GEORGE NEWS - Blyth Thompson, member of the George Hosptial Trust, says they are grateful for a large donation received from a local couple from Kingswood Golf Estate whose hearts are open to help those in need. He writes:
The residents of Kingswood Golf Estate last week have been riveted to witness massive gatherings of swallows in their annual pre-migratory assemblies about to depart like swarms of bees in incredible flights to their Northern summer nests.
Only two swallows have been locked down in their South African home in Kingswood, unable and not allowed to fly to their second home in Spain to welcome the swallows there as they would normally do annually at this time.
They are the popular Larry and Judi Smith who have, without complaint, set a huge example to all of us South Africans with two separate anti-corona virus donations to the George Hospital Trust, totalling R50 000 - R10 000 for a campaign by the trust to provide masks for all the residents of George and R40 000 towards the building of a new Paediatric wing for mothers and children in the George Hospital.
Larry, prior to his retirement from Castrol as a senior executive, spent the early years of his working career in Johannesburg South Africa. He was born in England where he received an accounting qualification.
In 1970 he came to South Africa and subsequently joined Castrol’s Johannesburg head-office as a cost accountant. There he met his wife Judi. Judi comes from one of the established families of French and Dutch descent who farm in the Natal interior. In 1982 they moved together to Zimbabwe.
They have one daughter, Jemma, resident in New Zealand. Larry continued to move bases and rose through the Castrol executive ranks, much of this in Asia.
Two years prior to his retirement as chief operating officer for Lubricants in Castrol/BP he obtained a motorcycle rider’s licence in Singapore. He had 21 years of ex-pat postings during a 31-year career with Castrol.
Subsequently Larry and Judi have ridden over 100 000km on two wheelers, undertaking a wide variety of adventure trips on many of the continents of the world.
They evolved a novel way of maintaining contact with their daughter, Jemma. They have a toy dog called Sparky, Jemma’s dog, who is an imagined reporter who resides comfortably in Judi’s jumper and gives a full account of the details of their journeys.
The Smiths, Larry and Judi reflect poignantly the spirit of generosity that the coronavirus has revealed in South Africans and will be especially appreciated by the many beneficiaries.
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