John Linforth, a long-time resident of Musgrave Park in Diep River, died on Thursday October 5 at the age of 88.
For many years John served as caretaker at Musgrave Park. He would often be seen scurrying between the apartment blocks with his bright orange toolbox swinging at his side.
No task was too big or too small, and John readily responded to residents’ distress calls, no matter what time of the day or night.
He also played a key role in helping organising Sunday church services as well as assisting many residents on shopping trips and visits to a doctor or a nearby clinic.
Before moving to Musgrave Park, John and his wife, Gladys, spent 10 happy years at Rustenberg Girls’ High School when John served as caretaker.
Mary van Blerk, headmistress during the Linforth’s time at Rustenberg, remembers them with gratitude and affection.
“They were generously involved in the life of the school,” says Ms Van Blerk.
“Mr Linforth was a most capable and responsible member of the management team, who could always find solutions to problems on the large, complex estate and was willing to help at any hour of the day, night or weekend.”
While being a qualified motor mechanic, John also tried his hand at selling home appliances.
He won an award as top salesman while working at Barlow Appliances. As a young man John was an enthusiastic and talented cyclist, winning a number of local awards while riding for his club The Maritzberg Wheelers.
In 1953 he was awarded his Natal Junior Colours. In 1954 John spent time in England where he picked up useful tips from some of the world’s cycling greats, among them the world sprint champion, Reg Harris.
His racing times improved dramatically and he was allowed to compete in the Grand Prix de Paris, one of the top cycling races in the world.
A memorial service was held at Musgrave Park on Monday October 16. Over 100 people attended the service, many of them residents of Musgrave Park, as well a number of church leaders and friends from the wider community.