|17 Jul 2020
|Passing of friends
Jonathan Brian Wakeling (1964G) | 1947 - 2020
Brian was born in the UK, but brought up in Cape Town and educated at Western Province Preparatory School where he became Head Boy in 1960. He went on to Diocesan College (Bishops) and later to the University of Cape Town where he was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Commerce. At that time he was involved in the Mountain Club and the Kenilworth Boy Scouts with their annual Camp at Hermanus. He kept his link with the Hermanus Camp over many years.
During his career he became a senior finance executive with international experience in the manufacturing, mining and service sectors. His success seemed to be due to his great ability to establish good relationships with shareholders, fellow directors, funding institutions, government officials and employees at all levels, and an ability to overcome regulatory red tape.
He was articled in Cape Town with Welby, Steward, Bass and Co, and in 1973 he qualified as a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) with Honours. He then worked for three years in the City of London with Coopers and Lybrand, followed by five years in Calgary in Canada, with Burns Foods Limited, where he started as Group Internal Auditor and ended up as Group Controller. While in Canada he qualified as a Chartered Accountant (Canada).
In 1982 he relocated to Harare, Zimbabwe and joined Art Corporation as a Senior Finance Executive. After five years he was appointed Finance Director and he later became Managing Director. He resigned from this position at the end of 1996, following the take-over of the group.
In 1997 he was appointed Director of Administration and Finance of the Zimbabwe operations of Delta Gold Limited, an Australian gold mining company. In 2001 the Australians decided to close their Zimbabwe operations, and Brian returned to Cape Town and lived in Hout Bay.
During his retirement, he was active as a financial consultant in Cape Town and he undertook a R20 million empowerment proposal for a fruit producer. He did audits and recruited South Africans to go and work overseas. For a year or so he worked as Bursar at Wynberg Boys High School.
Early in 2020 he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away peacefully at home on 6th June 2020. The stream of tributes and greetings from friends worldwide which flowed into the WhatsApp feed held by his daughter during these last few months is a tribute in itself to his popularity and his wide group of close friends.
He will be fondly remembered and missed by many friends and family in many countries. He is particularly mourned by his partner Helen, his ex-wife Dorothy, his sons Angus and Jonathan, his daughter Julia, and his three grandchildren.