From humble beginnings …

2016-09-28 06:00
PHOTO:supplied  Iris and Herschell Augustus, owners of Commercial Panel Beaters.

PHOTO:supplied Iris and Herschell Augustus, owners of Commercial Panel Beaters.

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FROM spraying outdoors to a fully modernised panel shop, Commercial Panel Beaters have gone through the ages and over its 40 years in Pietermaritzburg, established itself in the motor repair industry.

Herschell and Iris Augustus started their panel shop in 1976 from a small house in Greyling Street. In 1993 they bought the property next door in order to develop the business further.

“It grew into a family business with each of our four children working in the shop over the years. The workshop is now run by our son Marc and his wife Carman,” said Herschell.

Taking a trip down memory lane about how the business began, the Augustus’s fondly remembered their early married years when they saved money to fulfil Herschell’s dream of owning his own business. After two years, and R2 000 later, they settled in Pietermaritzburg from Durban and opened Commercial Panel Beaters.

“Our beginnings were humble, from a farmyard in Bishopstowe painting cars and trailers and anything we could get our hands on. We then moved to Woodlands Service Station and then to a bare yard in Berg Street before we finally managed to get a property in Greyling Street.

“Back then it was very different. We used to call our clients and phone for business from a phone booth. Herschell used to lift the cars by anchoring chains into concrete instead of the modern methods of using a chassis- straightening bench. We worked hard to make the business a success,” said Iris.

After purchasing the house, which was financially assisted by the Coloured Development Corporation at the time, they built a small office block with a shop. After saving for a few years, the adjacent property became available in 1993 and was purchased. Both shops were consolidated to create one store offering a range of services.

“Today we have a successful business through the goodness of God alone. He has prospered us. Our faith and trust in Him, integrity and honesty has ensured that we have built a good reputation in the community.

“Without the support from our customers, our success wouldn’t have been possible. We want to thank staff, both past and present, for the huge role they have played in the business. You have helped make the business a success.

“We thank God for the progress at Commercial over the years, it is only through Him that this is possible,” said Herschell.

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