As more credit unions focus on the member experience, many are finding that measuring internal service is a critical building block to help ensure that exceptional member service is delivered consistently. For the past several years, Member Loyalty Group has been publishing an internal service benchmark based upon the results of our credit union participants.Participants in our Internal Service Survey Program, which incorporates the concept of member-facing loyalty scores, are focused on enhancing the effectiveness of employee interactions in order to create a member-centric culture. They receive data specific to their credit union along with the overall industry benchmark to help drive immediate and long-term initiatives aimed at making positive change by leveraging the organization’s strengths.As the chart below shows, our most recent benchmark reported that the industry’s overall average Internal Net Promoter Score® increased to 71.37 compared to the Fall 2015 score of 70.46.When the Internal Service Survey benchmark began in Fall 2013, the average Internal NPS was only 58.32. Since that time, the benchmark average has increased at a rapid rate.The increases are being driven by the strong performance of the participants over time. In this recent benchmark, 75% of the credit unions experienced increases from their previous benchmark score.Through our conversations with credit unions experiencing increases, many comment on the focus and dedication of their internal teams around the feedback being received. Their teams are making various changes to better serve the organization.For some teams, it’s as simple as putting a plan in place to answer the phone by a certain ring. For other teams, it may be undertaking extensive cross training initiatives so all team members are knowledgeable in key areas. Either way, these improvements are making a significant difference in their credit unions.Learn moreLearn more about Member Loyalty Group’s Internal Service Survey and overall Member Experience programs by visiting www.memberloyaltygroup.com or contacting us at [email protected] 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jake Foreman Before joining Member Loyalty Group, Jake served as Member Experience Analyst for Idaho Central Credit Union where he managed their Net Promoter program. Jake’s passion for the Net Promoter … Web: www.memberloyaltygroup.com Details
Cranes in final training for Lesotho match. PHOTO @OfficialFUFATotal AFCON Qualifiers 2019 Uganda ?? vs Lesotho ??Saturday 13th October 2018Time: 4pm at Mandela National Stadium, NambooleCharges: 15,000/- (ordinary Tickets), 40,000/= (VIP), 150,000/= (VVIP)Kampala, Uganda | FUFA.CO.UG | The stage is set at the historic Mandela National Stadium as the mighty Uganda Cranes host Lesotho national football team, popularly known as Likuena (The Crocodiles) at 4pm on Saturday.Uganda Cranes will proudly don the newly designed jersey, manufactured by kits company Mafro for the first time.This is the first leg of 2019 Total African Cup of Nations (AFCON) group L qualifier for the double header whose return leg will take place in Maseru on Tuesday, 16th October 2018.Owing to the level of preparations since the Uganda Cranes kicked off their preparations with their non residential preparations for the home based players last week, the writing has been well scripted on the wall, the home team is ready.Individual players led by the captain Denis Onyango have doubled their efforts in training sessions with sheer determination and commitment as they all eye maximum points.“We are determined to give our best for the game. We need maximum points out of this game this Saturday. Lesotho is not a small team like many people think. Therefore, we have to work hard and collectively as a team” Onyango disclosed to the media in the pre-match press conference held at Namboole on Friday morning. Desabre aims for 200%The head coach Sebastien Desabre and the rest of his technical team have done a tremendous task to assemble a formidable team and prepare the players mentally and physically.Desabre says the team is prepared 200 percent for the double header starting with the first leg at Namboole.