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Dear Alan You have created something really very special here at Swanage and I have felt kindness and openness that is rare to find, although I need not say anything more about that as I am sure you have heard this all before, I have had an utterly terrific time here! More than anything else I am pleased to have met such friendly and interesting people during my time here., and there is no greater feeling than knowing you have made friends new friends from around the world, whom you can turn to when you visit their country, or they visit your own. I have enjoyed my time in SA so much that I would be keen to return some day! Should you find yourself in London or Macedonia, it would be a pleasure to see you again. Many, many thanks and all the best ! Damjan Veljanoski DAMJANDV@gmail.com
Dear Alan. Merci Beaucoup pour le temps magnifique a la maison Swanage! We enjoyed our time here very much - starting right off to Safari was awesome, your late-night round table discussions were as enlightening as they were interesting, going out for dinner was always a joyful even, your piano concerts amazed us... Thank you for making us feel at home and sharing your vast knowledge of living and travelling in South Africa ! We are sure you will treat the future Swans with as much kindess and hospitality and we'll be happy to return some day. Danilo, Laura (les trois - the three) Swiss.
Dearest Alan and Swan Banter Family. Thank you for letting us be apart of your home. We loved every minute of Swanage, all the banter, the safaris, dinners and laughs. you have touched us all in so many ways. Our Swanage family will forever be in our hearts. This isn't goodbye, but farewell for now. Thank your being our father. Love always The Aussies Matthew Lindfield, Aiasha Saikal, Trish Griffiths and Hardip Chahal. (An extensive list of where to go and what to do was left in the Swan Book.)
Dear Alan: Happy birthday for the 21 August. It is with total joy that I write this excerpt in the Swan book, to be a part of this community - your community - has been an absolute privilege. I came to Joburg for the trauma, without much regard for anything else, however Swanage has offered a wealth of understanding of South Africa, it's way of life and it's people that I was foolish to omit in my decision to come here. In the midst of the turmoil that bestows ward 163, yourself and Swanage are a blissful retreat that fosters time for reflection and kindling of relationship unlike anywhere else. Future Swans should absolutely make the most of their opportunities here and for God's sake LISTEN TO THE SWAN COMMANDER!!! As discussed this will not be my last time in South Africa and I hope to see you sooner rather than later. If you are in the UK Alan, please do contact me and I can show you what Scotland has to offer!. SWANS: work yourself to the bone, but don't forget "there is no systole without diastole" so make the most of your time with this wonderful and man and his beautiful home. With utmost Gratitude (Prof) Michael Helley Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Alan, I genuinely find it hard to believe that my time here at Swanage has come to an end! Like many things in my life, I'll attempt to explain using a recipe Swanage Souffle. 1x Swan Commander, 10x medical students, 1x Swanage, 1x Banter, 1x Love, generosity, kindness, 1x Community, Dash of alcohol or as required 1x Safari, 8x Fahrenheit Steaks. Take all the ingredients and combine in a cool climate of rugged South Africa for a once in a lifetime experience. Food aside, I cannot begin to thank you for the kindness and generosity you have shown me, there are very very few people who even begin to come close. Your jokes, advice and worldly knowledge surpass that of a lifetime, and I only believe you're a priest as well for the bants and robes. Cheers for letting me try them on. Alan and South Africa I will see you again. Whether as a doctor or something else, I/m coming bank whether you like it or not! ::))
Dr Peter, Swan Commander, Pulmnologist, Piano Player, Game Ranger, Elephant Whisperer. After 11 weeks in Swanage I am very sad to be leaving my second home. I hope someday to return for a reunion hopefully with the same swans whom I have shared your home with. I have many highlights of my tine in South Africa. Our Elephant encounter in the Pilanesberg is a memory I shall keep for the rest of my life!!!! Swanage was my home away from home, the family in a foreign land, I have made friends that I hope to keep for the rest of my life. I appreciate all the wisdom and advice you have shared with me over my time in Johannesburg especially in the dark moments, your words of comfort made ALL the difference to me. I wish I had left more time to write something meaningful and compassionate in the Swan Book. But like all good things my time in Swanage must come to an end. So this is no goodbye Father Alan, but farewell for now. I hope you continue to share your love and guidance with future Swans for many years to come. You set a standard as a good human that we all should aspire to. Till we meet again. John Canon June to August 2017. Swanage will be forever in my heart and often on my mind.
Dear Alan. Thank you so much for everything! It has been a wonderful 2 months and you've made Swanage a warm and welcoming place. We weren't sure we were going to make it at one point, but I'm glad we did. This is by far the best attachment to date. I will always fondly remember your expertise, wise wisdom and humour. The Pilanesberg Safari will remain a treasured memory and I'm certain I will be back to explore the rest of this beautiful country. As request highlights of Garden route 1. Sights/People 2. Surfing at Jeffrey's bay 3. Shark diving at Mossel baai (Cheaper and more close-knit team/less commercialised) 4. Wine tasting at Franschoek. If you are ever in New Zealand - do not hesitate to drop by. Much Love Arkar Thein
Dear Alan. What a wonderful two months it has been. Thank you for all the hospitality you have provided and especially taking Arkar and I at such a short notice. It has been great living with you and everyone else. Opening Swanage to us elective students has made the stay feel more like home, especially in those moments when you are feeling a bit home sick. You have been an inspirational figure with both the medical career and the involvement you have outside of it. This has been truly an unforgettable experience I sincerely hope that I will return in the near future. Kind regards Cheng Kai Jin (CK)
Dear Alan. You Sir, are one of a kind. Thank you for sharing me your home as well as some of your wisdom and look on life. "Father Alan" seems to hold two meanings. We have you in your priestly role and you as lord of our household ( I wish I could think of another role to make the Trinity) I knew from the moment you saved me from the dark scary Bara that you would be an excellent father for the next few weeks. I wish I could have stayed longer to get to know your better. The Safari has been a fitting farewell for now! Many thanks and all the best! Josh Marston
Dearest Alan. I've been trying my best to avoid having to write in this beloved Swan book, knowing that I have to inevitably say goodbye to this amazing place that I've called home for the last 3 months! I think most Swans soon realise post warm-embracing bear hug of yours that they haven't just signed up for your run-of-the-mill shared accommodation equipped with Koi pond. It was and still is a home-away-from-home that I've grown so attached to. Alan, you truly are such an amazing human being, which makes Swanage what it is, Your humility, warmth, friendliness and wisdom isn't just evident from the praise that undoubtedly comes from all the Swans, but through the interactions with your colleagues, registrars, interns and students. It's certainly inspired me to strive to become a more compassionate and understanding physician and person. Thank you so much for adopting me into this family of yours, and showing me the wonders of the bush. You most definitely have a home in New Zealand or Singapore if you make it to that side of the world. Much Love Shen Oh