Black Business Forum president Luthando Bara has paid tribute to East London businessman Vrij Harry, who died on Friday.
Harry, owner of Harry’s Printers, died of a suspected heart attack in Johannesburg. He had left East London to visit family there on Thursday.
“It is with great sadness that we learnt the news of the passing of leading entrepreneur Vrij Harry, ,” Bara said on Friday evening.
He described Harry as “a great mentor, and inspiratory who possessed two rare traits for a patriot — a determination to get ahead in life and a willingness to cross borders in search of opportunity and enterprising business solutions”.
“After taking over the business from his father in 1973, he grew Harry’s Printers into a formidable business with branches in East London, Port Elizabeth, King William’s Town and Pretoria,” Bara said.
“With his all-round publishing experience, he was soon in demand as a consultant, successfully turning Eastern Cape Today community newspaper into ‘a must-read’ publication and pioneering the birth of Constant Communication as a leading developmental communication agency.
“At the heart of Harry’s business model was finding the optimum way to connect communities and to help resolve common challenges, thereby opening a stationery and digital shop to serve the broader community of the Eastern Cape.”
He said Harry was always brimming with flashes of inspiration and teaming with new ideas to drive business and create jobs.
“He encouraged and facilitated business opportunities for young entrepreneurs. He will remain a formidable force that has left an indelible mark in the business sector in SA,” Bara said.
“As the BBF we salute this great patriot for his grit and determination. Business will never be the same again without him and we are still reeling from shock at the news of his death.”
East London businessman Vrij Harry died on Friday.