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Fr Francis SDB returns to Cape Town for 50th anniversary charity walk

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Fr Francis with Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille

Fr Francis Preston SDB and Jimmy, Stanley, Mark and Richard, four Savio past pupils from the inaugural event, took part in the 50th Blisters for Bread Walk in South Africa, on a chilly August Sunday. The half-century of the event was also attended by Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape, Debbie Schäfer, the Western Cape Minister of Education and Anroux Marais, the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport.


I spent last weekend in Cape Town where I participated in the 50th Blisters for Bread charity walk. I helped organise the first charity walk for the Peninsula School Feeding Association (PFSA) 50 years ago, when as a young Salesian, I spent three years teaching in a Salesian school in Cape Town. The first walk in which only the pupils and staff of the school participated, raised about 2000 Rand (around £100). When I returned to the UK in 1970, the PSFA took over the organisation of the Blisters for Bread walks.

Four Savio past pupils who took part with me in the first event in May 1968, also joined us for the for the 50th Walk. Charles Grey, the fundraising manager of the PSFA, emailed to thank us, and to give us the good news about the final figure raised for the project.

He said, “Your presence at the event really added a special touch to this milestone in the history of the event that you participated in 50 years ago. To Stanley, Jimmy and Fr Francis, thank you also for making yourselves available for TV interviews.

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Jimmy, Stanley, Mark and Richard with Fr Francis - all veterans of the 1968 walk

“Although we experienced extremely cold weather, the event turned out to be a fantastic success! Approximately 9,000 walkers of the 11,354 that officially entered, arrived on the day and united in the fight against childhood hunger by participating in the 5km and 10 km walks.”.


The thousands of walkers paid a R60 entry fee each (£3), and the 50th walk raised an amazing R681,240 in total - about £34,500 -  all of which will be used to feed young people. Charles said “This will enable PSFA to provide 1,514 hungry learners with a nutritious breakfast and lunch while at school for an entire calendar year!”


Fr Francis Preston SDB


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Crowds get ready to begin the 2018 event

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 September 2018 14:35


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