WHITE RIVER – Who would have guessed that the person behind the voice of the well-known Gunston radio advertisement lives right under our noses.
This famous voice belongs to Graham Stuart Bunyard. Few of us are aware that as much as the tobacco industry was once a lucrative part of the agricultural activities in the Lowveld, so was Graham.
He was born on October 17, 1939 in Port Elizabeth. He is a former cricketer who played first-class cricket from 1959 to 1963. As a fast bowler, Graham made his first-class debut for Transvaal in the 1959/60 seasons. He toured England in 1966 with the South African Fezela XI. He played his last match for Rhodesia two years later when he was only 23 years old. He then moved to the Lowveld in 1968 to farm tobacco in Schagen.
On a visit to Casterbridge, I happened to notice a very interesting gentleman puffing away on his pipe while sitting quite relaxed outside an antique shop which I had just left. I almost got the idea the Graham was a part of the artefacts sold in the antique shop I had just visited. Our eyes met and I introduced myself. His eyes brightened as we shook hands. Never could I have imagined who I was about to meet.
The deep, rich voice of years ago brought back memories and I heard the words coming out of Graham’s mouth as if it had just been recorded.
We entered the antique shop that belongs to his daughter, Angie, and he told me that every artefact in the shop had a history and story to it. At 72 he still
has an incredibly sharp mind and will share stories with me on a regular basis for the newspaper.
The Lowveld is steeped in history and through recently meeting a couple of elderly people, I realised that there are so many untold stories. I will take you on a journey and down memory lane in the months to come, starting with Graham.