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Wednesday, June 1, 2022


(Above: Kevan Mardon)

(Kevan Mardon, who also ran the Springbok Radio website, passed away earlier this week. The following is a tribute from Durban actor Frank Graham)

This week I join with many, many others in bidding a shocked and sad farewell to one of Durban’s illustrious sons, Kevan Mardon.

I never met anyone who ever had an unkind word to say about this unassuming man who was always the same - eternally cheerful and full of life. He worked until retirement a few years ago in the Durban Corporation’s Traffic Department and one of his two passions was the city’s trolley buses and other municipal transport. He had hundreds and hundreds of photographs draped all over the walls of his office and a visit there was an eye-opener! Most interesting was the shot of the only trolley bus in the world ever to have toppled over!

And then there was his undying devotion to Springbok Radio. When the SABC announced early in 1985 that the station would be closing down at the end of the year, he immediately phoned Jo’burg and asked whether he might be allowed to have the station’s famous gong, he was told by a rather bemused Leslie McKenzie: “Er … yes … yes, all right … but you’ll have to come and fetch it yourself!” And he did. He took a day’s leave, drove up, collected it and drove straight back. It remained a proud possession to the end and is now in the hands of his sister, Sherree. Kevan was kind enough to lend it to me on occasion when I was presenting my one-man show The Golden Days of Springbok Radio. He even taught me a few of the “tunes” used by various newsreaders and announcers!

Kevan used to visit old-age homes and other institutions and share his vast knowledge and memories with the delighted residents. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him. He printed off copious copies of the old SABC Bulletin for me and made copies of recordings he had made involving interviews with stalwarts like the late Yolande D’Hotman. Fascinating stuff. He also had recordings of well over 3,000 commercials that aired on Springbok through its 35 years on the air!

Kevin’s interest in radio wasn’t confined only to Springbok. He was well-versed in what went on in the English and Afrikaans services.

He was a lovely man and it is tragic that he has been robbed of his retirement years. Like so many others, I’m sure, I will regret not having kept up with him lately. My condolences to Sherree and other family members.

Rest in peace, Kev. Your legacy will live on. -  Frank Graham