In Memory

Nigel Button

I am sorry to report the death of our classmate Nigel Button, on November 24, 2021.  I did not know Nigel very well at school, so I asked Tony Daymond and Don Allaway for some comments on Nigel, which are set out below.

Tony Daymond:

I knew Nigel in the very early days of Sheffield beach where we had a shack with no electricity or water.  The Buttons owned a huge tract of land on the beach.  Chris McNab later purchased a plot from Nigel and built his magnificent home there.

Every evening Mr Button senior and little Nigel would walk their herd of dogs along the beach.

One evening we {Ant Hacker and Bryan Tuck} emerged from the ocean in front of the Button home with bags of crayfish and wearing DHS rugger jerseys .Mr Button senior raised his stick to bring us closer. He then explained that we had poached HIS Crayfish as the Admiralty had granted special permission on the title deeds for the property to extend into the ocean. I can remember Nigel thinking oh s….t these guys are going to give me hell on Monday. We gave Mr Button a couple of Crays and headed off.

Don Allaway:

Nigel Button was a jolly and friendly person who came to DHS after a stint a Michaelhouse where I understand he was not happy as a boarder. His father was a founding partner of Halsey Button & Perry which later merged with Compton & Horne in Durban to become what is now the KZN branch of Deloitte. They lived in Essenwood Rd (near Marriot Rd) and his sister, Kitty, threw some memorable parties.

According to his friend, Rob Visick, who wrote about him in the Class of 64 website, Nigel and he both lived in Ballito Bay with their families for many years and, when Rob arranged lunches for school friends in Ballito, Nigel always made a point of showing up barefoot but with DHS rugby socks and boots painted onto his legs and feet. At the final lunch he attended his wife brought him, similarly equipped, in a wheelchair.

Nigel, a character if ever there was until his last breath, is survived by his loving wife and children.

Here are the comments of Rob Visick that Don refers to (which are printed from the Class of 1964 website with thanks to Rob – I am sure he will not mind me using them):

I’m not sure when Nigel moved to the Ballito area, but I first met him when we came back from Australia in 2004. (He finished DHS a year before me although we started together in 1960 !!!!)

Over the following years I bumped into him frequently at the various watering holes we both used to frequent.  He was quiet spoken and loved pinning you down and going into great detail of his latest travels.

One thing about Nigel is that he never, and I mean never, wore shoes.  He always attended the Traditional Schools luncheon that I for my sins convene once a year at the Salt Rock Hotel.  He would arrive in full DHS uniform but on his feet were painted rugby socks and a pair of Adidas rugby boots.  This of course was enjoyed by all who attended – some 140 chaps from the nine schools who participated.  For the last number of years, he was wheelchair bound due to infections in his legs, more so the left one which had been operated on many times and should have been amputated.

This year’s Luncheon was held on the 29th  of August which he attended but not with painted socks and shoes but an pair of DHS rugby socks.  His wife used to bring him to a pub/restaurant every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for his usual two or three beers.

A private ceremony was held last week and a few of us have been invited to share a few beers and memories with his family next week.

RIP Nigel, you will be missed.

Posted by Stuart “Mossie” Clark

December 11, 2021