As I mentioned in an earlier post – I am an avid book collector and reader, and have been for as long as I can remember. This fantastic book “The White Rhino Saga”, written by Dr Ian Player, was given to me as a birthday present by a school friend and cost just over R2.00 in the early 1970’s.
In my very early teens this book had a lasting impression on me and is almost certainly the reason that I joined the Natal Parks Board – no other conservation organisation held any appeal – just the Natal parks Board. Dr Ian Player and Mr Nick Steele were my hero’s and to be able to walk in their footsteps was my goal.
I have had the privilege of meeting Dr Player on several occasions but only met Mr Steele once when I was taken to see him in his office at the NPB Headquarters during an interview. I was told by one of the very senior people (Dr George Hughes in-fact) that he would take me and introduce me to some of his senior men. Little did I realize that one of them was the legendary Mr Steele. Well, when we arrived at a closed door and said that he’d introduce me to Mr Steele, I almost bowled him right off his feet as I rushed into his office! To this day I cannot even remember if I met any other senior men as Nick Steele stole all the lime light.
Why I decided to write about this stemmed from my thoughts on the way home last night. Books to me are very valuable and I was trying to place a value on certain books in my collection. How much would I accept for The White Rhino Saga or for Mr Steele’s Game Ranger on Horseback? The answer is nothing. Their value is in the keeping.
What material things do you value above their financial worth?