IT was with shock and deep sadness that his many friends, customers and staff greeted the news of the death of Uvongo pharmacist and ‘St Mike’s local’ Steve Adie (63), who died suddenly in Cape Town last week.
The venue was packed when Steve’s family and many friends gathered to mark his passing and to celebrate his life at Douglas Mitchell on Sunday last week. Memories of this much-loved and highly respected long-time Uvongo resident were shared.
While many words were used to describe Steve, the one that kept popping up was ‘integrity’. Steve was a highly principled person, a man of great integrity, a solid, civic-minded citizen and a good friend.
For many years he was an active member of Round Table and 41ers, organisations that allowed him to involve himself in his community.
As a pharmacist he was a true professional, always ethical, extremely knowledgeable and renowned for his kindness, patience, devotion and thoughtfulness to all who needed his professional services, particularly the elderly.
Many of his customers who attended the Douglas Mitchell gathering spoke about his willingness always to go the extra mile for them.
In spite of his serious attitude towards work, he was great company. He was a cheerful, happy person who loved life and who packed so much into every day.
While he maintained a deep interest in his chosen profession, after closing time he loved to relax and enjoy the company of his family and a wide circle of friends.
It was only when you got to know him that you discovered he had a brilliant, rather quirky and sometimes wicked sense of humour. A practical joke, usually perpetrated with a perfectly straight face, was his forte.
As a thoroughly committed sports enthusiast, he loved to watch rugby, a game he had played in his youth, and he was a keen cyclist. Water, though, was his true element and he was at one with the sea.
An excellent swimmer who specialised in butterfly, he represented Zimbabwe as a young man. Later, hardly a a day went by without him swimming, either in his pool at home or in the ocean he loved.
Steve was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and was educated at Milton College. As his sister, Angela Woodin, pointed out, while growing up he had one foot in South Africa as their parents, Lois and Graham, had a cottage near St Michael’s beach in Uvongo where the family spent many happy holidays.
It always irked Steve that he was a holidaymaker and not a ‘St Mike’s local’, a situation he was determined to rectify.
He went to Rhodes University in 1973, completing a four-year pharmacy degree. After doing his pharmacy apprenticeship in Johannesburg, he completed his national service at Simonstown, where he worked as a pharmacist in the South African Navy.
In 1980 he followed his dream of owning a pharmacy in his beloved Uvongo, opening Village Pharmacy in partnership with Pierre Venter and eventually taking over full ownership of it. Herbert Mkhize was his first employee and is still a popular member of the Village Pharmacy team.
Above all, though, Steve was a devoted family man who extended his loving support to all his relations. He adored his wife, Nicki, and was immensely proud of his children, Gavin and Shannon.
Not long before he died, Steve was able to celebrate two momentous family occasions. Almost a year ago, Gavin married Sarah, the girl of his dreams, in a seaside ceremony in Ramsgate. Soon after that Shannon followed in Steve’s footsteps to qualify as a pharmacist.
Last Modified: Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:15:16 SAST