1. His childhood
Kevin Andrew Jamison was born on 17 September 1970 at Chingola in Zambia.1-3 He is the eldest of two children born to Tony and Pam Jamison.1,2 Although his development as an infant was normal, his parents noticed that he was a rather quiet child and that his speech development was delayed. Seeking advice from medical professionals, the initial diagnosis was devastating …. brain damage! …. but Pam and Tony were not convinced as Kevin’s physical, emotional and mental development was on par with his peers. Further intensive evaluations and tests in South Africa revealed a severe hearing impairment resulting in 75 % (75 dB) deafness. This meant that Kevin could not hear any sound at 75 dB or lower.2 Since normal conversational speech is on average at 60 dB, Kevin was unable to hear the voices of people and thus unable to learn language.4 To Kevin the world around him was silent. Kevin’s sister, Wendy Ann was born on 1 March 1972 with perfect hearing ability.
Since no adequate auditory interventions and therapy were available in Zambia, his parents had to regularly travel to South Africa either by plane, which was expensive, or overland via Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) by cars-in-convoy that was accompanied by mine sweepers and armed personnel carriers of the Rhodesian Army. These trips were dangerous as the Rhodesian Civil War was at its height, and guerrilla forces launched regular attacks on road travelers. At the age of two years, Kevin was fitted with hearing aids and started with a rigorous speech therapy program at home in Zambia.2,5 His mother completed a correspondence course in Home-based Speech Therapy via the John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles, California, United States of America (USA). This clinic is a private, nonprofit education center for infants and preschool children with hearing loss. It was founded in 1942 by Louise Treadwell Tracy, wife of actor Spencer Tracy (1900 – 1967).2,6
By the time Kevin had to go to school, his parents decided after much research and consultation with specialists to enroll him in the mainstream schooling system and not in a school for the deaf. As a scholar, he performed above-average academically, and participated in swimming, soccer and sailing. He also joined the Scouts Movement and eventually achieved his Springbok Scout Award in 1987, while being a member at the Strathvaal Scout Troop at Stilfontein, a small town 15 km east of Klerksdorp where they resided. He matriculated in 1988 at Milner High School in Klerksdorp, Transvaal (now North West Province). Kevin completed his B Sc (Aeronautical Engineering) at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, Transvaal (now Gauteng) in 1992. During his undergraduate studies, he also was Chairman of the Disabled Student Movement, the Sail Training Director of the Wits Yacht Club and a member of the Student Aeronautical Society. In 2008, he received his B Eng (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria (UP), Pretoria, Gauteng, and is currently completing his M Eng in Engineering Management at the same institution.2
One highlight from his childhood, in 1980 when Kevin was ten years old, was the three-month world tour to England, Wales, Canada, USA and Brazil that his family undertook. In 1989, his family went to Bristol in England for a family reunion at his grandparents, Robin and Hilda Jamison, together with all the other Jamison siblings and their families from England and Australia. After the week-long reunion, Kevin and his family toured England, Wales and Scotland for one month, and then joined a two-week guided tour through Europe.2
2. His wife
Kevin married Johanna Catharina Aletta “Alta” Kruger – this is me! (website owner) – on 7 December 1996 at Central Baptist Church in Arcadia, Pretoria. The ceremony was conducted by Rev Fred Dennison.7 I am the daughter of Wentsel Christoffel Kruger (1940 – 2009) and Elizabeth Gertuida Lourensina Munnik (*1942). READ MORE on the Afrikaans-speaking Krugers.
We were friends long before our romance blossomed. We knew each other from our local church, attended the young adults ministry group and regularly played badminton in the church hall. Our relationship started to flourish after a blessed evangelical outreach and church planting missions-trip to rural Mozambique in July 1994. On this trip, accommodation was primitive, water was limited and privacy was a foreign word, with the result that none of us bathed for a week. Upon our return to Pretoria, we reported to the then assistant pastor, Darryl Soal, who exclaimed when opening the door, “You guys are filthy!” Initially a bit offended, we later realised after a proper bath that our lovely tanned complexion was not the result of the hot Mozambican sun, but rather a thick layer of red Mozambican dust! Kevin and I still joke to this day that we fell in love with each other’s personalities and not the looks, because we couldn’t see the looks! Kevin proposed while he and I were overlooking a stunning Lake Kariba on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, with the blue water glittering in the rays of the setting sun. This was during our touring trip in July 1995 to Zimbabwe and Malawi together with three dear friends Jeff Benson, Isabel Els and Kerry MacIntyre, an exchange student from Australia.
In December 2017, we celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. And just as we in 1995 survived the exhilarating, yet terrifying 12 kilometers of wild waters, encountering grade 3 to grade 5 rapids while white-river-rafting down the mighty Zambezi River in an inflatable rubber-duck, our marriage also has had its many pleasant, calm water intervals with intermittent rapids of various grades to keep things interesting. By God’s grace our marriage is still going strong and He will keep us to the end!
