By Ilidia de Sousa who worked with Jeremy during all his years of service
Jeremy Ractliffe, founder trustee of the DG Murray Trust (DGMT) since 1979, retired on 6 March 2012 after 33 years of service. Jeremy also served as chairperson of the Trust from August 2007 to June 2011.
Jeremy’s financial and managerial skills were catalytic to the growth of the DGMT to become one of the largest private charitable trusts in the country. For example, in 1980 the DGMT distributed approximately R500 000 which has grown to just over R100 million in 2011. While back in 1980 the staff complement was only 3, today the DGMT employs 21 permanent staff members.
A man with a brilliant mind and a ‘soft heart’ – Jeremy feels deeply another person’s sadness and tears. He treats all alike and even in his busyness he finds time for a ‘special word’ for people. Jeremy is a work-alcoholic with an enormous zest for life and a happy disposition; an avid reader and collector of philosophical quotes.
Working for Jeremy was interesting, stimulating and unpredictable! Mastering his hand-writing, which at first glance appears to be a maze of undecipherable hieroglyphics, took years of perseverance! Jeremy never lost a piece of paper but many he misplaced – only temporarily, he would say! ‘Search and you shall find’ was part of my job, and lots of patience …..
Be well, Jeremy.