For a farewell present at the end of 2019, Professor George Euvrard asked his colleagues in the Education Department at Rhodes to join him on his last walk ever to work. Almost every day over the last 34 years years residents will have seen Euvrard walking from his home in St Aidan’s Avenue to office, back at lunch-time, and then all again in the afternoon. Except this time the walk was to be the 11km scenic round route through the countryside that he has been doing for the past few months.
“When I walk and run this route in my retirement, I want to feel the presence of my departmental friends,” explained Euvrard. “I was enormously humbled and honoured that almost all my colleagues, from cleaners to professors, chose to join me and share in this special occasion. It was a wonderful send off!”
Euvrard says that walking to work is probably the best input-output dynamic that he has ever been part of, and one of the easiest environmental contributions we can make. Over the years, with very little effort, he says, he has saved about 6 000 litres of fuel with his zero carbon transport footprint.
“That is also a saving of about R75 000 in petrol and vehicle wear and tear, although the 40 000km (once around the world) has cost a few pairs of shoes!
“On another important front,” he adds, “it has given me an hour of quiet time every day, and that has been psychologically and spiritually invaluable.”
And physical health-wise?
“This is difficult to say, because I don’t have a non-walking comparison, but I haven’t taken a day’s sick leave or missed a single commitment due to ill health since I started at Rhodes in 1986.”