McCarthy’s legacy set to continue

2010-07-26 00:00

GROUNDCOVER, a business that has contributed significantly to the wellbeing of the KwaZulu-Natal midlands community over the past two decades, will continue its operations following the recent death of its co-founder, Justin McCarthy.

His widow, Amanda, told The Witness that the business will continue with the support of family members.

The local community was shocked following the news of the death of the prominent entrepreneur in a cycling accident on the Curry’s Post Road earlier this month.

Groundcover manufactures leather footwear and accessories.

More than 1 000 people attended McCarthy’s funeral.

Amanda McCarthy said, “We will need to assess the business. But it’s still a healthy business. The shop is busy and the wholesale side of the business is also thriving. I am now trying to educate myself on Justin’s side of the business.”

The couple had been heavily involved in community work over the past 20 years.

“We have always operated the business in a different way. We knew that it had to be viable and profitable, but the goal has never been to get rich. We saw it as a stable business that gave meaningful employment to people.”

McCarthy was a key player in the Midlands Meander Association. He was also a well-known and active member of the cycling and mountain biking fraternity. He planned to travel to Nepal for a cycling trip in the Himalayas.

He was also passionate about Nguni cattle, and his widow said the hearse was driven through his 100-strong herd of Nguni cattle after the funeral to honour this passion.

McCarthy was actively involved in the Curry’ Post Conservancy. He helped many leather workers in their endeavours.

The couple paid half the school fees of a number of staff members’ children who attended school in Howick. Amanda McCarthy is the former chairperson of the Curry’s Post Educational Trust. She said that she would like to continue the work they have done in the community.

Amanda McCarthy said she has been overwhelmed by the support of local people, including family, staff members, neighbours, friends and other midlands residents.

“I know that there will be wobbles down the road, but I’m not going to worry about that now.

It has taken something like this for us to realise what an unbelievable community we live in,” she said.

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