UCT remembers two colleagues

15 May 2006

UCT has lost two former staff members this year - John Drew and Albert Thomas.

Drew came to UCT in December 1997 to set up the university's administrative archive after a stint as government archivist in Central Africa.

Working closely with Professor Eric Axelson (then one of two assistant principals but previously dean of the Faculty of Arts and King George V Professor of History), he laid the foundations for a professional archive service on which first Susan Sayers and, more recently, Lionel Smidt have built.

Drew retired in December 1998 and eventually settled in Derby in England, where he died on April 5, aged 73.

Albert Thomas ran the Student Advice Office at UCT during the difficult 1980s and pre-1990 days. Many a struggling student was helped by Thomas to find their feet, get funding, find accommodation, or sort out a study permit (as was required at the time under the Extension of University Education Act, 1959).

Long experience of community activism in Ocean View had honed Thomas's determination and ability to find a solution to challenging problems.

He was at the university from January 1984 and retired at the end of 1993.

He continued in community affairs until his death earlier this year at the age of 74. He leaves his widow, the poet and community artist, Gladys Thomas.

Hugh Amoore, Registrar

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