“We have spoken to the players, trained well and they are prepared physically and mentally. The players know the importance of this match. We shall work hard to get the home win which will be a stepping stone to the return leg on Tuesday” Desabre told the media at the pre-match press conference.Apart from Murushid Jjuuko, all the 23 other players in the camp at the Kabira Country Club in Bukoto will be available for selection.Jjuuko is suspended after getting two cautions but will be available for the return leg when the team travels.Uganda Cranes maintain their grip at the summit of group L with four points off two matches. Tanzania and Lesotho have four points while Cape Verde has one point.Museveni boostEarly in the week, the team got a big boost when they were hosted by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at State House Entebbe at a function he organized to celebrate the 56th Independence Day.In a jovial mood, the President discussed football matters with the contingent before he announced his offer of a chartered flight to fly the Cranes to Maseru for the reverse fixture against Lesotho to be played on Tuesday 16th October, 2018.President Museveni also offered the Uganda Cranes contingent to State House a financial boost of UGX 200M (Two Hundred Million Shillings).‘The support from the President is a sign that he follows and loves sports. Football has been picking good results partly because of such support from the fountain of honour and office of Education and Sports. This offer will help the team fly in time to Maseru for the game’ said Mugisha.Uganda players in camp:Goalkeepers: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundown, South Africa), Jamal Salim (El Meriekh, Sudan), Charles Lukwago (KCCA FC, Uganda)Defenders: Isaac Isinde (Kirinya Jinja SS, Uganda), Timothy Denis Awanyi (KCCA FC, Uganda), Denis Iguma (Kazma FC, Kuwait), Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam FC, Tanzania), Godfrey Walusimbi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa) FC, Isaac Muleme (Haras El Hodood, Egypt), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Hassan Wasswa (El Geish, Egypt)Midfielders: Khalid Aucho (Church Hill Brothers, India), Ibrahim Sadam Juma (KCCA FC, Uganda), Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers SC, Uganda), Allan Kateregga (Cape Town City, South Africa), Faruku Miya (Gorica, Croatia ), Moses Waisswa (Vipers Sc, Uganda), Milton Karisa (MC Oujda, Morocco), Allan Kyambadde (KCCA, Uganda)Forwards: Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Simba, Tanzania), Edrisa Lubega (SV Ried, Austria), Derrick Nsibambi (Smouha, Egypt), Patrick Kaddu (KCCA FC, Uganda)Suspended: Murushid Juuko (Simba SC, Tanzania)Match Officials:Center Referee: Amin Mohamed Omar (Egypt)1st Assistant Referee: Samir Gamal Saad (Egypt2nd Assistant Referee: Mahmoud El Regal (EgyptCollated Africa Cup of Nations qualifying results Friday:Group LAt PraiaCape Verde 3 (Gomes 16, 23, Tavares 85) Tanzania 0StandingsUganda 2 1 1 0 1 0 4C. Verde 3 1 1 1 4 2 4Lesotho 2 0 2 0 2 2 2Tanzania 3 0 2 1 1 4 2FixturesSaturday: Uganda v LesothoTuesday: Tanzania v Cape Verde, Lesotho v UgandaGroup BAt YaoundeCameroon 1 (Choupo-Moting 63) Malawi 0Standings (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points)Cameroon 3 2 1 0 3 1 7Morocco 2 1 0 1 3 1 3Malawi 3 1 0 2 1 4 3Comoros 2 0 1 1 1 2 1FixturesSaturday: Morocco v ComorosTuesday: Comoros v Morocco, Malawi v CameroonGroup CAt LibrevilleGabon 3 (Bouanga 28, Appidangoye 59, Martin 88-og) South Sudan 0At BamakoMali 0 Burundi 0StandingsMali 3 2 1 0 5 1 7 Note: group winners and runners-up secure places at finals except for Group B, where 2019 Cup of Nations hosts Cameroon and the highest placed of the other three teams qualify Burundi 3 1 2 0 4 1 5Gabon 3 1 1 1 5 3 4S. Sudan 3 0 0 3 0 9 0FixturesTuesday: Burundi v Mali, South Sudan v GabonGroup DAt LomeTogo 1 (Denkey 84) Gambia 1 (Ceesay 7)At Blida, AlgeriaAlgeria 2 (Bensebaini 21, Bounedjah 75) Benin 0StandingsAlgeria 3 2 1 0 4 1 7Benin 3 1 1 1 1 2 4Gambia 3 0 2 1 2 3 2Togo 3 0 2 1 1 2 2FixturesTuesday: Benin v Algeria, Gambia v TogoGroup HAt ConakryGuinea 2 (Kamano 36-pen, Cisse 73) Rwanda 0At Bouake, Ivory CoastIvory Coast 4 (Kodjia 25, Bailly 52, Doukoure 57, Cornet 74) Central African Republic 0StandingsGuinea 3 3 0 0 6 2 9I. Coast 3 2 0 1 8 4 6C.A.R. 3 1 0 2 2 6 3Rwanda 3 0 0 3 2 6 0FixturesTuesday: Rwanda v Guinea, C.A.R. v Ivory CoastGroup IAt LuandaAngola 4 (Da Costa 12-pen, 16, Campos 52, Gelson 80) Mauritania 1 (Hacen 3)StandingsAngola 3 2 0 1 6 4 6Mauritania 3 2 0 1 4 4 6B. Faso 2 1 0 1 3 3 3Botswana 2 0 0 2 0 2 0FixturesSaturday: Burkina Faso v BotswanaTuesday: Mauritania v Angola, Botswana v Burkina FasoGroup JAt CairoEgypt 4 (Elmohamady 4, Warda 10, Hassan 29, Salah 45) eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) 1 (Gamedze 85)StandingsTunisia 2 2 0 0 3 0 6Egypt 3 2 0 1 10 2 6eSwatini 3 0 1 2 1 6 1Niger 2 0 1 1 0 6 1FixturesSaturday: Tunisia v NigerTuesday: eSwatini v Egypt, Niger v Tunisia Share on: WhatsApp
