ONE of Port Alfred’s most well known and respected residents, Kingsley Avis, died on December 30 after a struggle with cancer.
Avis, who had the nicknames “King” and “the Pin”, lived in the Kowie for 47 years, and worked at Avis Auto for 41 years, eventually becoming owner of the business.
He was born in East London, to Charlie and Dulcie Avis, in February 1944.
He grew up in King William’s Town before moving to Port Alfred in 1965 to be with the love of his life, his fiancé Isabel Serfontein, whom me met on his 19th birthday and married three years later.
After working for Good Hope Textile in King William’s Town, Avis began with Heny & Haller, or “the garage” as he fondly called it, in 1965. It later became Avis Auto.
After starting as a motor mechanic, he was soon promoted to salesman and from there he went on to become the manager of the business, before becoming co-owner with local businessman Dave Young and ultimately owned the business with Isabel before retiring in 2006.
Kingsley and Isabel’s four children, Charlene, Robert, Patsy and Kelly learnt many lessons in life from him. Most notable, was his continuous encouragement to “do things properly”.
The Pin was a perfectionist and would leave no stone unturned in his quest for success, in whatever he set out to do and achieve. He was often heard saying “go for your badge”, a motivation for achievement. It was a delight and joy for him to share his knowledge with his children and eight grandchildren, Christopher, Bianca, Lloyd, Bevan, Jasmin, Lionel, Nakita and Stafford.
Kingsley’s hobbies included woodwork, a love of vintage cars (of which he owned two); playing snooker at home with his sons, son-in-laws, grandsons and friends; waterskiing; fishing and listening to music.
Dancing to country & western, rock and even a good dose of Boeremusiek were favourite pastimes for him.
Isabel’s favourite woodwork items he made were cots for his grandchildren – beautifully crafted with a lot of love and devotion.
Kingsley enjoyed his membership of the Port Alfred Old Car Club tremendously and had a special love for cars and motorbikes. He loved building up old bikes from scratch.
Kingsley was a resounding success at his dealership, Avis Auto. Recognisable from a distance in his daily work attire of collar and tie, he worked hard, with a sense of pride and ownership in everything he did. He supported the Ford brand wholeheartedly, winning many sales competitions which took him and Isabel to many exotic destinations, including Russia, Turkey, Greece, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, Seychelles, Mauritius, Brazil, Argentina and the United States.
Kingsley would want to thank everyone for their love and prayers for his beloved family, who will miss him dearly. He would also want to thank his doctor and friend, Alfie Grimbeek, and his team, for their dedication and commitment to his health over the past 27 years. Dr Grimbeek’s kindness to him will forever be appreciated.