Page 7 - HGR September High Res
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NEWSLINE 5

In Memoriam -                                                                               as remembered by Ed Billes
   Cyril Katz

   Cyril Katz, my close                         member of the national committee.             they were needed is well remembered:
                                                Indeed he officiated at several national      How he loved a challenge and would
 friend and colleague for                       championships and other major events          go out and rewrite the record books for
                                                played around the country. He was in          all his reps to follow – especially when
  the past 45 years, has                        his element on such occasions and             times were tough and the chips were
                                                fulfilled his duties in fine form. ,          down . Cyril had an amazing ability to
 passed away at the age                       • W e enjoyed those special times when         sell to virtually everyone and I can only
                                                were able work on major promotions            describe his sales technique as person-
         of 76. Cyril                           and new product launches in Johannes-         ality which guaranteed a great entrée’
                                                burg and Cape Town.                           to the independents and regional
Cyril was either sales director or an         • H is ability to achieve record sales when    groups.
executive for each of the top lounge fur-                                                   • C yril flew to Durban for my farewell
niture manufacturers over the years dur-       ”His special                                   celebration from Grafton in 1994. I
ing a long and successful career. These        rapport with                                   reminded him that evening of our 45
included Parker Knoll, Steele Bros, and        virtually                                      year friendship. In all that time, we
twice at Grafton Everest and the House         every major                                    have continually remained in touch.
of Motani.                                     independent and                                And – remarkably -in this volatile, high
                                               regional group                                 pressure industry, he and I have never
  These are some of the special qualities      throughout the                                 had a cross word between us.
that set Cyril apart:                          country...”                                  • W hilst recovering from the most seri-
                                                                                              ous 9 hour operation at Faerie Glen
• H is special rapport with virtually every                                                  hospital in Midrand in 2011, Cyril
  major independent and regional group                                                        arrived at the ICU to visit me. However,
  throughout the country.                                                                     I was in isolation and no visitors were
                                                                                              allowed for the first week. But I learnt
• H is attention to detail and the service                                                   afterwards that Cyril had driven all that
  he provided to all his stockists.. Cyril                                                    way every single day for 7 days – each
  kept his promises.                                                                          time being turned away until they
                                                                                              finally let him in.
• H is uncanny memory of birthdays,                                                          That was a true friend and I will never
  anniversaries and wedding anniversa-                                                      forget him.
  ries. Many is the time that his call to a                                                   Cyril was one of those characters that
  pal saved the man getting into trouble                                                    made the furniture trade so unique and
  for not remembering his anniversary                                                       special. How often we discussed what
  because Cyril reminded him.                                                               sets it apart from the rest. Our conclu-
                                                                                            sion? The people –and now, sadly, he is no
• H is marvellous sense of humour and                                                      longer with us .I shall miss him terribly.
  his favourite jokes that only he could                                                      Cyril is survived by his wife, Norma and
  tell with either his brilliant Afrikaans                                                  his three daughters. I send them my
  or Yiddish accents – both were funny,                                                     deepest sympathy for their great loss
  but the Yiddish one always brought the                                                    and let them know that his memory will
  house down.                                                                               live on in all that knew him.
                                                                                              Ed Billes, ex Grafton Everest and the
• C yril was a great all round sports-                                                     House of Motani.
  man and in the early days he was a
  scratch golfer and played golf initially
  in the Free State and later in Gauteng.
  Ultimately it was bowls that caught his
  attention and in no time – Cyril was a
  top umpire, club president and an active

                                              SEPTEMBER 2016 | HOME GOODS RETAILER
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