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Bob Lambert – RIP

Bob Lambert, Life Member of the Comrades Marathon.with Honours

Bob Lambert, Life Member of the Comrades Marathon.with Honours

Bob Lambert – Life Member, Comrades Marathon and Beyond

Comrades Marathon country is richly summer-green now. As is my memory of Bob Lambert.

I knew him mostly as the father of Robin Lambert with whom I have shared a friendship since the first days of our high school.

In those days, before TV and PC,  he had a pub in his house, a recliner chair and a great hi-fi, which he let me buy when he upgraded. He had a formal lounge that we never went into. In the kitchen was a bell with a room number indicator to call the servants for room service. In the guest toilet was a ceramic sign that said “We aim to please, you aim too please.” Bob owned a “speedboat” called Zabadack that allowed us to waterski on Midmar and sink as deep into the water as we would dare.

He set up and ran a clothing business called Smart Set with branches in PMB and Pinetown. He crashed his Jaguar XJ6 driving there. I don’t know why but it worried me.

Bob grew orchids magnificently

He learned to fly small planes and flew my little family and I to Margate to visit Robin who lived near there

Bob served others. He served Rotary. He knew our Headmaster but then again I suppose Headmasters are allowed to have friends.

He was directly involved in the Comrades organisation serving 22 years on its executive committee.

He got things done. He organised a shipload of water from Cape Town, in case needed in a deep drought year in the 1980’s.

He delivered and set up Comrades House and its small museum with the Comrades team.

Comrades Museum

Comrades House

He was one of those who gave to the Comrades in the spirit of the Comrades. Without him and the others like him Comrades wouldn’t be.

When Bob ran the Comrades he asked Robin, my motorcycle (compulsory then) and I, to second him. In the tough miles, Bob went on strong.

When he decided to run for City Council, Bob asked me to run his campaign. I prepared the posters, leaflets and plan. All opposition disappeared. Bob became Councillor. The Ciy Council of PMB then like so many institutions was trapped in its procedures rather that its purpose. Not a place to get things done. Bob didn’t run for office again.

He took me to lunch at the Victoria Club. I saw him in there as the insider who knew how to get n with others and get things done.

In his harder years I got to understand him through Robin as a hardy fighter against his ailments.

He will always be a beacon in my life, a measure of where I am and how I do what I do.

Bob Lambert’s drum beats loud and strong. We can let it roll. And trumpet his rich, full, serving life.