One evening whilst having dinner my husband mentioned that he was , "meeting and greeting Mandela" at the Airforce Base the next morning. I asked if we could go with him because as he was due to retire soon and I would love to meet him. I had often heard from Peter what a gentleman he was and how he always had time for everyone on duty and never failed to thank them for waiting for him.
Lisa, my daughter , and I accompanied my husband to work in anticipation of meeting him.
The plane touched down, the doors opened the bodyguards disembarked and Graca and family. Now Nelson Mandela came down the aircraft steps. Lisa and I were standing to the side and behind my husband. Peter went up to greet him and then said, Sir, I would like you to meet my family. The bodyguards said they were in a hurry. Mandela said, I would love to. He hugged Lisa and we took a photograph with them together . He then came to me and took my hand and kissed it and we chatted. He was most charming.
I did not realise he was such a tall man as he had to bend down to kiss my hand. I went home feeling very emotional and know that I had the privilege of experiencing the Madiba Magic together with my family.
So loved the moment and will cherish it for the rest of my life. He took the time to chat with me and be photographed with my daughter Lisa.
A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men. He was truly a great man and above all a perfect gentleman.
Peter, Pam and Lisa Harvey
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