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News > Deaths and Obituaries > Bill Fairhead (1949S)

Bill Fairhead (1949S)

Bill Fairhead passed away during Sunday 22nd September. Bill Fairhead (WT Fairhead) matriculated in 1949 and was in School House at the time. He was the father of the late Grant Fairhead (1977S) and is survived by his wife and daughter, Shane.

William Tyrrel Fairhead Obituary (17 May 1932 – 22 September 2019)

One of the last surviving members of the Class of 1949, William (Bill) Fairhead, died in Cape Town on 22nd September 2019.

He and his class mates – of which I was one – saw the end of World War 11 in 1945, the visit of the Royal Family in 1947, the coming to power of the National Party / introduction of Apartheid in 1948 and the Bishops Centenary in 1949.

Bill was born in Cape Town and attended St George’s Grammar School before coming to Bishops. After matriculating he did his articles at Douglas McKelvie and Galbraith before joining his brother at the family auditing and trust firm, JT Fairhead and Co, and, after the accounting side of the firm merged with Ernst & Young, became a partner in the latter company. When he retired from Ernst & Young at the age of 65, he spent the rest of his formal working life at Fairheads International Trust Company before eventually retiring at the age of 83.

Having introduced Allan Gray to his first client in 1974, he maintained a strong working relationship with Allan and his company and a lasting personal friendship.

Bill married Diane in 1958 and they had two children, Shane and Grant. After matriculating at Bishops, Grant moved to Johannesburg, where he died at the very young age of 36. He had two daughters, Gaby who is with the Cape Town City Ballet and Sasha, recently graduated from UCT. Shane also had two children, Graeme Heerden, who went to Bishops, and is a talented musician living in London, and Chloe who is carrying on the Fairhead accounting tradition with Deloitte, London.

Bill and I shared a study as house prefects in School House and he enjoyed and excelled at rugby for which he won House colours. A gentleman to his fingertips, he had a wonderful sense of humour and will be remembered by all who knew him with great fondness.

Francois Marais


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