3 Dec 2012 Georgia Hall shortlisted for Young Sports Personality of the Year England’s Georgia Hall – the European number one – has been shortlisted for the 2012 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award. The 16-year-old from Remedy Oak in Dorset follows in the footsteps of another England golfer, Lauren Taylor of Woburn, who went on to win the 2011 award. Other past winners include Tom Daley in 2007, 2009 and 2010 and Wayne Rooney in 2002. Georgia’s nomination comes at the end of a superb year for the international, who is the British girls’ champion. She is Europe’s number one woman golfer – reflecting her fourth place in the world rankings – and she won the England Golf girls’ order of merit, sponsored by Lorrin Golf. Georgia’s challengers for the BBC award include the swimmers Jessica-Jane Applegate and Josef Craig who both won Paralympic gold medals. The shortlist of 10 was drawn up from nominations made by a panel of judges chaired by BBC Sport’s John Inverdale. Those nominated had to be aged 16 or under on 1 January 2012. As well as compiling the shortlist, the panel choose their top three and their winner by secret ballot. The top three will be announced mid-December and the winner will be announced live at BBC Sports Personality of the Year, taking place at ExCel in London on Sunday, 16 December. Lauren Taylor won last year’s award after she became the youngest-ever winner of the British women’s championship, at the age of 16. Image © Leaderboard Photography
LITTLE SILVER – The Red Bank Regional High School, through its education foundation, has observed a warm tradition for the past 10 years of honoring its most distinguished alumni.The honor includes an invitation to visit the high school where they tour the facility with our principal and meet the faculty and students. The tour culminates in a special reception for the honorees when students celebrate their lives in prose composed from submitted biographies.A special luncheon also will be held in their honor. Diners and their guests will be serenaded by the VPA instrumental student majors.The 20012-2013 school year’s program will take place on Friday, April 26.Nearly 100 individuals already have received the honor including, successful business men and women, philanthropic community members, long-standing public servants, community leaders, exceptional Red Bank Regional educators and tireless volunteers. Their names are inscribed on a plaque hanging near the school’s entrance for posterity.The nomination for the honor has come to school officials primarily by word-of-mouth through networking among foundation committee members.School officials are hoping that members of the community may know of someone truly worthy of the honor and may choose to nominate that person for distinguished alumni consideration.The criteria for submission is that the nominee graduated from Red Bank Regional High School (RBR) at least 15 years ago or from its predecessor, Red Bank High School, which was located at the current Red Bank Middle School property. Nominees should be role models to young people and have distinguished themselves in their careers (making some unique contribution) and served the communities in which they live with honor and significant commitment.With a rich history that dates back to 1906 there are potentially many distinguished alumni to honor. Officials hope the public will aid in the endeavor.All nominations should be sent by the Jan. 4 deadline to the special assistant to the superintendent, Debbie Orrigo, by e-mailing [email protected], calling 732-842-8000, Ext. 1240, or writing to the Red Bank Regional School District, 101 Ridge Road, Little Silver NJ 07739, attention of Ms. Orrigo.If possible, please include contact information for the nominee, including address, phone number, and e-mail address.
