Pietermaritzburg business leaders pay tribute to Peter Warmington

2011-12-20 00:00

PROMINENT Pietermaritzburg businessman Peter Warmington (72) — who has been described as a man who possessed an excellent sense of public spirit — died on Thursday following a battle with cancer.

A chartered accountant, his professional career spanned more than 50 years.

He was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus just months after retiring from Warmingtons Incorporated.

His wife, Lynn, told The Witness that he will be remembered for being a gentleman with a great sense of humour.

He was probably best known for his tireless involvement in a number of important business and crime-fighting organisations.

Warmington was the president of the then Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was actively involved in a number of other organisations at the time of his death.

He was the chairperson of the Pietermaritzburg branch of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and a major role-player in Safe City (PMB) and Business Fighting Crime (BFC).

“It’s a huge loss to Safe City and BFC,” said Des Winship, founder of both organisations.

“He was a stalwart of the business community. It is a loss to the family and the city,” said Melanie Veness, CEO of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB).

A tribute by the PCB, BFC and Safe City said: “Always with a positive approach and believing in the best, he shared his unique talents with colleagues, friends and the wider circle in which he happened to find himself in the pursuit of business or volunteer endeavours.”

Warmington was born in India and moved to the UK, but spent most of his life in Pietermaritzburg after being transferred by Coopers & Lybrand from London to Johannesburg in 1966.

He established his own firm in 1993, which became Moore Stephens RB when he retired from the accounting and auditing profession in April 2011. He then headed up the Pietermaritzburg office of Alpha Asset Management.

Moore Stephens RB director Johan Riekert, a former director of Warmingtons Inc, told The Witness that Warmington was a successful businessman and professional.

He maintained an admirable level of physical fitness by regularly attending gym, Riekert added.

The regional manager of Alpha Asset Management, Alastair Nairn, told The Witness that he always respected Warmington’s integrity, intellect and charming manner.

Said Julie Harvey, a former director of Warmingtons Inc: “He showed empathy when listening to anyone experiencing challenges in their lives and offered solutions and support.

“He adored his family.”

A long-standing friend, Richard Lister described him as hard-working and popular.

Warmington had a passion for fly fishing and oil painting.

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