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Thursday, March 24, 2016


Tributes to the late Patti Slavin, who was a much-loved and highly respected set designer when she lived in South Africa, have been flowing into Facebook from all over the world.

Slavin was very friendly with the late choreographer and dancer Jilian Hurst and worked closely with Professor Pieter Scholtz (Hurst’s husband) when he was the head of the drama department at the University of Natal (now UKZN). Scholtz has penned the following in both their memories:

Some thoughts on two remarkable ladies.

 Gradually she stopped being
No sudden, rash decision
Considered and caring
She decided to stop being
Decided to become
At one with her soul mate.

Diminutive in name
Patti and Jilly
But nothing small
Giving light to our world
Becoming the evening star
When it appears in the west after sunset. – Pieter Scholtz

Mervyn McMurtry, now retired, who was also head of drama at UKZN says: “Such cherished memories of a beautiful person... Dearest Patti, you so very kindly showed us how to combine meticulous flair and craft, inspired taste and ingenuity...”

Close friend Angie Macdonald writes: “My beautiful and dear friend, Patti Gialerakis died yesterday morning after a horrible battle with Lewy Body Dementia. I've been remembering her beautiful smile, her colour co-ordinated outfits and the sense of style she brought to every occasion. The way she swore like a trooper and yet was so utterly ladylike. Her Tai Chi and Luigi movement classes, endless cups of tea and chocolate and fascinating tales of her travels and work in the theatre. Patti had the ability to make everyone she met feel loved and appreciated and I will cherish my friendship with her forever.”

The funeral of Patti Slavin (Gialerakis) is being held this morning (March 24) at 09h15 at the South London Crematorium in Rowan Rd, London SW16 5JG.

In response to the request for flowers, her husband Andrew Gialerakis has requested that instead of buying flowers, people could perhaps make a donation to a Charity of their choice.

“If you would like to donate to the Friends of Dementia Society please do so with a covering letter making your donation in memory of Patti Gialerakis. You can do this over the phone, or send a cheque to the Alzheimers Society, Scott Lodge, Scott Road, Plymouth PL2 3DU,” he explains.

All donations to The Friends of Dementia society go towards research into cures for all forms of dementia, drug research, treatment of patients, Friends of Dementia society, and Side by Side and the management of all.