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Industry mourns the passing of Derek Terry


Derek Terry of Lilian Terry International

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of the industry’s most loved and charismatic figures, Derek Terry of Lilian Terry International.


Derek had been courageously fighting cancer for some time, since being diagnosed last year, and passed away peacefully on the evening of the 20th of June.


Derek came to South Africa from the UK many years ago and made this country his own, bringing his engineering skills and professional approach to join the team at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).


In 1996, Derek and his wife Lilian established Lilian Terry International, a unique beauty company that, with the assistance of Dr Kateryna Tsvietkova, a Ukrainian pulmonologist, combined the disciplines of aromatherapy and homeopathy, to produce a range of highly beneficial topically applied and ingestible products to be used in the beauty industry through spas and wellness stores.


Lilian Terry International went from strength-to-strength and became a highly successful company until 2008, when Lilian suddenly and unexpectedly passed away on a business trip to the USA.


Despite this tragic loss, Derek went on to run Lilian Terry International as a successful business for many years thereafter. Derek relocated Lilian Terry International into the House of Zinplex premises in 2016, where in-house manufacturing was established and the business began to flourish, culminating in the success that it is today.


Derek was a larger-than-life character, who was full of fun and loved nothing more than to entertain guests and host braais and dinners at his home in Pretoria, together with his partner Barbara, whom he met several years ago.


He was a humble and respectful man, always making sure everyone else around him was taken care of before looking after himself. None of us will forget the outward mission trips and the many expos coordinated by the Cosmetic Export Council and the DTI. As ever, Derek was laughing and joking, giving advice and lending a helping hand to the exhibitors where he could.


Derek was an avid soccer fan who had a prolifically keen interest in all things football, and his lifelong dedication to Aston Villa earned him the nickname of ‘The Villan’. Every time that Derek went back to the UK for any reason, he would always make time for at least one Villa game, cheering his side on from the terraces, with the best of them. He also played a mean game of golf and his antics and jokes out on the golf course will be fondly remembered for many years to come.


Derek Terry was truly a legend in the South African cosmetic industry who made his mark in so many different ways, frequently for the benefit of others. He also served as a Director for CECOSA (Cosmetic Export Council of South Africa) for many years.


The South African cosmetic industry will be all the worse as a result of Derek’s passing and he will be sorely missed by the many people who loved him so much.


Tribute written by Phil Woods with input from John Knowlton

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