On Thursday evening we were treated to a visit from OC Peter Meyer to give this term’s Tom Avery Lecture. Peter recounted his extraordinary tale of growing up on a safari ranch in South Africa where his father set up a pioneering private conservation park. The talk roamed freely through amazing personal anecdotes of elephants stealing oranges from his mother’s kitchen table; snake bites; rhino charges and swimming in idyllic water holes – all illustrated with fabulous photographs, political insight from the days of apartheid and moving recollections of his family. Many issues of conservation and environmental ethics were touched upon in a highly relevant and thought provoking way.
Peter now works as an actor and it was interesting to hear how he has been persuaded to turn his story into a book and, hopefully soon, a film. He won great favour with the audience with his positive recollections of his time at Cranleigh, his interactive style (involving large quantities of chocolate) and his advice on how to make the most of life – carpe diem.