Ali was an enigma. Highly intelligent and brilliantly inventive, but; he did not produce highly complicated, highly mechanical, hi-tech, monstrosities. He used his intelligence to seek the simplest solution to any problem; and he did it without fail.

His incisive brain cut through all the mumbo jumbo and gobbledegook to a solution that invariably produced the comment Ďwhy didnít I think of that?í

I will never forget the occasion when Ali kindly agreed to be the cabaret at my eldest sonís wedding. During the evening Ali sat quietly in a corner like someoneís elderly uncle, then slowly got up and left the room. Next minute, to the shocked amazement of the guests, a whirling dervish of a man in flying burnoose, turban, and curly-toed gold slippers, pelted onto the floor in a blizzard of magical happenings with silks, flags, confetti, loud guns, bottles and streamers, which had the company in hysterical laughter.

Ali Bongo, a man of contrasts. Introverted but, in performance the complete extrovert. Gentle, kind, helpful but, if he had a bee in his bonnet about the way a trick or act should be performed, he could be extremely forceful in putting his opinion across.

You know the type of magician who, when you mention some trick you have seen, always claims to have invented it; Ali was like that. But, in Aliís case, he probably had.

Ali Bongo was larger than life, even larger than death, his memory will live in the annals of magic forever.

Jack Delvin MIMC
Vice President of The Magic Circle