Top provincial cop Jeremy Vearey has recorded his Elsies River childhood and the community’s contribution to his ever-evolving nature, in his book, Jeremy vannie Elsies.
Major-General Vearey, deputy provincial commissioner of crime detection, launched his book on Thursday May 31, at the Book Lounge, in Cape Town.
Owner of the book shop Mervyn Sloman thanked Major-General Vearey for his contribution to society.
“Jeremy, thank you for writing the book. Thank you for the life you continue to lead, you’re an inspiration to so many and thanks for being with us this evening.”
Mr Sloman said he knew Major-General Vearey as a reader, a customer and now as a writer.
The autobiography tells the story of family, friends and neighbours who influenced the policeman’s life and inspired him to be of service to his community.
At first glance the book documents a collection of his blogs, Facebook posts and photographs but it is a narrative, which has been intricately woven into a tapestry of a South African who is constantly evolving.
He tells how his neighbourhood and family raised him, from rough-and-tumble youngster to Nelson Mandela’s bodyguard, Mitchell’s Plain police station commander, cluster commander and head of the anti-gang unit in the Western Cape.
Along the way he mastered the Communist Manifesto in Afrikaans, joined the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), and was sent to Robben Island for his role in the struggle against apartheid, while a teacher at West End Primary School, in Lentegeur.
At the book launch, Alan Bam, from Westridge, who had been with Major-General Vearey in the Elsies River Youth Movement, said he was proud of the choices Major-General Vearey had made in life.
“As iemand wat jou ken, as iemand wat die pad met jou geloop het voel ek baie trots op jou,” he said.
Mr Bam said the communities of Elsie River, Ravensmead and Tiervlei were not just proud that he had written the book but that he had reached this point in his development.
“Jy sê dit was swaar. Ons het almal swaar gekry. Swaar kry is swaar maar ek moet, I must commend you vir die pad wat jy geloop het en dat jy uiteindelik, of nie eintlik want jy sê jy is nog besig om te develop,” he said.
Referring to the point Major-General Vearey had reached in his life, Mr Bam said: “Baie mooi, ons is baie trots op jou.”
Major-General Vearey said he wrote the book in Afrikaans and uses the language to share the experience of his development as narrator and protagonist.
“It was an attempt to construct the person as a social being, in a manner that relationships and people had contributed to the moulding of a person.
“I experimented with the development of the self, Jeremy vannie Elsies, in the book who grew from a boy into full self and who asks the question, who am I in the last paragraph.”
Major-General Vearey said things are not always absolute and that a person is always developing, with the good and bad experiences.