Demise of a great Zimbabwean

HARARE - David John Lewis, a significant contributor to life in Zimbabwe, passed away in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday, at the age of 85. His contributions had been to the legal profession, to sport and its administration, in services to agriculture and in the promotion of the country's economy.

David's family had been in Zimbabwe since 1891 and he was born in Bulawayo in 1927.

He was educated at Rhodes Estate Preparatory School and Plumtree High, obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Cape Town University and a BA Honours in Jurispudence at Oxford University.

On return to Zimbabwe he joined the law firm of Coghlan, Welsh and Guest in 1951 and was a partner there for over forty years from 1960 to 2002, the last 10 of which as senior partner.

In a firm which had been in existence, with its fore-bearers, since 1897, there had been a very wide range of clients and interests to serve over that period. As such he also served on various company boards of directorships.

 As a sportsman, David was captain of Zimbabwe schools and vice-captain of South African Schools (under Clive van Rynerveld) at cricket and was selected for Western Province whilst at Cape Town University but was unable to play.

He represented Oxford at cricket and rugby (the first Zimbabwean to win a double Blue) and he toured South Africa with a combined Oxford and Cambridge Rugby side in 1951.

On return to Zimbabwe he represented the country at both cricket and rugby.

With the travelling time involved in cricket and rugby, he was required by the partners to opt for one of the two and chose cricket in which he represented Zimbabwe for an unbroken 15 years. He thereafter chose hockey as his winter sport representing Mashonaland.

As a sports administrator, David was president of the Rhodesia Cricket Union and vice-president of the South African Cricket Board.

In the years when Zimbabwe was under sanctions, David worked closely with C.G.

Tracey in seeking to keep export lifelines open. He was also very conscious of the need to build bridges in our society and was greatly assisted in this regard by being completely fluent in Ndebele.

David married Dorothy Saunder in 1951 and is survived by her and their three daughters, Carin Joan, Margaret Anne and Sally Ann.

Dorothy's father was a Cambridge Blue so it is not surprising that their daughters were also good sportswomen.

There will be a Wake in David's honour and for his friends at the Dandaro Retirement Village Community Centre on Monday afternoon at 5pm. - David Morgan

*Morgan is a legal practitioner, a former Zimbabwe Rugby Union president and cricket enthusiast.

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