A Tribute to Les France
We celebrate the life of
Les Miles France
Kearsney College 1926 – 1929
In gratitude Les Miles France is acknowledged on the
Kearsney Legacy Society Honours Board
in the Sir Liege Hulett Room for remembering Kearsney in his Will.
His philanthropy contributes to the betterment of the world
through his support of the work of Kearsney College.
Les Miles France was born in Durban on 22 June 1912. He came from a strong Methodist background and joined Kearsney College in 1926 and achieved a good Matric in 1929. In the 1929 Chronicle it quotes of Les that “He played cricket for the 1st Team and is recorded as a very conscientious Captain in his last year devoting his time to coaching and organising games. He was a very stylish batsman and was a good fast bowler. He played full-back in the Rugby XV. His anticipation was very good and had a safe pair of hands and a useful kick” Les then succeeded his father in the wholesale and retail fish distribution business which thrived from its premises in the Durban Market on Warwick Avenue.
His son Michael attended Kearsney from 1956 to 1960 and was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident while he was at University in 1962.
Les France died in 1975 at the age of 63 and bequeathed his Estate to Kearsney College. The Estate consisted of two parts – a substantial shareholding in W Daley, a privately held company which had a controlling interest in Sunchrush which was later taken over by ABI (the bottling company for Coca Cola). Some of these shares remain in the Kearsney Development Trust portfolio and the dividends offer substantial support to the Bursary and Scholarship Programme. Another portion of his estate included a farm in Cato Ridge. The agricultural portion of his farm was sold in the 1980s for R270 000 and the industrial portion was sold in 2008 for R4 million. This bequest proved to be the largest benefaction to be received by Kearsney from an Old Boy.