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Dad's 40 year wait to graduate extended due to Covid-19

Published Apr 16, 2020


DURBAN - Durban resident Alan Pillay recently completed his degree after 40 years but his graduation ceremony was cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The supply chain manager at Pioneer Foods said he was ecstatic to have completed a lifelong dream and that this final wait is merely an obstacle to overcome.

Pillay, who also teaches music, said that his studies had to be put aside at a young age due to family responsibilities. He added that the desire to complete his studies was always there and he just needed to be patient and wait for the opportune moment.

The Durban born father of two, stated that at his previous company there was little room to grow and he felt an urgency to go forward in life. “Every man has that desire to want to do more, to accomplish, to achieve. I had to put all that aside at a young age and educating my two daughters were more important than my personal goals,” added Alan.

Pillay says that he could not have done it without the help and support from his family and mentor/work colleague, Neville Chinniah. “I honestly have to say thank you to my wife Nancy and two daughters Rhea and Reola. They were very understanding at times, we didn’t go out much and they put up with it for three years. Also I’d like to thank my colleague Neville Chinniah who was the one who motivated me to go back and complete my degree,” added Pillay.

Alan concluded by saying that it is never too late for ‘anyone to do anything’. He mentioned how peculiar it was that he and his three brothers all work in the same industry as their father did for many years. “I guess the apple actually didn’t fall far from the tree,” concluded PIllay.

Pillay hopes to attend a graduation ceremony once regulations allow for it.

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