In August 1986, Malcolm Stewart Evans returned to the town where he had told his bride, Shirley, in 1957, that Port Alfred was where they would retire some day.
That day came earlier than he had anticipated when, at 53, he was boarded from his job as a boiler engineer in Gauteng on advice from a highly respected specialist who told him to go down to the coast to enjoy what was left of his life.
Needless to say, he dug in his heels and pronounced he was going to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, Kenneth Stewart, who had been mayor of the town in the late 1920s with a passion for the good of the community.
Malcolm served on the ratepayers’ committee, later becoming chairperson, and was involved in projects for the first Port Alfred SAPS Dog Unit, the Netcare Hospital, “Save the Kowie River”, Kelly’s Beach Blue Flag Award, municipal affairs and others.
His passion though was always Damant Lodge, where he served as a volunteer on the board for 18 years until he and Shirley became residents there.
As with all his other interests, he put heart and soul into his work there as board member for maintenance, which now holds the lofty title of estates manager.
The connection to the sewerage system, the generator, the alterations or additions to various buildings, and especially the inner roads and pathways all reflect his imprint, so he died in his pride and joy, after an 18-month argument with his body, in frail care, with
many wonderful people caring for his every need.
At a family gathering to celebrate this miraculous “second life” of dedication, the following
was read out by his widow. Given to him one Christmas, written by LL Elrod, it had been
framed and stood on his desk in his “computer room” – never “office” – to remind him that he had been a success in all he tackled:
“He’s the hard-working,
thoughtful and sensitive kind, an
honest and warm-hearted man.
“He’s simply a person who’s
doing his best to live life as well as he can.
“You’ll probably not see his
name up in lights, his goal is not glory or fame.
“He may not be chosen as man
of the year, and not all will
remember his name.
“He most highly values the
people he loves and friendship, to
him, is a prize.
“Contentment with life can be
seen in his face and happiness
shines in his eyes.
“He’ll share what he has with
somebody in need, and time to help
those in distress.
“He might not be famous, he
may not be rich, but, at living, this
man’s a success.”
Rest in peace Malcolm after another life well-lived.