Dr Les Shone

Tribute to Dr Les Shone Thursday November 16th. 2017 at All Souls Church Umhlali.



“ Margie has asked me to say a few words about Les. It is my privilege to  do so

We had occasion to attend the funeral of a highly decorated WW2 fighter pilot

Shortly before his death he handed his wife a letter with instructions to open and read it at his funeral service

She duly did as instructed. The contents of the letter went something like this…

Please do not mourn for me. I would like you to walk outside tonight and look up at the sky and I will be one of the stars shining down on you

Tonight as we look up into the sky we will see you waving back at us Les


I first met Les as first year students at Rhodes University in 1960 and remember Les recalling his first day at St Andrew’s College

After the Headmaster introduced the masters, the Priest uttered a few unintelligible words in Latin and everyone sat down for supper which consisted of a piece of bread and a plate of soup

Les turned to the boy sitting next to him and asked what the Priest had said to which he replied he didn’t know. He then asked the prefect at the head of the table what the Priest said

The prefect replied the Priest said “Benedictus Benedictat”. Les then asked him what that meant to which he replied that he did not know what it meant even though he had sat through

3 meals a day for the last 5 years. Les said that he sat through 3 meals a day for the next 5 years and still didn’t know what it meant!!


Les’s Character


1 Les had the unique ability to make people laugh and feel good about themselves and about life

Proverbs  tells us “He that hath a merry heart hath a continual feast”

Les was always the centre of attraction and people gravitated to him

Probably because Les was always so hilariously funny we all under rated his intellectual ability

Les developed and perfected a computer program on score carding and bench marking. In the early years of computers Les achieved a 98 percentile IQ test.

Les was a regular lecturer at the Dubai Summit for a number of years, a member and chairman of the Senate, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science Degree by the Commonwealth University

Les’s last position was the assistant to the Sheik of Saudi Arabia in their water and electricity facility


2 Courage and determination

Being of small stature like Gary Player Les had to try harder

As punishment for not playing cricket or rugby when he arrived at St Andrew’s College he had to run cross country in the afternoons

After a few months Les began to enjoy the new challenge and at the end of year race ended 4 th place in the senior event

He won the cross country event in Standards 7, 8, 9, and 10!

Les as a school boy also broke the mile record at St Andrew’s College by 1 minute in a time of 4 minutes 28 seconds, a record which still stands, and was only a few seconds off

Roger Bannister’s time when he broke the 4 minute mile


3 Strictly Honest Fair and Just in his dealings with himself and with others

Everyone who came into contact with Les can attest to this… from the Sheik of Saudi Arabia to the security guard at Breton Wood Estate

Les always had a smile and a friendly word for those he met, even those who did the most menial work, and a few shillings tip for petrol and parking attendants!


4 Old Rhodian Distinguished Award 2017

Two months ago I discussed Old Rhodian Distinguished Award with Les and said I would be happy to propose him as in my opinion he would be a worthy recipient of the prestigious Award.

The nomination was approved by the Rhodes University Senate the morning of  Friday November 10 th. 2017. Les blew out his last breath at 10 pm the same day”


I trust you will find this synopsis of some help

Margie all our love be with you at this time of sorrow and may the comfort of the Most High be with you and enfold you


Basil and Reinette Kellar


Last Modified: Wed, 22 Nov 2017 18:01:40 SAST