Half a century and not out

2015-06-30 06:00
UCT traffic manager Keith Witbooi with traffic supervisor Harry Fisher and vice-chancellor Dr Max Price. Fisher has celebrated 50 years of service at UCT.

UCT traffic manager Keith Witbooi with traffic supervisor Harry Fisher and vice-chancellor Dr Max Price. Fisher has celebrated 50 years of service at UCT.

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Harry Fisher (65) was awarded with a certificate of 50 years of service at the University of Cape Town traffic department last week.

As a traffic supervisor at the UCT department of traffic things didn’t start off smoothly for him. Looking back down he remembers how he had to act like an adult and fill his father’s shoes to be the breadwinner at the age of 15.

His father had become very ill and, being the eldest of the four children, he had to drop out of school in Grade 8 and start working so that he could support the family. This was after his father lost his job due to being hospitalised.

“It wasn’t easy leaving school at that age and I wasn’t used to working,” the father of three says. “However, I had to do what’s best for my family, because my father couldn’t work anymore. I just needed to work so that I could put food on the table because my father was so ill. I was young but it had to be done.”

Through the help of his uncle he got a job as a gardener at UCT. Fisher says this is a decision that he will never regret.

“I had to be the man for my family. I don’t regret it and I’m so happy that I did what I did for my family. This is a lesson that I will gladly pass on to my children because I believe family is very important. I had to step up to the occasion and I’m glad it paid off,” says Fischer.

Working diligently, he found himself climbing the ladder of success. He says as gardeners they were outsourced and he remembers being at home for a week and getting a call to come see the manager at the traffic department.

“I went there and I got another job as a traffic officer. In time I was promoted to be a traffic supervisor. This is something that I never thought I would achieve but I’m glad. I’m humbled by the recognition. I continue to work hard no matter what circumstances I face,” he says.

He says if he had time he would complete his studies but his work schedule is so tight, leaving very little time to go back and learn.

“I’m happy where I am, but I would like to take off where I left but time doesn’t allow. I read books more often to learn about different things,” he says.

Andre Theys, the executive director of UCT properties and services (the division under which traffic falls), says he has known Harry for over 10 years and he is both a great person and employee

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