Mr Buster Brotherton (OK 1949), 3 June 1932 – 4 May 2024

Kingswood deeply mourns the loss and celebrates the life of one of its greatest sons, Mr Clifford Hockley Brotherton (OK 1949), who passed away peacefully on Saturday at the age of 91.

Buster was born on the 3rd of June 1932. He completed his schooling at Kingswood College, where he matriculated in 1949. He met and married his beloved wife, Jeanette on the 12th of January 1957.

Buster and Jeanette spent most of their married life on Fountain Head Farm in Post Retief where Buster pursued his passion for farming. An avid stockman, Buster was well-known in farming circles for his Fountain Head Guernsey herd, although his farming operation also included sheep, beef and fruit production.

It was also on Fountain Head that he and Jeanette raised their four children, Sue (Hon OK), Edgar (OK 1977), Diana (OK 1979) and Penny (OK 1980). With three of their four children attending Kingswood, Buster joined the Kingswood Council in 1979, and thus began decades of selfless devotion to his alma mater.

It is difficult to list everything that Buster did for Kingswood during his tenure on Council, but perhaps the following achievements highlight the magnitude of his contribution:

  • Joined the Kingswood Council: 1979
  • President of the OK Club: 1983 – 1987
  • Vice-Chairman of Council: 1987-1996
  • Chairman of the College Council: March 1996 – 2002
  • Buster is credited for his efforts in drafting the first Strategic Plan for the College
  • The College’s infrastructure grew in leaps and bounds during Buster’s service on Council. Significant new developments to Kingswood’s campus under his watch included:
    • Purchase of City Lords
    • Rebuilding of School House after the fire in 1994
    • New Build: Parsonson Building
    • Purchase of Walton House (current Music School) and the portion of Watermeyer Street and their development
    • New Build: Hepburn Building (IT labs and exam centre)
    • Captain Rich Shooting Range (where the current HPC stands)
    • New Build: Old Kingswoodian Club Squash Courts
    • Development of the Van Vuuren Village complex
    • New Build: Kirkby House
    • Upgrade of the Hugh Stocks Swimming Pool complex
    • The configuration of City Lord’s rugby field and the laying of an Astro Turf
    • New Build: HPC (High-Performance Centre)
    • New Build: Junior School Head’s residence at Dold Field
    • New Build: Cohen Building

In 2014, Buster was acknowledged for his contributions to the school with Kingswood’s highest honour, when he was awarded the Muirhead Founders Friend Award for outstanding service to the College.

Along with the long list of accolades that are synonymous with Buster at Kingswood, he will also be fondly remembered for is humility, and his deep love for his family. He was the proud father of four children, all of whom are Old Kingswoodians, ten grandchildren (8 of whom are Old Kingswoodians) and ten great-grandchildren (four of whom are current Kingswoodians)!

As a school, we mourn his loss with Sue, Edgar, Di, Penny and their families. He will forever be remembered as a great Kinsgwoodian, whose light will never die.

Rest in peace, Buster.

Former Kingswood College Business Manager, and colleague, David Stevens (OK 1960) wrote the following about Buster;

Buster was a man of great integrity and commitment to everything that he did. His contribution to Kingswood in the broadest sense was immense and perhaps unequalled in the College’s long history. His service to his alma mater extended from initially becoming President of the Old Kingswoodian Club to ultimately being elected as Chairman of the College Council. Added to that was his long serving role as Chairman of the Estate and Buildings Committee and his ever present interest in things Kingswoodian and the well being of his Old School.

The positive influence of Buster Brotherton was immense, in so many different ways, and he will be sorely missed by all associated with Kingswood. My lasting impression of the man was one of integrity, deep thinking, empathy, understanding, loyalty and personal encouragement.

His influence on his alma mater was, to say the least, profound and lasting. That is his enduring legacy.

Rest in peace, Buster.

Centenary Trust Trustee, former Counselor and long-time friend, Mr Brian Stocks (OK 1965) wrote the following about Buster:

“Since my first encounter with Buster in 1984, I have watched in awe, as this Old Kingswoodian Giant, time and time again gave his all to our beloved College.

In my long experience with Kingswood, I can honestly say, that Buster has done more for Kingswood than any other person I know.

