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LEVY, Denzil Nathan David

Born: 1917 06 28
Died: 2017 11 14


Reg No: 804
Year registered: 1942

(BArch 1941 (Witwatersrand) ARIBA)

Denzil Nathan David Levy was born on 28 June 1917 in Port Elizabeth. The son of Rev. Abraham and Fanny Levy, his school career traversed Brisbane, Australia and Selborne College in East London and Grey High School in Port Elizabeth.

Levy graduated with an architectural degree from Wits and then practiced privately as senior partner at DENZIL LEVY, MUGGRIDGE AND BENAS. He served in this capacity for some 40 years. He chaired the local committee of the Institute of SA Architects for five of the 22 years he served, in addition to serving on the Central Council for SA Architects, the SA Property Owners Association, the Building Research Advisory Committee and the Port Elizabeth Planning and Advisory Council.

From the outset of his career, Levy contributed selflessly to various organisations that promoted culture, religion and the arts. A Wits benefactor, Levy contributed to the East Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, choirs, art foundations and country clubs; universities, convocations, schools and school boards; the Salvation Army advisory board, the Port Elizabeth Publicity Association, the SA Bureau of Standards and the Jewish community generally. Dr Levy was vice president of the Union of Orthodox Synagogues for many years, and received the Ivan Sackheim Memorial award in 1997 for 60 years' distinguished service to the Jewish community.

Levy greatly contributed to the fine arts. He was a founder member of the King George VI Art Gallery Association in 1972, serving as Vice-Chairman for 15 years and Chairman for another 16 years. Similarly, since 1982, he was a trustee of the King George VI Art Gallery (now the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum). An active committee member of the PE Musical and Dramatic Society since 1972, Levy's support of the fine and performing arts, as well as music was reflected in his presiding over the Society for two of the 30-odd years he had been involved. In 2007, at the age of 90, he received the Lexus Lifetime Achiever award where he addressed the audience of over 500 in Johannesburg.

Denzil Levy, philanthropist, served the community of Port Elizabeth for some sixty years. He contributed selflessly to the establishment, maintenance and endorsement of the fine arts (architecture, sculpture and painting), music and the performing arts. He did this through acting on no less than 39 public committees and trusts devoted to the promotion of a wide range of social, religious and cultural pursuits vital to the Nelson Mandela metropolitan municipality.

In 2010 the Port Elizabeth Technikon bestowed an honorary doctorate in technology on Dr Denzil Levy. Levy was awarded the Doctor Technologiae (Honoris Causa) for service of excellence in the interest of the community in the fields of statesmanship, culture, society, politics, education, economics, arts and other walks of life.

On 28 June 2017 Dr Denzil Levy turned 100 years old. He received a special award at the senior citizen of the year occasion for his centennial. Dr Levy, a wonderful gentleman and respected architect, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the SAIA-EC Awards evening held on 26 October 2017.

On 14 November 2017, at the age of 100 years and nearly 5 months, Dr Denzil Levy passed away. His memorial service was held at the Patterson Road cemetery in Port Elizabeth today, 15 November 2017.

His contributions to the architectural community will forever be remembered and respected.

(Obituary from SAIA submitted by William MARTINSON)