David John Lewis
|David John Lewis|
|Born||David John Lewis|
July 27, 1927
|Died||January 18, 2013 (aged 85)|
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Education||Plumtree High School|
|Alma mater||Cape Town University and Oxford University|
|Occupation||Lawyer; Sports Personality|
|Employer||Coghlan, Welsh and Guest|
|Known for||First Zimbabwean to win a double Blue representing Oxford at cricket and rugby|
|Children||Carin Joan, Margaret Anne and Sally Ann|
David John Lewis was a Zimbabwean who was a significant contributor to life in the country. His contribution had been to the legal profession, to sport and its administration, in services to agriculture and in the promotion of the country's economy. David Lewis is widely acknowledged as one of this country’s greatest captains and administrators, as well as being a good, courageous middle-order batsman.
David's family had been in Zimbabwe since 1891 and he was born in Bulawayo on 27 July 1927. He was married to Dorothy Saunder in 1951 and the couple had three daughters, Carin Joan, Margaret Anne and Sally Ann. His father, also David, was the last pilot to be shot down by the legendary Baron von Richthofen in the First World War, but he survived to make a forced landing.
He was educated at Rhodes Estate Preparatory School and Plumtree High School. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Cape Town University and a BA Honours in Jurispudence at Oxford University.
On his return to Zimbabwe he joined the law firm Coghlan, Welsh and Guest in 1951 and was a partner there for over forty years from 1960 to 2002, the last 10 of which as senior partner. In a firm which had been in existence, with its fore-bearers, since 1897, there had been a very wide range of clients and interests to serve over that period. As such he also served on various company boards of directorships.
As a sportsman, David was captain of Zimbabwe schools and vice-captain of South African Schools (under Clive van Rynerveld) at cricket and was selected for Western Province whilst at Cape Town University but was unable to play. He represented Oxford at cricket and rugby (the first Zimbabwean to win a double Blue) and he toured South Africa with a combines Oxford and Cambridge Rugby side in 1951. He made his name at school as a batsman and brilliant fielder, and made his debut in first-class cricket in unusual circumstances. He was selected as twelfth man at the age of 18 for the national team’s friendly match in 1945, just after the close of the Second World War, against Transvaal in Bulawayo. Two of the team players were injured and unable to bat in that match, which Transvaal won, so the Transvaal captain kindly suggested that, the match being a friendly, David and the other substitute fielder might like to bat in their places in the second innings.
On return to Zimbabwe he represented the country at both cricket and rugby. With the travelling time involved, he was required by the partners to opt for one of the two and cose cricket in which he represented Zimbabwe for an unbroken 15 years. He thereafter chose hockey as his winter sport representing Mashonaland.
As a sports administrator, David was president of the Rhodesia Cricket Union (now Zimbabwe Cricket) from 1974 to 1976 and vice-president of the South African Cricket Board from 1974 to 1980. At the time of his passing away, he was a Zimbabwe Cricket Life Vice-President.
David died on in Johannesburg on Friday 18 January 2013, at the age of 85.