Alpheus Cwege - The Wisdom of the Experienced
(Photo : Leigh Willson)
There’s a reason why this part of the world
is called the “Land Of Legends”.
Continuing our extracts from the Summerhill Sires Brochure 2011/2012…
Take a look at the Summerhill Long Service Awards board at the bottom of this post. It makes illuminating reading. Over a hundred people with more than a decade of service, and some in their third and fourth generations on the farm.
One of them, Alpheus Cwege (Mfeka), turned up just after the gates opened. Stooped by the ravages of his years, there’s a boyish serenity in his face. You figure it’s because he likes horses and the place, and he never wanted anything else. When he first arrived, it was as though he had finally encountered the tribe he’d been looking for. No sharp turns or detours. If his résumé was a game of Monopoly, you’d say he rolled the dice, landed on “Go”, and went straight to Boardwalk.
Alpheus is ageless, mainly because he won’t tell us when he was born, though he’s quoted at around 90 in interstate markets. Either way, for a little man, he casts a big shadow over this place, and like so many of his peers, he’s a paragon of enthusiasm, good humour and curiosity.
These are the fellows that get us up in the mornings, that make the thirty years of “6.30” feel like the beginning of kindergarten. They give the lie to the critics’ oft-quoted claim that so-and-so is a good captain, but a poor man-manager. That’s another fad. People don’t need managing, they need inspiring, and the rest usually takes care of itself.
The Summerhill story is unusual in this day and age. The breeding of racehorses has never been more competitive, nor have the stakes ever been higher in the bid for a Premiership which has been in the hands of only six entities in all its recorded history. You have to rewind to the 60s to find the last winner of six consecutive titles, and that distinction belongs to the Birch Bros, a fabled conglomerate of families which set the benchmark for the world.
None of this would’ve been possible without the wisdom of the experienced, and the energy of our youth, brave young people giving their dreams a chance.
The Summerhill story inspires that kind of bravery.
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