CIfA Newsflash 45/2020 | OBITUARY: Philip Fish May 1955 – July 2020


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Philip Fish May 1955 – July 2020

Our dear friend and colleague Philip Fish passed away on 4 July 2020. We were honoured to be asked by Linda, Philip’s wife and love of his life, to prepare these words in his memory.

Philip was not only a friend for more than 40 years, but a treasured and trusted colleague. We relied on each other for shared advice on the usual issues experienced by architects running small practices. Our regular meetings were spent discussing ideas of how to produce good architecture, whilst serving our clients, and going through the latest contracts and building regulations.

We had a lot of fun, entering the Cape Institute of Architects annual cake decorating competitions on a regular basis and managing to produce award-winning cakes.

Born in Zimbabwe and moving to Cape Town at the age of seven, Philip was immersed in architecture from a very early age via his step dad, Hirsch Fish, past president of the Cape Institute of Architects. This early connection to architecture had a profound influence on his outlook and attitude towards his work.

He inherited his delightful sense of humour from his dear late mom, Zelda Fish, a talented journalist.

It was easy to be drawn to his gentleness, twinkly-eyed sense of humour and very infectious laugh. His high intelligence, sharp wit with a profound empathy, was admirable.

Philip loved to spend time with his family, enjoyed hiking and made beautiful paintings mostly of nature and mountains. He was a loving father to Gaby and Jonty. Both his children were his pride and joy.

Philip’s strong religious faith gave him courage to bear the pain of his illness. He was a true and committed family man and friend who shared his last thoughts and love through a regular whatsapp post that allowed him the time he needed to say goodbye.

A great man, talented and sensitive Architect, as well as a dear friend and “partner”, he was one of those strong gentlemen, who do not seek self-aggrandizement or recognition but who deeply touch and quietly influence the lives of all those who come into contact with him.

Written by: Amanda Katz and Graeme Sher

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