Family, friends gather at Killie Campbell Gardens to remember ‘Umkhulu’ Jeff Guy

2015-01-26 00:00

HUNDREDS of family members and friends gathered at Killie Campbell Gardens in Durban on Saturday to remember loyal friend and great historian Jeff Guy.

Remembered fondly as a man who was fiercely passionate about his work and research, he was known as “Umkhulu” — the Zulu word for grandfather — by those who worked with him at Killie Campbell Library.

Campbell Collections head Vusi Buthelezi said Guy was a great friend with a thirst for knowledge who loved Killie Campbell Library and its archives.

“Umkhulu was more than a friend to me. Killie Campbell was his second home. He was here every single day, and we had so many plans for the library this year.

“He was the pillar of this place,” said Buthelezi.

One by one, friends and colleagues approached the podium in front of a 200-strong crowd, to share memories of Guy’s “gruffness”, and “wicked sense of humour”.

Friend and colleague Mark Hunter from the University of Toronto said Guy was relentless in his research and passion for his work.

University of Lesotho historical studies lecturer Motlatsi Thabane, who knew Guy for 36 years, said he considered himself part of Guy’s family.

“Jeff made me a member of his family and never made me feel like I had to thank him,” he said.

“He was made for a bigger stage than he worked on,” he added.

Campbell Collections advisory board member and historical studies lecturer, Vukile Khumalo, said the institution would work hard to keep Guy’s memory alive through bursaries, scholarships and publications.

“We started with the plans when he went over to London and I had no idea he wouldn’t be here today. But those plans will not disappear,” he said.

Guy’s daughter Heli Guy said her ­father illuminated her world with knowledge and was full of life and irrepressible enthusiasm.

Close friend and colleague Colin ­Bundy from the University of Oxford added that Guy was intensely alive and would always be remembered as such.


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