The future looks so bright for Nelson’s Reece Hunt that this elite female hockey player had better zip down to the nearest sunglass outlet to pick up a nice pair of shades.Hunt, who has been burning up the BC Hockey Female Midget AAA Hockey League with the Kootenay Wild this season, recently accepted a full-ride scholarship to NCAA Division I Bemidji State University in Minnesota beginning in 2019-20.“Bemidji is a great school so I was really excited,” Hunt told The Nelson Daily recently.“(Getting a hockey scholarship) has been my goal for some time.”Hunt will have a few more years to refine her skills as the Nelson resident is only in Grade 10.However, this season has been one for the archives for the Nelson Minor Hockey grad.In the fall of 2016, the 5’5” sniper was part of Team BC’s bronze medal squad at the at the National Women’s U18 Championship in Regina.The win tied the best ever finish at the tournament for a Team BC squad.Then it was on to the BC Female Midget AAA Hockey League where Hunt led the Wild in points, putting up impressive numbers to finish tied for second in league scoring with 16 goals and 15 assists in 29 games.However, the capper, ruling out of course the Wild win the BC Female title, would be inking a letter of intent with the Bemidji Beavers Women’s Team.“Bemidj has a great hockey program and good history in men’s and women’s hockey,” Hunt explained.“They have excellent coaches and facilities and also have brought in lots of really good players for next year and the year after.” Hunt said the nice “small town” setting at Bemidj also played into her decision.“People told me that I would know which one was the perfect fit me and this was the one,” she said.Now that the future has been settled, it’s back to the rink for Hunt and Company.The Wild, which have drastically improved this season, advanced in the BC Hockey Female Midget AAA Hockey League playoff last weekend in Trail by sweeping past Vancouver Island Seals 2-0.Hunt scored twice while adding an assist during the 4-1 opening win.She then collected an assist in the series clinching 3-2 win as Kelsey Patterson scored twice for the Wild.“We have a great team of defence, forwards and goalies as well as great coaches so has been a lot of fun,” said Hunt as the Wild now travel to Coquitlam this weekend to face the Greater Vancouver Comets.“I had the opportunity to play a little last year which made the season easier as a rookie.”Hunt said also being part of the Academy in Trail has allow the sister of American Hockey League Springfield Thunderbirds rookie Dryden Hunt and Nelson Leafs captain Sawyer Hunt to improve her skills as she combines education and hockey on a daily schedule.“This has been an awesome year all around and has been a lot of fun.”Once the Female League has concluded, Hunt will once again shoot for a spot on the BC Under 18 Team as tryouts commence in the spring.Best grab a pair of shades en route to the tryouts on Vancouver Island.“I will work hard to try and make the team again,” she said.“Last year as an underage was such a good learning experience so excited for this year if I make the team.”Will that be Oakley, Ray-Ban or Gucci?
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Justice MalalaFind out more about using MediaClubSouthAfrica.com materialEveryone seems to have a Confederations Cup story to tell since the spectacular opening ceremony on June 14. Here is mine.It isn’t really a Confed story, as it happened weeks before the actual tournament. But I hope it will, in its own small way, illuminate the football matches and the festivities.My wife and I went out for dinner a few weeks ago. We ended up eating at the Troyeville Hotel, a shambling but charming hotel in Kensington, just east of Johannesburg. It serves brilliant rustic Portuguese cuisine and very cold beer. The bar is unusual and fun, with an eclectic crowd. But that is not the point of the story.On leaving the hotel we followed our usual route home. But it was unusual in one way: there were building works everywhere. The Troyeville Hotel sits right behind the Ellis Park and the Johannesburg Stadium.Already among the best stadiums in South Africa, both have now been refurbished so extensively they are hardly recognisable. They look and feel like international institutions – huge, glitzy, sleek and modern.We made our way through the warren of roads that encircle Ellis Park, just below the notorious Hillbrow flatland area and Bertrams. The roads were narrowed down, with massive ditches on either side due to digging and other roadworks. As we pushed along and emerged on the Hillbrow side, near the towering cone-shaped building called Ponte City, crowned with its massive neon Vodacom advert, we realised we could not turn left onto the motorway and on home.The road was closed due to road works.We inched along into the heart of Hillbrow. Now, Hillbrow became renowned the world over for violence, drugs and other crimes in the 1990s as its buildings – formerly reserved for whites only – started to accommodate blacks. It became known as the epicenter of Johannesburg’s tragic descent into crime.I know Hillbrow. I lived right in the centre of the Hillbrow flatland – at the Highpoint building – when I first moved to Johannesburg to start a job as a journalist at the Star newspaper in the very early 1990s.I watched as Hillbrow became overrun by dirt and grime and as it nearly collapsed under the burden of maladministration and failure to deal with its myriad problems. However, there have been spectacular new developments over the past few years.Young entrepreneurs started moving in and buying old buildings and renovating them. A