The name Oppenheimer is synonymous with “De Beers” although Nicky Oppenheimer has now sold all his 40% shares to Anglo American Co-operation. Nicky’s Grandfather, Ernest, was the first Oppenheimer to Chair the De Beers Diamond Mining company that was established by Cecil John Rhodes. His Father, Harry, was the chairman of Anglo American Corporation for a quarter of a century and chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines for 27 years.
Harry Oppenheimer spent some time as the Member of Parliament for Kimberley (1948 to 1957) and became the opposition spokesman on economics, finance and constitutional affairs. His opposition to apartheid was well known as were his philanthropy and business acumen. (Thank you Wikipedia)
But back to the helicopter of note.. “Anglo American’s AW139 is no toy. It is a helicopter so aeronautically spectacular that pilots hum when they look at it.” written in the Star News Paper. It is now used for Medical emergencies that require a long haul, even night time flight to save lives, all this through the kind donation of Nicky..
He is quoted as saying “ “I discussed the importance of doing something worthwhile with Netcare 911 that would benefit all South Africans. We thought that a long-range service, which could evacuate patients from remote areas would make a tangible difference when it comes to saving lives, we agreed to develop such a service jointly using the AW 139 and the medical expertise of Netcare 911. I am tremendously excited that the helicopter can now be used for the greater good of all South Africans in medical emergencies.”
This to me, is like a rich man turning around and saying “Here use my Ferrari to collect your KFC” I think this is a most commendable donation by someone who cares…. I wonder if he would adopt me.???
I had the pleasure of seeing the AgustaWestland 139 helicopter up close and talking to the pilots that were flying it… Damn they wouldn’t give me a quick spin but still, they were extremely interesting to talk to, specially me that loves anything that flies… here’s a few photos…