14th OJA Eminent Speaker Breakfast Event with Alex Harris
Guest speaker: Alex Harris (adventurer, explorer, endurance athlete and businessman).
Topic: “Journey to the South Pole”
The OJA is focused on creating a platform through which OJs can get together, reconnect, and network on a business level. We aim to create regular events that will allow OJs from similar or different industries to come together. These events have no fundraising element and are purely networking functions. The last 13 events since our launch in October 2013 were a great success.
Background on the speaker:
Alex Harris is an athlete whose interests are as varied as they are unique. He has been climbing mountains for two decades and has led more than 20 expeditions to some of the furthest corners of the planet. In 1996, Alex resigned from a career in sales and followed his passion for exploration. Within the year he led his first expedition to Mount Everest. He has climbed the seven summits, the highest mountains on all seven continents, and has led expeditions to both the north and the south side of Everest. He is also a multiple South African Track cycling champion and in 2006 won a silver medal at the World Masters Track cycling champs. On the 17th of January 2008, Alex became the first African to walk unsupported to the South Pole, a journey that took 65 days and covered almost 1200km.
For many the thought of climbing the 7 highest peaks on each continent is just a fantasy, Alex has actually done it. He gave the attendees a riveting speech which explained his humble beginnings and the circumstances that led him to the top of Everest. Incredibly, Everest was merely a hurdle compared to the challenge he set himself next. Him and his team mate, Sibusiso Vilane, set about becoming the first Africans to walk unsupported to the South Pole, a 1200km walk uphill into -40 degree temperatures.
His speech and supporting slideshow and videos gave the attendees an accurate feel of just how intense this adventure would be. He had everyone on the edge of their seats. Once his speech was over many had questions which they wanted to ask and the crowd lingered around afterwards for the opportunity to ask more questions and to meet Alex himself.
These OJA Eminent Speaker Breakfasts are part of the Old Johannian Association’s ongoing initiatives to promote networking and social events among Old Johannians. The events are purely networking functions and have no fundraising element. These events take place on a quarterly basis and all Old Johannians are encouraged to join for a brief talk followed by breakfast and networking hosted at the Johannian Club.
We encourage all Old Johannians to join us at these breakfasts, if you would like to be invited please can you send an email to email@example.com.
Ben Maxton (Nash 2006)
OJA committee member