Family pays tributes to late Greytown pioneer

2019-05-08 06:02
photo: suppliedBarry Varty.

photo: suppliedBarry Varty.

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THE family of one of the pioneers of Greytown paid tribute to their father, Barry Varty, who was well-known in Greytown. Varty passed away on February 1.

Varty was born on March 9, 1934 and raised on Umvoti Heights farm in Rietvlei near Greytown. He was the son of Thomas and Ismay Varty and brother to Mignon.

Varty was a respected farmer and community member, which was reflected in the support from the larger community, attendance at his memorial service, and numerous condolence messages.

His daughter, Nicki Varty, said: “He bragged about his carefree days as a child, where he ran barefoot on adventures with his trusty terrier. His mother taught him for his early schooling years and his father introduced him to farming.

“He was proud of being a Maritzburg College boy, especially in his later years when he really looked forward to the camaraderie at reunions, even insisting on leaving the hospital bed to attend an Old Boy’s luncheon.

“Due to his love for the farm, it was logical that he went to Cedara Agricultural College to hone his farming skills, where he partied a lot and studied a bit. Thereafter he continued his partying and travelled the world with a friend, gaining new friendships and memorable experiences along the way.

“When the money ran short, he was told it was time to settle down and do some work on the family farm, which became his life and passion. Still, he was restless and directed his extra energy to his enthusiasm as an all-round sportsman, participating in some form of sport almost every day.”

Tennis was particularly important to him throughout his life, and he took on chairperson’s roles and won various championships for many years at the Greytown Tennis Club, even triple champ one year, where he was thrilled to be nominated as an honorary life member.

“On one significant day while playing cricket in Dalton, he drew the eye of a young teacher, Erica, and they fell in love. Soon after the wedding bells rang loud and clear at the Greytown Anglican Church to celebrate their union. All of a sudden there were four young children: Margie, Paul, Dave and me.”

Erica (Barry’s wife) and family were a core part of his life and a source of happiness and he was an integral part of the family.

He always appreciated animals, especially his pets and, as he grew older (and maybe wiser), he became convinced that they were more clever than people realise.

According to his family, he had his own sense of humour, which was not always understood, but his friends and acquaintances soon learnt to appreciate his “tongue in cheek” manner. He took pride in recognising old acquaintances and thoroughly enjoyed catching up on the “good old days”.

Nicki added: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and encouragement during this very difficult time, it makes it easier to work through the loss and helps us to see our way forward. We shall remember Barry with respect and love for all time.”

Nicki compiled a 326-word poem that she dedicated to her late father.

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