Meet the author – Glenn Turner
By Neil Macdonald
Glenn was the first person I met at UCT. He was impossible to miss nor ever forget. Glenn was the chairman of the house committee and a larger than life presence around our res and indeed most of the University residences at the time . I digress. As a rugby player he picked up the nickname “Theuns” after that lesser known physio of the 80s, one Theuns Stoffberg who also played a bit of rugby. I recall an incident on the now famous rugby tour to Northern KZN in the early 80s when we toured to Matubatuba and other well-known exotic rugby destinations. On the train we stopped at a remote location and a local tannie opened the train door to be met by a rather exuberant Glenn. Upon encountering this large man she immediately exclaimed “oh my God !”. In his inimitable and razor sharp manner for which Glenn is so well known he responded “just call me Glenn“ .
In more recent years Glenn gave one of the finest after dinner speeches ever heard at the annual UCTRFC dinner. He detailed in his very dry laconic delivery the story of the UCT u20b team playing Police 2ndXV away which contained inter alia the Etzebeth brothers (Eben ‘s dad and oom) . Those were the days.
Off the field Glenn made his mark as a memorable cheerleader in the days when intervarsity was a massive highlight for all students; in parallel managing his rugby career playing for Varsity in both the first and seconds and the highly desired 3rdXV. Glenn also managed to entertain the locals playing his guitar with one Dom Ward and signing passionate love songs at various nightspots in Cape Town ……
To top this he graduated as a lawyer from UCT and went onto graduate from Cambridge with a masters in Law from Trinity Hall college. Yet again he managed to perform both on the rugby field and academically; playing a role in the famous Cambridge Blues squad of 1984 which contained a number of internationals. Unfortunately I was on the receiving end of that huge Cambridge victory of 1984 so I remember it too well.
Not surprisingly since his varsity days both at UCT and at Cambridge Glenn has carved out a remarkably successful career; firstly as an advocate at the JHB bar where he was made a Silk and then moving into the business world of De Beers and now Gem Diamonds playing a successful role firstly as legal counsel for De Beers and an executive director of Gem the London listed diamond company.
Most importantly Glenn is a wonderful family man and a great friend to so many people.
He is the perfect example of why we were all so lucky to play for the Ikeys and to build the relationships we had time to cement and enjoy 35 years later.