24 August 2021
As if Covid and our strange new world had not thrown enough curveballs at us all, yet another change is facing us at St Dunstan’s.
In the days when zoom meant to magnify an image or referred to the noise that a toy plane makes, we used to meet at the Pinelands office in the board room for our quarterly board meetings.
Les Masterson would take his usual seat just next to the chairman and quietly participate in every board meeting.
What a wrench it will be, when we do finally return to the board room, to not have Les sitting in his spot, carefully scrutinising every word in the minutes and other documents. With his precise lawyer’s brain, he would pick up the slightest grammatical, spelling or contextual error and have no qualms about stating this fact in his distinctive voice; “Mr Chairman”, he would say, never Brian or Dave, always Mr Chairman…
After a staggering 37 years serving on the Board of St Dunstan’s, Les, sadly, is retiring.
I don’t doubt that he would have stayed on forever, but our mandatory 75-year retirement age put pay to that.
Les’s contribution to St Dunstan’s can only be called incalculable since his natural affable generosity meant that he took on innumerable tasks and favours for the organisation.
Every little matter requiring a legal opinion, or every conveyance issue was undertaken by Les or the firm of Attorneys Pincus Matz, that Les was a partner of, and from whom he has also retired, (although I notice he still goes into the office every day!).
Apart from his very long association with St Dunstan’s, Les also had an even longer association with Cape Town Rifles, affectionately known as the “Dukes” who he served as OC for many years.
This military connection gave him special kudos with our St Dunstan’s beneficiaries who adored spending time with him on our reunions.
Les’s deep compassion and clear thinking throughout his tenure on the Board will be missed most sorely.