In times of crises, he would be there, quietly supporting, with the most remarkable foresight and advice.

What our pupils experience today, bears witness to his labour of love”

Nomkhitha Gysman
The baobab tree has fallen, a sound that was heard everywhere. I met the family about 3 decades ago, still farming in Adelaide area, eXokoxa. Was shocked by how Buster took care of his workers, long before we were liberated. Forced by no law, he took it upon himself to provide descent homes not houses for his workers, houses made of brick and mortar. Big for farm workers then, each house with a vegetable garden. Workers had a school, which later was was complemented by a fully equipped resource centre. All of this was for his workers.
As NGO employees we were always invited over for lunch, to join the family. That he rubbed to all of his children. I feel blessed that I have had a good relationship with Mr Brotherton. May his dear family find comfort.

Margaret Victor
My sincere condolences to all family and friends of Buster. A true Gentleman of Kingswood College. We were always treated with such kindness and respect when visiting school while our children was at Kingswood in the 80’s during sports meetings and Parents weekends. He will be dearly missed by all. R.I.P. dear Buster.💔🙏🏻🙏🏻

Susan Skipper
Such a truly great man. Condolences and love to his family and friends. ❤️

Trevor Davis
Very special man. Very special family. Condolences and much love. His memory will live on in the hearts of all who he touched 🙏

Judy Hilton-Green
How privileged we were to have known this wonderful man, his delightful wife and all his children during the years we were involved with Kingswood. Buster was admired and loved by one and all and will be sadly missed. Our love to all the family.

Margaret Cherry
Condolences to the family. May He RIP

David Wilkinson
A remarkable man who was so devoted to Kingswood – he deserves the highest praise and deepest thanks for his unselfish and determined service to KC. May he rest in peace. 🙏

Morne Van Wyk
Condolences to the family 🙏🙏

Bridie Garrard
Sending my love and comfort to the Brotherton and wider Kingswood family!

Midge Hilton-Green
So very sad- we were privileged to have known and worked with Buster.Such a wise, likeable diplomatic and down to earth gentleman. Condolences to all the families

Jannes Soné Griesel
What a remarkable gentleman!

Neil Smuts
Always a Gentleman thinking of you all.

Warrick Strachan
I consider it a great privilege to have learnt so much from Buster and to have seen his esteemed wisdom & love for Kingswood, in action. Thank you Buster

Ian Melliar

Rosalie Anne Turner
A true Big Tree & an honorable man. A very big loss to all who crossed his paths.

Ryan Whitfield
What an incredible innings. We stand and solute you Mr Brotherton! After we all leave this life and enter into the next, I firmly believe that life is not measured by how much we have gained but rather by how much we gave away, any you have given so much to KC and the wider communities you influenced. RIP Buster and my sincere condolences to the Brotherton family for a man we can all be so proud of.

Renette Kleinhans
A true gentleman, may he rest in peace. Sincere condolences to his family.

Debbie Young
A giant has fallen. What a magnificent legacy to leave behind. Rest in Peace Sir .

Marilyn North Willows
A legend at rest

Elspe Scheepers
Sincere condolences to family and KC RIP

Janine Cotterrell
An honourable man gone to rest. RIP. Condolences to the family.

Bonnie Auret
Judy, as soon as I saw this post, I thought about you and Midge. My condolences and love to you both.

Yeyethu Nomzamo Stemela
Condolences to the entire Kingswood community and the family at large 🙏

Danny GL
RIP Buster and thank you for so many years of selfless support to the school.

Shane Hale
A true and honourable gentleman, who will be sorely missed. Our thoughts to his family, Richard and Shane Hale.

Yano Govender
Condolences to all

Cheecky Lister
Condolences to the family

Leruo Tau
Heartfelt condolences to the family 💐 🙏

Marleen Gibson
Prayers and thoughts be with you all🙏💐

Magatyeni Wondondela
Ooooow Tamkhulu MHBSRIP condolences to the whole family💔😪

Rene Ursula Zimmerman
Condolences to all. I thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Tim DeWet
RIP to a Mountain of a man amongst men

Margie Smith
Deepest sympathy to all his family

Hendrik van Wyk
Condolences to the family