WITH THE SAME COMMITMENT, PASSION AND FEARLESSNESS HE SHOWED ON THE RUGBY FIELD, SO HAS PAT LAMBIE APPROACHED LIFE AFTER RUGBY. DAVID KNOWLES CAUGHT UP WITH HIM TO FIND OUT WHAT’S NEXT IN HIS LIFE
Pictures Val Adamson
Forced to retire from the game he loves in January this year due to injury concerns, 28-year-old Pat has returned to Durban with his wife Kate and two-and-a- half month old son Jackson, where he has chosen to follow a career in the property world, joining Collins Residential, based in uMhlanga.
While Pat has settled into married life – 2014 was when they tied the knot – fatherhood is another new challenge. Kate, a school teacher by profession, is looking after Jackson full-time at the moment and there is a definite twinkle in Pat’s eye when he says, “Jackson is already on Michaelhouse’s books and will grace the school when his time comes.” A hard act to follow, but with Pat’s leadership qualities, the family name will fly high in the Midlands in years to come.
“We’ve only been back in South Africa for a few weeks. We are living in Ballito and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to join Collins Residential,” said Pat. “In my playing days, I was fortunate to do some work experience with the company. Besides enjoying what I was involved in, it was exciting to see the company’s vision and plans to invest back into South Africa, in particular along the North Coast of KZN, which is one of the fastest developing areas in the country.”
The company was Pat’s first port of call on his return and in his own words, “Thankfully there was room for me.” His initial role has been getting involved with communication, strategy and sales consolidation, fulfilling a link between the development teams in the office, the professional teams on the ground (the engineers, surveyors, architects, etc) and the principal estate agents, the people selling the Collins stock and products.
“There is also the task of sales consolidation across the different developments currently on the go,” said Pat. “I have been asked to contribute towards the strategy going forward in terms of how sales are progressing and what the market dictates with future phases of our developments.”
Pat is involved in two developments up the North Coast – Seaton equestrian estate near Salt Rock, and Zululami, a residential estate near Sheffield. At Mount Edgecombe, he is involved in the Kindlewood Estate which includes two sub developments, The Wolds and The Links, plus Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village (MERV). Moving inland, the development at Emberton in Hillcrest also falls under his banner.
Working in the property world during his playing days has now laid the foundation for what Pat sees as his definite career and his choice could be construed as a chip off the old block, thanks to his dad Ian. “He has been in property all his life and has his own business, Lambie Spark and Associates, focusing more on commercial and industrial matters,” said Pat. “I’ve always had a keen interest and remember many fascinating dinner table discussions around property.”
Able to now focus completely on his career, Pat is well equipped to tackle whatever comes his way. He has a solid platform from which to launch and while he may seem quiet and unassuming in character, there is a steely resolve within, a determination to do whatever comes his way properly, in a decent manner and with the best result for all involved.
In his matric year at Michaelhouse, he was head boy and captain of cricket and rugby. Leadership is a quality with which he has been blessed, but his leadership is done by example, encouraging others and doing the hard yards regardless of what position he may have attained or been awarded in life. He is not one to make a noise and issue instructions in the hope of getting results. He earns respect and has prepared for life off the field, planning for his future.
“I am excited at what lies ahead, a challenge away from rugby. It is an opportunity to grow and potentially make use of the studies I have done – a degree in environmental management (UNISA) and a property development and investment online course (UCT),” he said. “I have been fortunate in having people around me to ensure there has been a balance between rugby and life. There was always some thought and time given to post playing days and that will make this transition easier.”
Pat is prepared for what lies ahead. He is a young man of strong values, principles and standards, and while the rugby world is poorer for his retirement, the business world is richer. “I love KZN. It is so good to be home,” he said. “There is no country like South Africa and despite its challenges, we at Collins Residential are all optimistic about the future.”