Founder of the Berea Gardens Retirement Foundation in East London, Richard Mogg was lauded for his courage and faith at the unveiling of a bust last week in his honour
“The sheer courage of faith of the man who has accomplish all is staggering in the extreme, and the challenge is on all of us is to imitate his courage, vision and his concern of the elderly, the sick and the ones approaching the end of the wonderful life,” Billy Barnes said.
He said this last week Thursday at the bust unveiling of the late Richard Mogg at the Berea Gardens Retirement Foundation in East London.
About 700 residents of Berea Gardens gathered at the hall for the unveiling.to honour the founder of the institution.
Foundation executive director Mike Schulze said: “Berea Gardens was indeed Richard’s Dream Come True, the title of his book.
“Under his vision and leadership, the dream took root and grew to become one of the premier retirement establishments not only in East London.
“It is unique in that it caters for the aged across the entire economic spectrum, with five complexes, accommodating 700 people.” Foundation executive director Mike Schulze said.
In 1985, Mogg was presented with a joint merit award from the combined Rotary Clubs of East London and received a citation in 1989 from the mayor for his efforts to alleviate of alleviating the plight of the aged.
The idea of Berea Gardens came to Mogg in 1970 when he made a delivery of medicines one day to an elderly couple who were regular customers of his pharmacy, and he was appalled when he saw the condition of their their flat in a derelict building.
It is said that this is what the couple could afford with their limited income, with the rising costs rental costs at the time.
Mogg was also the chairperson chairman of the Victoria Home until its closure in 1998.
Schulze said having succeeded Brian Louw as the executive director of the Berea Gardens in 2006, he was invited by Mogg to write a chapter of his book.
“In my introduction I said, while there were many people involved in making Berea Gardens a reality, it is questionable as to whether, without his tenacity, Berea Gardens would have become a reality,” Schulze said.
He [Mogg] refers in his book to the period between conceptualising the home and turning the first sod on the building site as his eight-year dream.
He describes the many frustrations he experienced during these periods.
“I can only imagine the work involved in securing government approvals, land and funding for a project of this magnitude.” Schulze said.
Wife of Mogg, Kathy Mogg, Mogg’s wife Kathy expressed words of gratitude to the foundation for honouring her husband’s work.
“It is a very special occasion for my family and I hearing what the speakers before me said about my husband, filled my heart with pride and joy.
“The Berea Gardens Foundation was very dear to Richard, it will always remain dear to us too.”