RESPECTED law practitioner Patrick Leslie Smith (82), affectionately known as “Mr Pat”, died on July 6 in hospital after a short illness.
Smith was chairperson of J Leslie Smith & Co. Inc. from 1975 to 1997 and retired as a partner on June 30, 1998, but he was still active in the firm as a consultant.
He joined the family law firm and was admitted as an attorney on February 15, 1955.
He became a junior partner in 1955 and rose to senior partner in 1975, a position he held for 23 years.
He held a 50-year service award under his name from the Law Society.
He attended St Charles College and Marist Brothers College in Johannesburg and read for a law degree at the University of Natal.
He was married to Joicelyn Shaw McGeogh and had six children.
He joined the Active Citizen Force (Natal Field Artillery) in 1948 and was commissioned in 1949.
Rising to the rank of major (the youngest major in the Defence Force at the time), he was battery commander of Fourth Battery in Pietermaritzburg for eight years of his 15 years’ part-time service in the unit.
Smith was a member of St Mary’s Parish for 77 years and gave 60 years’ service to St Vincent de Paul Society.
He served on the Management Board of Msunduzi Hospice in Pietermaritzburg and was actively involved in charitable church activities assisting the poor.
He also was a judge on the tribunal of the archdiocese.
His hobbies were sailing, carpentry and workshop.
He was the holder of a pilot’s licence for light aircraft and took part in four State President’s air races around South Africa.
Smith enjoyed breeding parrots and finches and game- and bird-watching, and received South African colours for moving target clay pigeon shooting.