find his one true spiritual path took courage and conviction that we can only admire. And then, after returning home and eventually finding his spiritual path back here in Port Elizabeth, I was exposed to his gentle insistence that he and I should establish MyPE as a way of giving back to the town that he loved and whose people had given him the true direction.
Very quickly Hilton established himself as an exceptionally gifted Yoga Teacher who provided an oasis of calm and spiritual oneness so essential to Port Elizabethans with stressful lives. His teachings went beyond the mechanics and helped many people to a quieter and more fulfilled life. Quiet humour and the gift of the storyteller ensured that his message of love and understanding spread far and wide.
Hilton once tried to explain his beliefs to me and all that I picked up on was that he viewed himself as not an individual drop in the ocean but an essential part of the ocean and that his passing would not cause him great stress only a sense of achievement and conviction that he would be progressing to a higher sense of being. I always had the sense that Hilton was far more connected with the spiritual world than we would ever know and it felt good. On the morning of his passing (5th September 2008) I had a very vivid dream that essentially involved seeing Hilton enter a public toilet after me, wearing what I can only describe as a black Indian Nappy, entering the urinal area and then turning to me. His appearance was that of a younger Hilton sans the cancerous growth that he referred to as Scrofula. I got the sense that Hilton was telling me that he was now happy and leaving on his journey.
Hilton was fortunate to find his soul mate in his wife, Debbie. Both shared the same beliefs and made the world a better, more loving place. When the time came for Hilton to be confined to his apartment and eventually to his bed, Debbie and Hilton’s Mom, Rose, provided 24 hour care for a period of 5 months. All through this difficult time Hilton would tell me that he was truly blessed to have Debbie and Rose by his side caring for him. This was probably the hardest part of Hilton’s journey as he was slowly reduced to being totally reliant upon Debbie and Rose for his food and cleanliness. His quiet words of comfort to them were humbling to witness. As Waldo said at Hilton’s internment; “Hilton made his riches in heaven, whilst living here on earth”
I learned a lot from Hilton and his appearance in my life came at a time when I needed a calming influence and positive direction – for that I will be eternally grateful. Until we meet again, dear friend.
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