Denzil Levy 2004


Denzil Nathan David Levy was born on 28 June 1917 in Port Elizabeth. The son of Rev. Abraham and Fanny Levy he received his schooling in Brisbane, Australia as well as at Selborne College in East London and Grey High School in Port Elizabeth.

He studied architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand and received his B Arch degree in 1940. In 1946 he entered into private practice as an architect and was a Senior Partner of Denzil Levy, Muggeridge & Benas from 1946 until 1987.

From a very early stage of his career, Denzil Levy, armed with his enormous energy and financial acumen, made a point of contributing selflessly to an extraordinarily wide range of pivotal organisations committed to managing and promoting the religious, artistic, and cultural dimensions both locally and nationally.

These organisations include (inter alia), the Jewish community, Choirs, Country Clubs, the Building Industry, Building Societies, Convocations, the East Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, the District School Board, the Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Port Elizabeth Publicity Association, the SA Bureau of Standards, Art Foundations, Universities and Schools.

Of particular note here are his achievements as both a practicing architect and philanthropist in the Fine Art discipline as well as his many contributions to the Music and Performance Arts fraternities especially in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.

As regards architecture, Denzil Levy served on the local committee for the Institute of SA Architects from 1955 – 1977.  For five of these years he held the position of Chairman. Amongst the many organisations he has served on, are the Central Council for SA Architects, the SA Property Owners’ Association, the Building Research Advisory Committee and the PE Planning and Advisory Council.

As regards music and the performing arts, Denzil Levy has been an active committee member of the Port Elizabeth Musical and Dramatic Society from 1972 until the present day. Here again he gave many years to this society as both Vice-President and President as well as serving as the Chairman of the Executive Committee from 1974 –1976.

Perhaps his greatest contribution has been to the fine arts. Denzil Levy was a founder member of the King George VI Art Gallery Association in 1972 and has served continuously on this committee to date holding the position of Vice-Chairman for a total of 15 years and that of Chairman for another 16 years. In the same context, Denzil Levy has served unceasingly as a trustee for the King George VI Art Gallery, (now known as the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum) from 1982 until now as either the Vice-Chairman or the Chairman.

In conclusion, a major consideration is that Denzil Levy has served the community of Port Elizabeth for at least the past sixty years in his capacity as a philanthropist of note. In particular he has contributed unselfishly to the establishment, maintenance and endorsement of the Fine Arts (Architecture, Sculpture and Painting), music and the performing arts. He has done this (inter alia) in his various capacities on no less than thirty-nine public committees and trusts devoted to the promotion of a wide range of social, religious and cultural pursuits vital to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipal area.

“Service of excellence in the interest of the community in the fields of statesmanship, culture, society, politics, education, economics, arts and other walks of life” earns him this prestigious award.

The Council and Senate of the PE Technikon wish to accord recognition to one of Port Elizabeth’s leading philanthropists in arts and culture. It is an honour to confer the degree DOCTOR TECHNOLOGIAE (HONORIS CAUSA) on DENZIL NATHAN DAVID LEVY.