national Arts Festival Banner

Sunday, November 30, 2014


(Rosemary & Rod Draper with their sons, Martin, Robin & Peter)

Rod (Roderick) John Draper, a popular and well-respected long-term supporter of the performing arts, passed away peacefully in Durban on November 21. 

Born in England, he was educated at the Downs Preparatory School and Taunton School, later at the University of Natal, Durban. He was articled to a Durban firm of chartered Accountants and qualified in 1956, then worked for Lever Bros in Durban. He became a naturalised South African citizen in 1964. 

He joined the family paint manufacturing concern Elvolac Paints Pty Ltd and became joint Managing Director. The business was sold to AECI Paints Pty Limited after which he was appointed joint Managing Director of the combined operation in Natal for three years and a Director on the holding company Board. 

He was much involved in the property and insurance industries and served on numerous municipal and transport bodies as well as the Durban Chamber of Commerce with which he retained strong links until his death. 

He leaves his wife Rosemary and their three sons Martin, Robin and Peter. 

Rod and Rosemary were season ticket holders of the KZN Philharmonic and sponsored shows to the Witness Hilton Arts Festival. 

“He was always game to go to support anything, be it Catalina, The Rhumbelows, The Elizabeth Sneddon - whatever!” says close friend, Lindi Drummond. “He was a pleasure to have around the theatre world and was a great friend to us!” 

“I have known Rod and Rosemary since 1970 or so when we were members of The Kloof Amateur Dramatic Society (KADS),” says casting director Peter Gardner. “He was an open and honest man –said it like he meant it and felt it. He was always a great supporter of the dramatic arts. He will be sorely missed.” 

A Celebration Wake will take place on Monday (December 1) at 16h30. For details, contact Rosemary on 031 201 0926. In lieu of flowers, donations to Highway Hospice would be appreciated.