Final farewell for nature lovers, media spokesperson Craig Allenby


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Through Goitsemang Tlhabye May 17, 2021

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Pretoria – Craig Allenby will be forever remembered as the gentle giant who was always at the top of his game and who was always there for his friends, family and media colleagues.

Allenby, who worked as director of marketing and communications at the National Zoological Gardens, was found dead Thursday at his home in Pretoria East.

He was buried yesterday in a small ceremony attended by close friends and family.

Rabbi Saar Shaked, who officiated at the funeral, pleaded for forgiveness for not having been able to prevent Allenby from committing suicide and for not relieving his stress.

Although police investigations are continuing, at this stage no criminal act is suspected.

His close friend Fiona Capstick has stated that he (Allenby) was a man of cast integrity and a benevolent spirit, who, faced with a particularly intolerable situation which caused him immense anguish and distress for two years , continued to stand firm.

“His Judaism meant everything to him, and he had no hard feelings. We often joked that whoever wins Powerball would share the profits and we would fly off to get property in Israel.

“If there has ever been someone in your life who touched you as long as there is one person who remembers that person, they stay alive.”

Elliot Mashile, director of operations at SA’s National Biodiversity Institute, said the institution was saddened by his death.

Mashile said Allenby was a humble and hardworking individual, and his absence had already been felt because he had left a void that would be difficult to fill.

He said he has a knack for managing life, staff and being a media darling as he responds to all media inquiries without hesitation.

“He managed to maintain a good image of the national zoos. Even when we received negative reviews from social media, he was there to describe the positive aspects of what we were doing at the zoo.

“He helped us show the world the good work because he knew when to say something and when to shut up. He was truly a wonderful soul.

Mashile conveyed his condolences and those of the Zoological Gardens Board of Trustees to Allenby’s friends and family.

Friend Phillip Bruwer said he had worked with Allenby for 20 years and was among the first contacts he made as a journalist in Pretoria.

Bruwer said from the moment he met Allenby he came across a gentle giant who was always available to provide commentary no matter what time of day or night.

“I’m going to miss his smile, his gentleness, his kindness and the passion he had for his job. He was a man of strong faith and represented no discrimination. “

Bruwer was referring to the altercation that followed before the service as Orthodox sects and progressive sects of the Jewish faith argued against the women carrying the coffin and handling the shovel during the funeral.

“Craig liked to take a stand and have the last word, so while it was unpleasant to witness the altercation of religious leaders, I think he again managed to have everyone present and participate in his farewells. “

Allenby was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Philip Nel Park.

News from Pretoria

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