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PASSING OF GLYN TAYLOR (article first published : 1999-05-16)

With the passing of Glyn Taylor, the arts world has lost a luminary and a staunch campaigner. A victim of serious heart problems over the past year, he suffered a fatal attack on May 11.

At present, the circumstances surrounding his death are unresolved but, while a man of his calibre and standing should have left this earthly plain in honour and glory, certain newspaper articles surrounded his death with scandal. However, these articles appear to directly contradict police reports.

Whatever happened on the fateful day and this should remain a matter between the family, the police and any other possible involved third parties Glyn Taylor is no longer with us. The smiling, genial and popular figure has moved on.

Glyn Taylor had an illustrious business career in Durban, serving the sugar association for over 26 years. He was a member of the board of the ML Sultan Technikon and served on the boards of numerous charitable organisations. An early board member of the Playhouse Company, he was a serving trustee of the KZN Playhouse Trust at the time of his death and had been instrumental in raising significant funds for the Trust and its principle benefactors, the Playhouse Company and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra.

An example of his tireless devotion to the arts and his concern for the under-privileged was his organising of hired buses to ferry children from disadvantaged schools to see the orchestra when it appeared at the Wild Coast Sun recently.

He was also involved in a Playhouse project that saw a million instruments donated from around the world to help musical education among the under-privileged.

Glyn Taylor used his considerable skill in fund-raising and his high-standing reputation in the business community to fight for the survival of the arts in Durban. Without his input, many people in all disciplines of the arts would not be where they are today and thousands of people would not have been able to see their work.

He collected artwork himself, particularly bronze sculptures by KZN sculptor Owen Llewellyn Davies, which he placed in the restaurant owned by the family at Hage Hall. He also scoured the world to find appropriate artworks depicting the Grenadier Guards and the Battle of Isandhlwana for their Seasons restaurant at Hillcrest.

Tales of his generosity are legendary and, as sculptor Owen Llewellyn Davies states: He had the courage to put his money where his mouth is.

We shall miss his vision, his clear logic and abounding enthusiasm and love for the arts.


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