new breed of tenant – professional and dedicated to the neighbourhood – can be seen in many parts of the flatlands.Plus, authorities came to the party. Parks, roads and all sorts of other public facilities are constantly being done up.But back to my journey. As we inched along the dark road I realised that the neighbourhood whose streets I had walked so long ago is being transformed. There were road works all over. New, glitzy, shiny bus stops to accommodate the new bus rapid transit system were being built. They were gorgeous, and in design and structure reminded me of the London underground stations.Then we turned up into the heart of Hillbrow. The works I had noticed continued on until we reached one of my favourite sites in this town: the Old Fort building, now known as Constitution Hill, the seat of the highest court in the land.Then on into Braamfontein and around the Civic Centre. Here too the roads were narrowed as the building work continued. The whole thing was astounding.The truth is that many parts of South Africa today mirror what I saw in Hillbrow that dark night. The country is a building site. The N1 route from Johannesburg to Pretoria is clogged – and makes many motorists angry – because the three-lane highway is being widened to make more lanes and accommodate more cars. I was in Cape Town recently and the whole Sea Point area is being transformed by the Green Point Stadium, one of the venues for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.As I write this piece, new GDP figures are out and we are staring recession in the face. Yet one looks at all this work – plus the R787-billion (US$97.9-billion) that is still to be spent by government on infrastructure development – and it becomes clear that, like many parts of the world, economically we are be in a bad state. But we could have been in a far worse state.The 2010 World Cup and all the associated activity around our roads, buildings and other infrastructure are probably the single most important factor for our economy as the global economic meltdown bites. The stimulus brought on by this spending means we will not be as affected as many of our neighbours and will most likely recover far faster than many economies across the globe.From an economic perspective, the southern tip of Africa looks like the best place to be as the world faces its most turbulent economic times in decades. And it is all there for us to see: men and women in blue overalls building a country, brick by brick.Justice Malala is an award-winning former newspaper editor, and is now general manager of Avusa’s stable of 56 magazines. He writes weekly columns for The Times newspaper and Financial Mail magazine, as well as a monthly media and politics column for Empire magazine. He is the resident political analyst for independent television channel e.tv and has consulted extensively for financial institutions on South African political risk. Malala was also an executive producer on Hard Copy I and II, a ground-breaking television series on SABC 3. Hard Copy I won the Golden Horn Award for best television series. Malala’s work has been published internationally in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Financial Times, The Independent, Forbes, Institutional Investor, The Age and The Observer.
“Introducing direct flights between China and South Africa will promote tourism and trade, not only to South Africa, but also to all the Southern African Development Community and other African countries,” said Mzimela. Star Alliance partner “SAA is most pleased to introduce non-stop flights to Beijing, China,” said airline chief executive Siza Mzimela in a statement this week. “This new route is in line with SAA’s strategy to expand its network to Asia, the fastest growing market in the world.” China and South Africa established a comprehensive strategic partnership in August last year, entering into bilateral agreements for cooperation on in infrastructure construction, transportation, water resources utilisation, housing, health and education. The inaugural flight is scheduled to leave Johannesburg’ OR Tambo International Airport on 31 January 2012, and is set to arrive in Beijing on 1 February. Travellers can already book for the flights through the SAA website and travel agents. “Air China will also be code-sharing on the flight between Johannesburg and Beijing. SAA in turn will code share with Air China to and from Shanghai, with further destinations in China to follow in the near future,” the statement added. SAA will operate the route non-stop three times a week with its Airbus A340-600 long-haul aircraft, while flyers will be able to make use of the Air China Lounges in Beijing. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material “South Africa and neighbouring destinations such as Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe are already popular destinations for Chinese tourists.” The introduction of non-stop flights between the two destinations promises to facilitate business and leisure travel between the two countries. There are three terminals at the airport and SAA will operate in and out of terminal three, which is also the designated terminal for Star Alliance partners. SAA’s operations at the Beijing airport will be handled by Air China, which like SAA, also belongs to the Star Alliance. Beijing Capital International Airport is the main international airport serving Beijing, and is one of the busiest airports in the world. It is located 32 kilometres northeast of Beijing’s city centre. Comprehensive strategic partnership South African Airways (SAA) will start flying non-stop from Johannesburg to Beijing, China, from January next year, in line with the carrier’s strategy to expand its network to Asia. 19 December 2011
