Sylvester aged 6
Sylvester Roman Stein was born Christmas Day 1920 in Cape Town.
"A momentous nativity. I can boast along with proud Glendower that at my birth the very heavens shook, for 1920 was the year the world's first airline was launched and the year the BBC gained its charter, between them shattering and shaking the peace of the skies for ever." I Danced with Mrs Gandhi
His family moved to Durban a few months after he was born and that is where he spent his childhood.
At fourteen, he shook hands with George Bernard Shaw who later became one of his great heroes.
When Indira Nehru (later Gandhi) was recalled from England by her father in 1941 she passed through Durban and was royally entertained by the local left book club, including Sylvester. Sylvester only realised who he had swirled madly around when he read her obituary in 1984.
He spent time as a taxi driver in Durban.