Gerry, my old team-mate, is a very sick man today and my heart goes out to him.
For all his ability and popularity, Gerry was a bit of an introvert and during the 1931/32 tour I hardly got to know him although we were together for almost six months. After we returned we played together for Western Province and I still did not get to know him well because he was rather withdrawn.
Then we went on the 1937 tour, travelling by boat all the way to Perth, and when we docked most of the fellows went ashore.
For some or other reason I stayed aboard and when I went to the lounge there was Gerry. He and I sat together in front of the fire that night and started talking. We became firm friends and have been ever since.
The greatest fullback I ever played with or against; he was also a keen student of the game. Much of the success of the 1937 tour must be attributed to Gerry. Whenever there was a hold-up, Gerry and I would get together on the field and discuss how we thought the game was going; I from up front and Gerry from the back. We would compare notes and decide on strategy.
In the final analysis; Gerry was a matchwinner. I rate him, together with Bennie Osler, as a legend among legends - an unforgettable Springbok.