Les Brodrick as a young Royal Air Force officer before his capture by the Nazis.The prison camp Stalag Luft III in German Silesia was built specifically to hold captured Allied airforce officers. In March 1944, 76 airmen daringly escaped from the camp after digging under the fences.The tunnel code-named Harry was shored up with stolen bed boards, had a railway track and carts for removing soil, and was ventilated with pipes made from milk-powder cans.A diagram showing the extent of tunnel Harry, running over 100 metres from under Hut 104 through the camp and out under the perimeter.(Images: Imperial War Museum)RELATED ARTICLES • SAAF: working in war and peace • Two centuries of South African military history • South African puppet company wins a Tony • Carrying the hopes of a nation • The history of South AfricaMary AlexanderHe survived being shot down over France, internment in a Nazi prison camp, escape, recapture, Hitler’s ordered mass murder of his comrades, the Long March to escape the advancing Soviet army – and a freak tsunami back home. Flight Lieutenant Les Brodrick, the last South African to make the legendary Great Escape of the Second World War, its “forgotten hero”, died peacefully in KwaZulu-Natal on 8 April. He was 91.On the night of 24 March 1944, 76 British officers imprisoned at the Nazi camp Stalag Luft III crawled to freedom through a 102-metre tunnel secretly excavated for nearly a year, over eight metres underground. On a moonless night during the coldest German winter in 30 years, Brodrick was the 52nd prisoner of war to emerge and scamper through the snow to hide in the nearby forest. The breakout was made famous by the classic 1953 film The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen.Brodrick was born in south London on 19 May 1921. After the war he and his family emigrated to South Africa where he lived, working as an English teacher, for almost 60 years.At the age of 22 Brodrick was a pilot for the British Royal Air Force (RAF), running bombing raids over Germany and occupied Europe. In April 1943 his Lancaster bomber was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Stuttgart and, his plane limping back to the UK, hit again over occupied France. The plane crash-landed into a field near Amiens, killing four of the seven-man crew.Air officers’ prison campBrodrick was quickly captured and taken to Stalag Luft III prison camp in the German province of Lower Silesia, today part of southeastern Poland. There he soon became deeply involved in an ambitious, long-term escape project organised by another South African, the heroic but tragic RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bushell.Brodrick was imprisoned in a smaller compound of the larger prison camp, built specifically for British airforce officers. It also held captured airmen from Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Poland, France, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand – and South Africa. In its entirety, the vast camp covered 24 hectares and kept nearly 11 000 prisoners. And it was designed to keep those prisoners inside.Stalag Luft III was intentionally built on unstable, sandy soil difficult to tunnel through without the risk of collapse. Tunnelling was one of the few successful ways to escape prisoner-of-war camps, to get under the machine-gun watchtowers, electric fences, barbed wire and patrolling sentries. And a tunnel could free far more men than a dangerous dash through a prison fence.Useful too for preventing escape was the sand’s bright yellow colour, which made secretly disposing excavated tunnel soil difficult on the asphalt grey of the prison grounds. The Germans also embedded microphones into the ground to pick up any sound of digging. At 8.5 metres underground, the height of five tall men, the Great Escape tunnel was dug deep to escape detection.Soon after he arrived in the camp, Brodrick was recruited into the north compound’s escape committee, known in prisoner code as X-Committee. The secret group was put together by Roger Bushell who, as its mastermind, was given the code name Big X.The escape expertBushell, born in Springs east of Johannesburg and educated in the UK, was already a veteran of two bold escapes from Nazi camps. One required hiding in a goat pen, prostrate in the animal’s faeces, waiting for guards to move on. In the second he sawed through the floor boards of a moving prison train to drop between churning wheels onto the tracks below.Bushell was recaptured after both escapes. The second saw him fall into the hands of the Gestapo Nazi secret police, who in all likelihood tortured him, although he would never talk about it. Most accounts say he arrived at Stalag Luft III with a deep hatred of all Germans, and determined to make one, final and grand escape.It’s also said that around the time he began planning the Great Escape, Bushell received a letter from his fiancée telling him she was to marry another man. He’d been imprisoned or on the run for three years.In the German spring of 1943 Bushell put together an ambitious plan to dig not one, but three tunnels under and out of Stalag. His thinking was that, if one were discovered, the Nazi guards would find it inconceivable that more tunnels were still in progress. That would give them time to dig at least one robustly fortified and engineered tunnel – large and well-planned enough to allow more than 200 men to escape.In the British way, the tunnels were given the code names Tom, Dick and Harry.According to Australian journalist Paul Brickhill, a fellow prisoner who wrote a book about the escape after the war, when Bushell announced his plan to the X-Committee they were shocked at its extravagance. Bushell apparently roused them with these words:“Everyone here in this room is living on borrowed time. By rights we should all be dead.