In Memory

Colin Gray

Colin Gray was an intelligent, hard working, and affable student at DHS.  For his final two years he was placed in the newly-created  "advanced maths" classes of 5AMA and 6AMA.  After school Colin did military service in a signals squadron, and then put his mathematical skills to good use and qualified as a chartered accountant.  In 1970 he married Alison Williams in Durban and they had three children, Chareen, Ryan, and Bruce.

Colin's career followed a varied course.  He worked at first in Randfontein as an accountant for the industrial conglomerate Barlow Rand,  and then at the company's tractor division in the Durban area.  In 1973 he travelled and took temporary jobs in several European countries, before returning to South Africa in 1974 to join the clothing company Blue Bell Wrangler.  His industriousness was soon rewarded when he was appointed managing director a year later, at the age of 32.  He held the position for ten years, and also owned and operated a sugar farm at Hibberdene on the Natal South Coast. 

in 1985 Colin and the family moved to  Australia, and from that point on he was determined to avoid corporate life.  He ran an antiques shop at first, and then an embroidery business in the Sydney area. Colin was able to retire early, and then lived in Bungendore, a charming rural settlement near Canberra.  There he discovered a "late onset artistic talent", and designed and built two houses.  Colin learned all the various trades such as plumbing and roofing, and relied on his and his family's labour for the projects.  He sold one house, using the proceeds for investment income, and continued to live in the other.  Colin and his brother also owned an apartment in the Cape Town area, which Colin and Allison would visit twice annually for long periods.

Colin was a keen supporter of our Class of 1961 activities.  In 2011 he attended a special 50 year reunion for our Australian classmates in Sydney.  Here he is at that event with classmate Antony Bullimore:

Colin was also a participant in our gathering in Morocco in 2018.  He and Alison hugely enjoyed this adventure:

The following year, 2019, saw Colin at a traditional braai for Australian classmates, hosted in Sydney by Dick and Libby Pollecutt.  Here is a photo of Colin at the event.

Colin had very much hoped to join us for our 61 year reunion, but unfortunately he succumbed to prostate cancer on 26 February 2022.  He is survived by Alison, his wife of 52 years;  his daughter Chareen, who lives in Australia; his son Ryan, who lives in South Africa; and his son Bruce, who lives in the Middle East.