Print
Category: Tributes
Hits: 2924

Photo of Avril at her 90th Birthday in 2013.

Avril Nunn, much venerated and admired in the Betty's Bay community, has died aged ninety two. Avril was educated at St. Cyprian's school Cape Town where she was head girl in her final year.  She graduated a chemist from Rhodes University, where she had met her husband, John. Both pursued careers in the field of chemistry, returning to Rhodes later, indeed Professor John Nunn has a laboratory named after him.

Retiring to Betty's Bay at the start of the 1980s they both immediately became involved in the community in many ways -even while completing the building of their house themselves. Avril will be remembered for her work in furthering the growth of Child Welfare in Kleinmond, for chairing the Betty's Bay Wild Flower Society and guiding its transition to become a branch of the BotSoc S.A.  The society awarded Avril honorary life membership in 2002 an award of which she was extremely proud. It is entirely due to Avril's perseverance that the Kogelberg branch has its own constitution and control of its own finances.  Both ardent conservationists, Avril and John hacked until physically unable to do so - Avril continuing even when wearing a neck brace and using a walking stick.

A lasting memorial to Avril stands on the mound that once was the Betty's Bay municipal rubbish dump. Recognising it as an eyesore at the entrance to the village, Avril fought tirelessly to have the dump closed and succeeded. The hack group started referring to the area as “Avril's Dump” and sought municipal permission to give it this name officially. With great fondness the sign was prepared and set up by the Betty's Bay hack group in 2008, addressing her as Princess Avril of the Dump. Avril always found this most amusing.

In 2013 the Overstrand Municipality, having in earlier years elected Avril their Woman of the Year, handed her the Mayor's Award for Excellence in recognition of her service on the Ratepayers Association committees, ward committees and the Overstrand Advisory Forum. Her work for the Betty's Bay Ratepayers Association is well documented and most especially with regard to her portfolio of Water/Waste and Sanitation. Only a few days before her death she asked if the water in Bass Lake (Malkopsvlei) is being tested regularly for ecoli and asked that someone check up on that.

A committed Christian, Avril pioneered the establishment of the Anglican chapel of St Francis in Betty's Bay where she was a member of the choir, had served on the Council and was an active lay minister until she moved to Somerset West.

Fond of documentation but not of filing. she leaves a wealth of historical information in all fields of our area. A chance remark would lead to "Yes I've got that - but where did I put it?".

Avril approached life with joy and great courage and was never daunted by the vicissitudes of her life asking "Who said life should be fair?"

To her three surviving children and all the families, we say that it has been a privilege to know Avril.