Farewell Jim & John

On Saturday afternoon Cluny Farm hosted a very important luncheon

Two of its longstanding Board Members; Mr Jim Gwilt & Mr John Cruickshank have reached the point where they felt the need to retire, in order to have some relaxing time with their families. The farewell function was done in style, with delicious food, interesting people, and accompanied by lovely weather. Everyone had a great time as they mingled the afternoon away.

Cluny Residents learnt to love them since they were part of the Organisation for such a long time, especially the older Residents.


We would like to express our gratitude towards Jim and John for all their support and commitment over all these years, and we wish them a very well deserved rest – we also know that they are just a phone call or an e mail away should we ever need them.


Thank you Jim & thank you John, everyone at Cluny will miss you.


Below a bit more about the two retirees;


Jim Gwilt first came to Cluny In 1972 with several roundtables from Johannesburg North (roundtable no 71). It was a Sunday and the project was to paint the roof of the old office building green. In the years that followed he was often at Cluny in connection with roundtable projects. The ones he remembered most were the Christmas parties, the selling of boerewors rolls and cakes at the local horse events and fetes. All of those projects involved constant interaction with the Residents. On two occasions he even handed out the Residents’ presents as Father Christmas at their Christmas parties.

In 1982 Jim joined the Cluny Board and in 1984 he took over from Basil Brayshaw (who passed away) as Treasurer where he continued until February this year. Jim really became a part of Cluny and assured us that he will still visit us from time to time and that he will always be there when Cluny needs him.


John Cruickshank joined Cluny Farm Centre as Administrator in January 1985, from the insurance industry. He took over the running of Cluny from Tuppy Manton in early 1986. John says that it was a steep learning curve but fascinating. Cluny kept developing and enhancing Residents’ growth and independence. During this period, Cluny continued to link with other organisations in the field through Reef Forum and the Federation for Mental Health. This became of critical importance during the period when South Africa changed to a democratic dispensation. There were continual meetings at this time, developing new policies and attitudes in the Social Service world. These occupied a lot of John’s time, as he tried to ensure that the rights, needs and significance of Intellectual Disability were adequately represented and incorporated into the Disability White Paper. This finally became the Disability policy basis for the ‘new’ South Africa. Thanks to a very dedicated staff team at Cluny, the Residents and farm prospered during these years. Finally at the end of December 1998 John retired as Executive Director of Cluny Farm Centre. John spent the following few years liaising with the Gauteng Department of Social Service, working at continuing to develop the relationship between the Department and Cluny and its kindred organisations. He also was instrumental in bringing the International Congress of IASSID (International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability) to South Africa for the first time in 2008. A year after retiring John was asked to join the Cluny Board. His particular brief was Chair of Cluny’s Admissions Committee, which he had inherited from Tuppy around 1992. He continued as a Board member until early 2016, probably best known for being the advocate of Residents’ rights and development opportunities.

Although John has retired, his love for and interest in Cluny has not abated. He and his wife Jen, still really enjoy occasional visits to the farm, when they can meet old friends amongst the Residents and reminisce about the past.




Cluny Farm Centre is a registered and compliant Non Profit Organisation situated in Sunvalley, Kyalami, Johannesburg. The Centre is a non-racial facility that provides both residential and day care services to our beneficiaries.

Social Links

Find us

69 Rose Road
Kyalami, Midrand
South Africa