“In north compound we are concentrating our efforts on completing and escaping through one master tunnel. No private-enterprise tunnels allowed. Three bloody deep, bloody long tunnels will be dug – Tom, Dick and Harry. One will succeed.”Tom, Dick and HarryAs the plans progressed, Les Brodrick’s responsibility was as a “trapfuhrer”, guarding the secret entrance to Dick. Access to the tunnel was hidden under a drain in a washroom. Brodrick would open it for the diggers to enter, close it and then keep watch for guards as his comrades tunnelled underground.It was perhaps because it was an officers-only camp, filled with men with the benefit of an education, that the Great Escape’s tunnelling plans were both ambitious and ingenious. To prevent the easy collapse of the camp’s sandy yellow soil, wooden boards supporting prisoners’ bunk-bed mattresses were secretly filched to shore up the tunnel walls. Before the operation, every bed in the compound had 20 boards. At its end, they had an average of eight, and 90 double bunk-beds had vanished.The X-Committee came up with inventive ways of disposing of the yellow tunnel soil in the grounds of the camp, raking it to gardens and dumping it in the basement of the compound’s theatre. Prisoners would shuffle around with sand stuffed in long thin bags in their trousers, slowly dribbling the load onto the ground as they walked with a gait that gave them the nickname “penguins”.To get air into the tunnels, ventilation ducts were snaked together using empty cans of Klim, a milk powder provided by the Red Cross. The cans’ metal was also used to make small digging tools and candle holders. Underground candles were made by stealthily scooping fat off soup served in the mess hall, saving it in small tins, and lighting it with wicks made from the threads of old clothes.Tunnel Tom was the first to go. Bushell had decided to give the tunnel priority, but the extra activity triggered the underground microphones. The camp was searched, and in September 1943 the entrance to Tom was discovered and destroyed with explosives. It was the 98th escape tunnel found in the camp since the beginning of the war.The Germans were happy with their success, and their vigilance dropped. Bushell had been right: a German-speaking prisoner overheard guards saying that if such an enormous and well-constructed tunnel had been discovered and destroyed, there couldn’t possibly be another underway.Soon after, work on Brodrick’s tunnel Dick was stopped when the Germans began building a new prison compound over its planned exit. But the tunnel wasn’t abandoned: it continued to be a useful hiding place for wooden bed-boards and other filched material needed for the ongoing construction of the remaining tunnel, Harry.In March 1944 Harry was complete, and still undiscovered. It was an amazing piece of engineering for an entirely secret project. The tunnel was 102 metres long, dug 8.5 metres underground, and had electric light, a ventilation system and a railway track with carts for removing the soil.After the escape the Germans inventoried camp equipment and, from the amount of material missing, discovered the huge scale of the tunnel-construction project. Other than the 4 000 bed-boards and 90 bunk beds, the escape crew had stolen 192 bed covers, 161 pillow cases, 62 tables, 34 chairs, 76 benches, 1 212 bed bolsters, 1 370 beading battens, 1 219 knives, 478 spoons, 582 forks, 69 lamps, 246 water cans, 30 spades, 300 metres of electric wire, 180 metres of rope, 3 424 towels, 1 700 blankets – and more than 1 400 Klim cans.The escape begins – slowlyAfter waiting for a moonless night to ensure the cover of darkness, on 24 March 1944 the prisoners began to assemble in Hut 104, where the entrance to Harry was hidden under a moveable stove. Experienced escapers and those fluent in German were given places at the top of the escape roster. The rest drew lots. Bushell was given third place; Brodrick drew 52nd.They soon ran into trouble. On an exceptionally cold winter night with the ground covered in 15 centimetres of snow, the escape hatch was frozen shut. It was worked open and prisoner Johnny Bull broke through to the surface, only to discover that the exit was in the middle of the cleared perimeter patrolled by sentries, five metres short of the line of fir trees planned as cover. The prisoners would have to crawl through thick snow, only metres from a watchtower, to reach the protection of the forest.But the escape had to go ahead. Not only would another wait for a moonless night increase the chances of discovery, but all the prisoners’ meticulously forged travel documents were stamped with that day’s date.The escape began, but at a much slower rate than planned. First out was Harry Marshall, followed by Ernst Valenta, and then Bushell. Instead of the man a minute that could easily have freed all 200, the escape crawled to 12 men out every hour.From the night of the 24th to the morning of the 25th, the escape went on. Les Brodrick was the 52nd to emerge. After making it into the woods, he teamed up with Canadian Henry Birkland and British officer Denys Street, the three of them planning to rough it through the frigid forest southwards into Czechoslovakia and freedom.Back at the tunnel, the 77th man stumbled out of the hole into the path of a patrolling sentry. The whistle sounded, the alarm went up, and the