In Memoriam: Bill Brown, Official School Photographer

Thursday 26 November 2020: With profound sadness, Wynberg Boys’ High School and the Old Boys’ Union learned of the passing earlier this week of Bill Brown, our official school photographer since 1994.

Deputy Headmaster, Mr Peter van Schalkwyk, writes:

Bill’s passion for all things Wynberg was legendary, from his involvement in the Supporters’ Club from its earliest days at the Bill Bowden Pavilion, and on the sports fields as a model parent, always supportive of coaches. I had the privilege to coach both Bill’s sons, Liam (Matric 1996) and Neil (Matric 1999), in the school’s 1st XV rugby side, and Neil again in the 1st XI cricket team – a very popular member of the parent body, barely a match was played without Bill’s field-side positivism.

Bill kept contact with Wynberg over the years since his sons left, regularly attending Old Boys’ Dinners as an Associate Member of the Union, assisting in photography at the Open Microphone evenings at the Bill Bowden Pavilion, always showing his support for the school and keeping up to date with news and developments.

We also saw him a number of times each year when he and his wife Gail (Cape Foto) and more recently daughter, Sarah, as the official school photographers for as long as I can remember, took all our group photos. We will miss his face on the other side of the camera and his faithful professionalism.

A true Wynberg Man, from a true Wynberg Family.

Thousands of Wynberg students, old boys, and their families will join us in expressing our deepest condolences to Gail, Sarah, Liam, and Neil, and the grandchildren on their loss. The enduring memories Bill captured on film will continue to hang on walls across the globe, lasting tributes to a man who took only photos, but left enormous footprints in the life of our school.

Rest in Peace.


The Brown Family will hold a Covid-friendly celebration of Bill’s life at one of his favourite spots in Cape Town, the Bill Bowden Pavilion at Wynberg Boys’ High School: Friday 4 December from 14:00 to 17:00. Please join them to toast, chat, and celebrate the life of a man loved by so many.

Due to COVID protocols, the family asks for confirmation of your attendance, and to select a timeslot using the link, by Wednesday 2 December.

“We hope that you will join us in remembering the legendary Bill Brown. We know that he has impacted so many lives over the years, we would love to hear your stories. Please, please, click here to contribute towards a memory book we are putting together for the family
Much love, Gail, Liam, Sarah, Neil Brown & Family”

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