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Christopher Lamb (‘Quill’) Hermans was born in Cape Town in South Africa on 23 December 1936. During his youth, he enjoyed several holidays at his grandfather’s large cattle ranch at the Setlagoli valley outside Mahikeng, and learned a fair amount about the art of cattle farming. When he was quite small, his elder sister Diana had difficulty pronouncing ‘Christopher’. She called him ‘Quillifer’, and the ‘Quill’ nickname stuck. He passed his post-matric exams with distinction at the Diocesan College for Boys in Cape Town (‘Bishops school’) in 1954.