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Bruce Bryden, a tribute

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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by Elsa » Tue May 19, 2009 9:08 pm

Than you Annie B for that wonderful and fitting tribute to your Dad,
and I will indeed raise a glass to him on Friday as we gaze into the park he so loved and spent so much of his life in, Kruger.

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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by Dotty » Tue May 19, 2009 9:11 pm

Wonderful tribute Annie B :clap: :clap:
KUDU's mean Well done and Thank you

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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Tue May 19, 2009 10:24 pm

Great tribute Annie B.

Thank you for celebrating your dad's life with us.
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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Wed May 20, 2009 6:44 am

Thank you Annie B, that was special.

I would like to tell my own Bruce Brydon story so that those on the forum who never met him can get a glimpse of what he was like.

My twin daughters were turning 18. I was really at a loss at what to get them for such a special birthday. When a email arrived offering a spoor tracking course with Bruce Brydon, I was one of the first to jump on. This, I thought was the most perfect gift, one that would last forever.

The day arrived and what followed was a true MM "mis"-adventure.

We had to meet Bruce and the other participants at 2pm sharp at the Hamilton Library. The intructions were explicit that we would be taken to the camp by an official vehicle.

We left J'burg in good time, but we chose the same day as a major truck accident on the main highway. All roads to Witbank were completely closed until the truck could be moved.

My daughters and I sat in gridlocked traffic until 9am. That gave us very little time to get to Kruger on time. We tried desperately to get someone to alert the organisors of our predicament. A very kind lady told us that she would do her best, but she was not sure if anyone at Kruger was in cell phone range.

With a racing heart, MM sped towards her destination. Due to the panic, she completely missed the 80km signs at Belfast. After another compulsory stop and a R1500 traffic ticket, the race went on.

Eventually we reached Nelspruit. Unfortunately, again a turning was missed and we found ourselves on the route to Kruger, but via the airport. The road was busy being upgraded and my poor little Honda Civic was having to do 4x4 tricks. This was without doubt the scenic route.

We eventually arrived at Skukuza, half an hour late, and pulled in at Hamilton Library. By then there were 3 very shaken and stirred females.

I got out of my car and looked around. I did not see a soul who seemed to be looking out for us. After a minute a very tall gentleman sauntered up to me.

"Are you the people from J'burg who were stuck in a traffic jam?", he asked.

I answered, we were.

"Oh dear", he said, "your group left a few minutes ago".

I was about to burst into tears, but then I saw a twinkle in his eyes... he burst out laughing, gave me a hug and asked me if we were ok.. that was Bruce Brydon.

I got to know that twinkle very well over the next few days. He realised that I was a complete guilable novice and would feed me with the most outragious stories.. and then, as I was standing open mouthed, the twinkle would appear and he would start to laugh. I had been taken in again :redface:

To say that this was a trip to remember would be an understatement. It was a turning point in my life as my love for the bush was re-ignited.

Bruce was larger than life. He kept us spell bound as he introduced the bush into our lives. He was a story teller of note and his intelligent understanding of many aspects of the bush and Kruger was greatly appreciated.

At the completion of our weekend, I felt that I had met a giant, someone who had lived life to the full.
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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by Senyetse » Wed May 20, 2009 7:28 am

I remember reading Bruce's Master of Science dissertation on leopards (IIRC) whilst studying. I unfortunately never got to meet Bruce but he sounds like what I would imagine a true KNP ranger to be. He will live on forever in his work and his family.

I will also be raising one on Friday (in the bush but unfortunately not in a SANPark) to one who lived a great and full life.
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal

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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by Charles D » Wed May 20, 2009 7:46 am

Thanks for the moving tribute Annie B

As the husband of one of Bruce's cousins, now living in Australia, I've known Bruce for 26 years and was extremely fond of the guy. Although I could only manage one Castle dumpy to every quart of his, and my career revolves around suits and cities versus his in the great outdoors, we forged a great bond through sharing a similar sense of humour and love of a good joke, whether it be a practical one or a clever story.

He was an icon in the family, always hale & hearty and it seemed like he would always be there. We cannot believe that he is gone. Our standard greeting became an authentic "Bogom", as in the call of a baboon (his more accurate than mine!), and it was always the first word uttered between us to start any conversation, whether it be on the phone or in person. He gave us some fantastic holidays in the Park and always went out of his way to ensure that we had a great time. We'll miss him so much. Fortunately, I know where to buy a Castle in Sydney and will be raising it to Bruce on Friday (also our daughter's birthday) and shouting "Bogom" one last time.

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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by DotDan » Wed May 20, 2009 8:57 am

Annie you should be very proud of your father... the testiment in his success as a man, father and a husband is in the responses you are recieving in here or in your own personal capacity.

I have great respect for your father and his book touched each and every Kruger fan in some way or another.

The pain will never get better Annie, only easier to handle.

Tjorts, Bruce jou yster.

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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by stickinsect » Wed May 20, 2009 9:58 am

Dear Annie B and family

So sorry to hear about your dad many of us did not have the privilege of knowing him personally be we certainly knew of him and he was very widely respected. In time you will enjoy your wonderful memories of him. They and time are what will help to heal your heart ache.

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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by ndloti » Wed May 20, 2009 3:25 pm

I have read Bruce Brydens book as well as descriptions of his involvement in lion research in a another book by Dr G L Smuts titled "Lion" , and yes , some of the character traits mentioned previously in this thread are echoed in the book describing incidents more than 30 years ago .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by Jan Kriel » Wed May 20, 2009 6:35 pm


From many a SANParks guide, trails ranger who have had the privilege to go through your hands in training, it was sweat and tears, but all more worth the while. We have been taught by the MAN. You have made our dreams come true and showed us the way how to keep our guests safe and give them the experience you wanted them to have as if you took them out.
Your training will always be with us when we are out in the bush with guests or need to use a rifle in a dangerous situation. We could never have asked for a better mentor and we would not have wanted anybody else.
I take my hat off to a legend that will always be with us in spirit.
To Robby and the Bryden family, my condolences.

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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed May 20, 2009 7:46 pm

- Dalene

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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by matthew » Wed May 20, 2009 9:52 pm

Truly very sad indeed!

Strength to the family.
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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by Loams » Thu May 21, 2009 10:37 am

What a tragic loss. Annie, my sincere condolences to you and your family. Thank you for allowing us a small glimpse into the soul of an absolute legend.

I am in the unfortunate situation where I have never met Bruce, but I have read some of his work. He was nothing short of a phenomenal man, and clearly a great father. Just for that he deserves many accolades, but to top it off, he was a mentor, teacher and custodian of nature, something that very few of us would be able to manage.

I don't drink Castle, in fact I hate it. Come Friday 18:00 Myself, Wild@Heart and Matt will be having one at my place.
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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by judestevens » Thu May 21, 2009 1:02 pm

Here's to the boat racing days, my dear friend. I'll toast you tomorrow. I am going to miss you. And about not pitching up....well, we'll celebrate next round. Cheers.

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Re: Bruce Bryden, a tribute

Unread post by michel367 » Thu May 21, 2009 5:40 pm

Im Memoriam:

He wore unwittingly bloodshot eyes,
His face was alluring to fish,
a friend envied his fortune:
mountains, rivers, and lakes.
Adrifting his sorrows though
anguish was temporary but still...
Looking up the rainbow:
The clouds made choices!
He stood like a gypsy in the rain
while trekking alone
his madly imaginings:
thinking unfortunate
than paupers or blinds.
He walled his pains with
the menu of understanding:
he saw his unfounded fear;
He smiled and walked away
from me racing the doldrums
while asking, 'Where am I to go? '

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