Great Escape was over.Capture and reprisalsOf the 76 men who escaped, only three made it home. The other 73 were quickly rounded up, many at the local railway station where their clear unfamiliarity with their surroundings made them stand out to watchful Germans.Bushell and Bernard Scheidhauer, the fourth man out, were the first to be captured. They’d managed to board a train and had reached as far as Saarbrucken in eastern Germany, tantalisingly close to the French border, when police inspected their papers and discovered they were forged.Bushell fell back into Gestapo hands. On 29 March 1944 he and and Scheidhauer were put in a Gestapo car, to be taken to a handover to the “relevant authorities”. Some 40 kilometres into the trip the car stopped, the prisoners were told to relieve themselves and, while the stood at the side of the road with their backs turned to their captors, shot in the neck. Three days after his Great Escape, Bushell was dead. He was 34.Brodrick, meanwhile, had made it some way through the forest with Birkland and Street. The three came to a small cottage and, hoping for some respite from roughing it, knocked on the door. Inside were two men. In their broken German the Brodrick and his friends tried, later reports said, to “spin a yarn” to the men – try to explain why they, three strangers, were in the forest in the middle of a winter night not far from a prison-of-war camp. The men in the cottage were German soldiers, and Brodrick and his companions were arrested.Brodrick was taken to Gestapo headquarters in Gorlitz for interrogation, and then sent back to Stalag Lutz III.When he returned, Brodrick learned that 50 of the 76 men he had joined in the Great Escape had been murdered by the Gestapo. Bushell was dead, as too were Brodrick’s companions Birkland and Street.The Great Escape had a strong element of good British fun. It was daring, it was mischievous, its code names were corny, and there was a sense that other than the chance of being shot during escape, there was no desperate danger. Germany was a signatory to the Geneva Convention, which outlawed the execution of prisoners of war, escaped or not.But Adolf Hitler had other ideas. Enraged at the audacity of the escape, Hitler ordered that all 73 captured men be executed. His advisors were alarmed, and talked him down – to 50.In the film The Great Escape, the 50 are herded onto a hilltop and executed en masse. In reality the Gestapo, knowing they were committing war crimes, executed them in twos and threes, driving them to a remote location, getting them out of the vehicle, and then shooting them from behind to create the pretext that they were trying to escape.Many years later, Brodrick was asked if the Great Escape was worth it. “I suppose we did cause a certain amount of destruction,” he said. “But was it worth it? No, with 50 men dead, I don’t think so.”Three other South Africans were among the 50 murdered: Clement McGarr and Rupert Stevens, both 25, and 24-year-old Johannes Gouws, a Free State farmer’s son who just wanted to fly. After the war, the murder of the 50 was included in the charges against Gestapo officers in the crimes tried at Nuremberg.The Long March and homeBrodrick remained imprisoned at Stalag Luft III until just before the end of the war. As the Soviet army advanced from the east, Hitler ordered that all prisoner of war camps be emptied and their inmates force-marched westwards to Germany. Brodrick joined 80 000 other prisoners in the notorious Long March through a bitter winter from January to April 1945. It was later estimated that over 8 000 died.On 2 May 1945 Brodrick was among prisoners liberated by the British at Lubeck in northern Germany, and was flown back to the UK in a Lancaster bomber from his old squadron.Back home with his family, he became a teacher in Canvey Island, Essex. In 1953 the region was hit by a massive tsunami caused by freak weather conditions, with Canvey Island bearing the brunt. The family decided to leave, and in 1956 emigrated to Amanzimtoti in KwaZulu-Natal, soon moving to Scottburgh nearby. Brodrick became a South African, living here for almost 60 years.After his death his cousin John Fishlock told British newspapers Brodrick had become a forgotten hero because he moved to South Africa. “He was a remarkable man who deserves recognition,” he said. “He never knew why he was spared the firing squad – it was simply luck of the draw. His son Duke was just six months old at the time and he used to say that Hitler must have heard about that and spared him.”Only two survivors of the Great Escape remain: 93-year-old Dick Churchill, who lives in the UK, and 99-year-old Paul Royle of Perth, Australia.Les Brodrick leaves behind his wife, Theresa, 92, his sons Roy, 67, and Duke, 70, and two grandchildren.
Johannesburg, Tuesday 23 February 2016 – Brand South Africa has noted and welcomes the strengthening of South Africa’s currency.• Download press releaseThe strengthening of the rand attests to the improvement in market sentiment towards South Africa.The strengthening of the rand also follows proactive engagements between government and business in recent weeks to develop cohesive programmes to stabilise South Africa’s economic situation. We salute these initiatives.Brand South Africa looks forward to the 2016 Budget Address to be presented in Parliament by Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday 24 February 2016 at 14h00.Follow Minister Pravin Gordhan’s 2016 Address on Wednesday 24 February 2016 on #Budget2016For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Tsabeng NthiteTel: +27 11 712 5061Mobile: +27 (0) 76 371 6810Email: [email protected]