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Friday, January 2, 2015


(Patrick Collyer)

artSMart is sad to announce the death of Patrick Collyer at 14h30 at the Westville Hospital on December 31, 2014, after suffering serious ill health for several months.

A respected English teacher as well as an actor, guitarist, director and playwright, he taught at Durban High School (DHS). He leaves his wife Cheryl (formerly Joiner), an experienced choreographer and dance teacher who lectured with him at Technikon Natal (now the Durban University of Technology). She moved to join him at DHS to teach English but is now retired.

The tribute on the DHS website reads: “Mr Collyer was an exceptional English teacher, much loved by the boys for his dry sense of humour and his talent for bringing characters to life ... no-one will forget him dressed as Dumbledore on the Grade 8 Harry Potter Days! Mr Collyer was also the Head of Grade 8 and who better to care for the new little boys and their anxious parents ... he took them all under his wing, made them feel at home in this large School and put their parents’ minds at rest.

Patrick was until recently the Head of Extra-Mural Music - putting his experience as a talented musician to good use assisting boys to learn to play the guitar and putting on wonderful shows ... with the Peace Concerts in the Memorial Courtyard being particularly memorable.”

Many messages have been posted on Facebook from friends, colleagues and former students who acknowledge his influence in their professional acting careers including one from actor Grant Swanby: “Saddened today to hear of the passing of my acting teacher Patrick Collyer. He was one of the first to have faith in me and my talent and dreams. Love and strength to Cheryl.”

More tributes to follow.