DR AS Pillay, who has died, served the people of Port Elizabeth for almost half a century. Many patients will remember his dedicated and diligent service with great compassion and empathy.
He was a true inspiration to his siblings and the younger generation.
He was born in South End to a family who played a pivotal role in the community affairs.
He was educated at Dower Primary School followed by Weiss Primary School and finally at Paterson High School, then situated above Mount Road. His dream was to become a medical doctor.
After matric he applied to be admitted to medical college, but due to the policy of restricting black students he was unsuccessful. However he decided to complete a BSc degree at Fort Hare hoping that would improve his chances of getting into a SA medical university.
Still he was not accepted. Finally he applied to Indian government and he was given the opportunity to attend the Madras Medical University in Chennai.
This young man was not deterred by all the difficulties that were placed before him to achieve his dreams and finally he became a medical doctor in 1957. During this period a further challenge occurred when he contracted malaria.
On returning to South Africa, the country that did not help him, he was determined to turn good for evil and did his internship at the Somerset Hospital in Cape Town. Later he opened a surgery in Durban Road and then one in Veeplaas. He also worked at Livingstone Hospital.
His was a life well spent in serving his community and others with dedication and sacrifice.
S Pillay, Port Elizabeth