On the one hand, it is with an extreme sense of sadness I write this today, yet on the other, it is with pride….the pride of “celebrate the life”…of Philip Alexander Boyazoglu…. a man… of enormous stature.
Philip started his extraordinary life on the 9th of March in 1935. His parents were Anna and Alexandros and he was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. He had two older brothers named Andrew and Steven whom he loved dearly.
Philip came to South Africa at the age of 7 and was enrolled at King Edward the 7th School in Houton. Philip had a keen and enquiring mind and soon excelled. The Boyazoglu farm in “Modderfontein” near the town of Villiers contributed to the happy “springtime” of his life and it is here that Irene,.. “who soon became the love of his life”… frequently came to visit. He later achieved exceptional results in his Veterinary Science degree, from the University of Pretoria, and as a result thereof, he was awarded a scholarship to do his Ph.D. in America. The ultimate honour for him, however, was when he was later recognised with the highest possible academic honour at the University of Pretoria… “Professor Emeritus”. On his return from the U.S. he also fulfilled his wish of being reunited with Irene, this happened whilst regularly playing tennis at the Greek Sporting Club. They as a result of this proceeded to get happily married in 1965.
He often quoted Shakespeare when he said “there is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood, leads to great fortune”… a quote which his children Anna, Maria, myself (Eleni), and Harry learned to respect and understand. His grandchildren, Philip-Eric, Cassandra, Natalie, Philip-Stephen, Nicola, Christos, and Stephanie, as well as those of you who knew him well will agree, that his strong sense of self, as well as his discerning,
single-minded ability, to affirm and encourage, made him a powerful mentor.
Philip, who was quietly, deeply spiritual, loved and admired Irene – his wife and sole-mate of the past 50 years. That is why I am sure that his wish for us is to “mount up with wings like eagles, to run and not be weary”. You see…he believed that “He is your best friend, who brings out of you the best that is in you.” And that “God must grant him the serenity to accept the things (he) cannot change”.
Daddy,… on the one hand he was an exceptional leader, a “man for all seasons”. Yet on the other, his humility and strong empathy were quickly recognised and admired. Philip had the ability to encourage, empower, and uplift any individual, irrespective of their particular station in life. In his anthology, he quoted Thimitrious when he wrote that “Happiness resides not in possessions… and not in gold… The feeling of Happiness dwells in the soul.”
He has not only been a fun-loving and supportive father who always put his family first, but he too has loved and unconditionally embraced his sons-in-law: Stephen, Ian, Kimon and Despina, his daughter-in-law. All of you who in the past were fortunate enough to have had him touch your life can confirm… that he had a generous fighting spirit
and academic thirst for knowledge. He will thus not only be remembered for setting the moral bar in society, but also for his humour and powerful and infectious laugh.
Daddy’s strengths were recognised by Harry Constantinides, Irene’s late father. Through his wisdom, he allowed Philip to develop “Florina Place”, a home from home in Plettenberg Bay. A beautiful place seeped with beautiful memories of fantastic holidays. Right through to the winter of Daddy’s last few days, he was loved, cherished, and cared for at home, at Al Gamila Stud Farm, the place where he belonged…
Philip Alexander Boyazoglu, passed away on the 3rd of March 2016, peacefully, just six days short of his 81st Birthday. Our mother Irene and our family count ourselves privileged, that we can say, we have been fortunate that the love, wisdom, and influence of Philip Alexander Boyazoglu has touched our lives.
Philip will be sorely missed and his influence is immeasurable. We thank God for the gift of Philip. May his memory last forever in our hearts, and may his soul rest in peace.