End of an Era


Of course, it was on the cards.  He was a very, very old man who had spent the best years of his life in political prison.   I remember that bright and hopeful day in February, 1990 when Mandela walked out of prison and into the world again.  He brought with him a dignity and poise, the like of which we hardly ever see in this world.   He brought no bitterness through those gates.  Together with F W de Klerk he broke the stranglehold of Apartheid in South Africa for ever.

One day I was walking past the entrance to the Guildhall in London.  I stopped as a big black limousine drove out and paused before entering the traffic.  I looked and then did a double take.  Nelson Mandela was sitting in the back, his face close to the window.  He saw my surprise; he grinned and waved.  Then he was gone.  I didn’t meet him, but he did smile at me.

Tonight in London was the Premier of the film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

He said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

About Bill Hayes

I have a very large sea shell collection; it's too big to keep at home, so I have left the collection scattered on various beaches around the world. Perhaps you've seen some it.
This entry was posted in anc, History, mandela, Politics, south africa, Uncategorized, War & Peace. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to End of an Era

  1. Excellent blog. Good job. Hugs, Brbara

  2. South Africa and the world have seen a light go out. Who will step up next? Hugs, Barbara

  3. Reblogged this on idealisticrebel and commented:
    Homage to Mr. Mandela

  4. Dr. Rex says:

    A great memory to treasure!!!

  5. Dr. Rex says:

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    A simple memory … what a treasure!!

  6. beautifulzorada says:

    Reblogged this on Tattoos and the TARDIS.

  7. prayingforoneday says:


  8. prayingforoneday says:

    Please accept The “Sunshine Award”
    I awarded this to new followers to the Facebook page I made: https://www.facebook.com/groups/332290193580349/
    Please accept.
    Thank you. Shaun

  9. Gator Woman says:

    After Gandhi, Mandela is my second most admired and respected human being.
    The two of them have held my heart for many, many years.
    Our world is a better place because the two of them lived in it~
    Thank you for sharing this.

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