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Monday 6 November 2017

The Cape Town Press Club pays tribute to the life of Michael Hamlyn

Michael Hamlyn
Above: Michael Hamlyn, a long time member of the Cape Town Press Club is bid farewell by Donwald Pressly, secretary general of the press club now. This picture was taken at his Press Gallery Association farewell before he retired to Pennsylvania some ten years ago.

Michael Hamlyn wrote his own epitaph. This is what he wrote the day before he died on Facebook:

Here am I dying in a little room with a door opposite that says “fire exit”. It seems serious, so I suppose it is; particularly since my children have gathered around to sob and say goodbye. I’m not wholly certain how we got to this point but apparently I’ve been going downhill since I first announced that I have COPD eleven years ago. COPD is chronic which means it never gets better, obstructive which is obvious, pulmonary means it’s the lungs, an disease means you think it’ll get better but it won’t. Last year I started trailing a long oxygen line which moored me to an oxygen concentrator. I hated it, everyone else hated it and it wasn’t fun. It made me want to kill myself. But now I have been given this sentence of death I don’t need to think about that anymore: the authorities have said they are not going to make me better, they are going to make my passage easier, which I have to suppose is a good thing. So I sit here and wait while my blood thickens up with co2 and eventually overcomes me. There are compensations. It’s good to have my family flying in to say goodbye and it may not be immediate. So. I thought I’d let you have a little note on fb to let you know how it is. Yeah. Ta-ra.

Michael died in Beaver, Pennsylvania, where he had retired from Cape Town about ten years ago.

Angela Quintal, who is now in New York but worked with Michael when he was part of the team of journalists at the press gallery in Parliament in Cape Town, described Michael Hamlyn as a legend. Her favourite story about him was being called to Tuynhuys by President Thabo Mbeki for a rare press conference after Julius Nyerere died. “We waited for ages and when he finally arrived, we heard Michael in his booming voice say: “Hello Stranger!” The press corps was in stitches, but Angela notes that Mbeki was not in the least amused!

Michael was not only a colleague of mine in the press gallery at parliament – we swopped jobs as political correspondents of I-Net Bridge and Business Report at one stage – but he was also an enthusiastic member of the Cape Town Press Club. He was immensely intelligent, interesting and interested man. He worked in London, New York, New Delhi, Johannesburg and, of course, Cape Town before retiring ten years ago with his wife Claire, to Beaver, Pennsylvania, United States. He leaves behind three sons and a daughter and grandchildren – and of course, Claire Hamlyn.

We salute a great life, a reporting legend.

Donwald Pressly, Secretary General of the Cape Town Press Club


Friday 30 June 2017

Attacks on Tim Cohen &Peter Bruce

The Committee of the Cape Town Press Club condemns Thursday's attacks on Peter Bruce and Tim Cohen in the strongest possible terms. The thuggish behaviour they were exposed to simply cannot be tolerated.

We urge Messrs Bruce and Cohen to not let this act of intimidation distract them from their work. As senior and respected members of the fourth estate, they have a right and a duty to speak truth to power.

The Cape Town Press Club and other like-minded organisations will not stand idly by while our profession is sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.

Journalism is not a crime. State Capture is.


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