So many people have provided support for my efforts and writing over so many years that it is not possible to list them, even if I exclude those acknowledged in the text of the proposed forthcoming 72 chapters in these three books. And even if I exclude many colleagues on newspapers and other friends in several countries. However two people must be mentioned, for without them I could not even have begun to plan this project.
Arlene my wife, has encouraged me and protected me from interruptions throughout my recent writing bouts of eight to twelve hours a day for a few thousand days.
And Vanessa Swanepoel, my talented website designer and manager has led me, inch by inch, through a maze of misunderstood digital instructions into a wwworld (sic) where thoughts and memories can be held safely in a wild and enigmatic computer.
Together we disciplined some of my disorganised digital procedures by trying not to take our project too seriously, or assume it could launch perfectly like a new newspaper should.
So here we are. Thanks to a dear wife and an understanding supervisor editorial adviser– and hundreds of long-time helpers unnamed.
Texts that I shall be quoting will be acknowledged where necessary.
Illustrations are problematical, for I have only now discovered their vast and varied presence on the Web, with all their seemingly infinite variety of depicted information.
I have used illustrations which I think are widely available. If I am wrong there is time to make good, and I shall correct any omission of acknowledgement as soon as I am made aware of it.
Others to whom I owe gratitude are sources and friends ranging over decades. People like Ambassador George Trail who led Arlene and me across America on its greatest historical trail. And Wendy and the late Jim Ross, with whom we travelled on several novel explorations across the globe. And James Clarke famed L*E*A*D*E*R of the Tour de Farce, a co-author with me of ‘Laugh the Beloved Country‘ and compiler of The Star’s two books reviewing its 100 year history, and later, South Africa’s first 100 years. He and our colleagues on that newspaper were responsible for the montages of Star headlines and of the Nelson Mandela photos which are used on the cover of On My Watch.
Rex Gibson and ‘Zapiro’ and other colleagues decline acknowledgement, but that does not decrease my indebtedness.
My family and others who have read and endured many of my writings in the past deserve medals for bravery. Where, however, do I stop in listing those whom I owe?
Yet stop I must.
H W T