3. His career
Presently, Kevin holds the position of Principal Aeronautical and Systems Engineer at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He is also a Council Member of the Aeronautical Society of South Africa, a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a Member of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) (South African branch). Kevin has presented more than 15 papers at local and international conferences.2
Kevin’s work is challenging yet he finds it a stimulating and exciting environment where he can apply and develop his engineering capabilities to its full. Kevin’s dream is ….. actually, he has two dreams ….. and they are 1) to sail around the world in a yacht, and 2) to continue working after retirement as a contract aeronautics consultant in different countries and when time allows, to tour these countries.2
Outside of work, Kevin enjoys spending time with his two sons. The family enjoys reading, nature, touring, camping, swimming and watching soccer, as well as sea- and freshwater fishing. For many years Kevin was also involved with the local church as the Children’s Church Coordinator. He and his two sons would regularly lead these meetings which catered for three- to ten-year olds.2
4. His children
We have two sons who were both born at Die Wilgers Hospital, Die Wilgers, Pretoria. To the disappointment of the grandparents, their grandchildren were not given traditional family names. The names we chose, however, have special meaning to us. Since we believe, according to Psalm 139:13-14 in the Bible, that our children are God’s gifts to us and that they were fearfully and wonderfully made with specific purpose, we asked God what names He had in mind for them. Besides, God has known our sons long before we did: “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Ephesians 1:4, The Bible.
4.1 Simeon Michael
Simeon was born on 27 March 2000,8 weighing a healthy 3.7 kg and measuring 53 cm long. The name ‘Simeon’ came to our mind early in the pregnancy and when we researched the meaning of the name, we were simultaneously dumbfounded and rejoicing. Simeon is derived from the ancient Hebrew name שִׁמְעוֹן (Shim’on). The root-verb שמע (shama) means “to hear, to listen with attention, to be heard”.9,10 What a confirmation that our son would be of normal hearing, thus not at risk to deafness like his father! His second name Michael originates from the Hebrew name מִיכָאֵל (Mikha’el) meaning “who is like God?”. This is a rhetorical question, implying no person is like God.11 Our desire for Simeon is that he will be a man who listens attentively to God’s voice and follows His way according to Isaiah 30:21, The Bible: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Simeon has an easy-going temperament and enjoys art (painting and drawing), reading, fishing, camping, classic cars, computer games, swimming and table tennis. He has won gold and silver awards at several art competitions and has already sold some of his art works. The income from these sales has been directed towards funding the restoration of his university car, a classic 1974 Citroën DS Pallas. Simeon is currently enrolled at the University of Pretoria for architectural studies.
4.2 Conrad Timothy
Conrad was born on 10 October 2002,12 weighing a healthy 3.4 kg and measuring 57 cm long. While contemplating a name for our second son, the phrase “someone with wisdom” kept coming to mind. We were most grateful to God for his hand of grace and blessing on our unborn child. We searched for a name with a similar meaning and found ‘Conrad’ which means “brave, wise councilor”. It originates from the Old High German name Kuonrat, a compound name composed of the elements kuon (“bold, wise”) and rat (“counsel”).13 Our son’s second name is Timothy – the English version of the Greek name Τιμοθεος (Timotheos). It means “honouring God”. This compound name is derived from τιμαω (timao) “to honour/value” and θεος (theos) “God”.14,15 Because “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” – according to Proverbs 9:10, The Bible – our desire for Conrad is that he will live a life distinguished by wisdom that will honour God and also benefit others.
Conrad has a cheerful, yet empathetic demeanour. He enjoys fishing, camping, reading and computer games, and has already researched and capatalised in the investment markets. He has also always loved sport (cricket, soccer, swimming, squash and athletics) and has been doing very well in athletics winning gold, silver and bronze medals in 100 m, 200 m, 400 m and relays. Conrad is contemplating a career in Clinical Psychology and already owns a classic 1973 Datsun 1200 Deluxe sedan, which he considers as his choice of student transport.
There is a saying: “A man who drives a vintage vehicle knows who he is. A man who drives the latest model is still trying to find his true self.” As a mother, I am therefore, thrilled that Simeon and Conrad love old cars!
- Kevin Jamison’s Family Tree Album compiled by Jean Jamison. 2007. In possession of Kevin Jamison, Pretoria, South Africa
- Personal interview with Kevin Jamison. 10 November 2017, Pretoria, South Africa
- Identification (ID) Book of Kevin Jamison
- Noise level chart. http://www.noisehelp.com/noise-level-chart.html
- Rhodesian Bush War. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodesian_Bush_War
- John Tracy Clinic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tracy_Clinic
- Marriage certificate of Kevin Jamison and Alta Kruger.
- Unabridged birth certificate of Simeon Jamison.
- Simeon. https://www.behindthename.com/name/simeon
- Simeon meaning. http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Simeon.html#.Wj13vTeYOM8
- Michael. https://www.behindthename.com/name/michael
- Unabridged birth certificate of Conrad Jamison.
- Conrad. https://www.behindthename.com/name/conrad
- Timothy meaning. http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Timothy.html#.Wj2CgDeYOM8
- Timothy. https://www.behindthename.com/name/timothy