Rex Lowe was working as a sales representative for a company that introduced a new abrasive for cleaning. He felt that it had great possibilities, and after much thought, came up with the idea of glueing it to a small sponge to be used as a pot scourer. Thus the well-known product, Zims was born. He and a friend resigned from their jobs and began to make the scourers in their garage. Eventually the demand from supermarkets all over South Africa was so great that they not only opened a factory, but also made their own foam (sponge) and abrasive. Now these pot scourers are available in many countries around the world.
Rex and his family joined the LDS Church when missionaries knocked on their door in answer to his wife’s prayer – in fact they knocked while she was praying. He and his wife soon held many callings in the Mowbray Branch to which they belonged. They were involved in all the auxiliaries of the Church, and held many Church activities at their home.
When he and his family moved from Cape Town to East London, Rex served as a branch president and then a district president. During that time he was instrumental in organising the LDS Church in the Transkei and Ciskei. He sent many hours driving to towns such as Queenstown, Mthatha, Bisho, Ilinge, and others. Missionary couples were assigned to the area to teach home industries, food production, vegetable gardening, and other skills.
At one stage Rex was informed that a Bishop Kowa in Steynsburg was requesting affiliation with the LDS Church. Bishop Kowa had started his own church, but now they wished to be part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Soon the LDS missionaries were teaching him and his family. This led to many people in the area being baptised into the Church and the formation of the Steynsburg Branch.
Years later when he moved back to Cape Town, Rex was called as the Bishop of the Meadowridge Ward and oversaw the extension of the chapel for the ward. He extended the missionary work into areas like Mitchell’s Plein and Kalk Bay. Many baptisms followed. After four years, the ward was split, and the Fish Hoek Branch was formed. He was called to be the president of the new branch. He again oversaw the building of a chapel, this time for the new branch. Later he served as a counsellor to two mission presidents, during which time he organised a new district in Queenstown. He was also a temple worker, and then the Area Family History Advisor, serving with his wife, Pat in both of these callings.
As a marriage officer for many years, Rex performed the weddings for many couples. This was a position he loved, and he built many friendships while carrying out this work. For some time he was involved with The Haven, a group who distributes soup and bread to the homeless. He involved many members of the LDS Church in this work, and soon several wards were also helping. As a result of this work he helped a young man, Brian, change his life. Brian had been an alcoholic vagrant. A year after meeting Rex, he had reformed himself: he stopped drinking, found a job, and married.
Through the many years of service that he has given to the Church, to the members, and to the Lord, many people have come to love and admire Rex. He has done his best to build the Lord's kingdom wherever he was. He is well known for his love of surfing, which he used to enjoy when he lived on the coast. A treasured memory of his was being in the Sacred Grove with his family, the place where Joseph Smith experienced the First Vision. His strong testimony was cemented there as he felt the Spirit’s presence while he knelt in prayer like young Joseph did. And during all the ups and downs of life, his wife has stood by him and supported him. He continues to serve in the Church wherever he can, usually as a teacher now.
Read his story about when he took his family to the temple to be sealed and the miracle they experienced.