Karoo community saddened by the passing of Peter Watermeyer
GRAAFF-REINET — It is with great sadness that the Nieu-bethesda and Graaffreinet communities learned of the sudden passing of Peter Watermeyer on Friday, October 20, in Graaff-reinet at the age of 86.
Born in 1930 and having spent his childhood on the family farm, Schanskraal, in the Sneeuberg, Peter lived his life in close connection with the two things he loved most: fellow human-kind and the land.
Soon after completing a 2-year diploma course at Grootfontein agricultural college, he went to a farm near Kei Mouth, where he met Lillemor, who was to be his faithful wife for 54 years. With their three young children, they returned to his beloved Karoo in the mid-70’s, where he absorbed himself in ecologically sound farming methods - a great calling of his. In 1997 Peter and Lillemor moved to Graaffreinet where he started a small business, involving another of his passions - working wood with his hands.
Peter Watermeyer embodied servant-heartedness. He possessed a far higher set of values than the material trappings of modern day life. He was as constant as the Northern Star and, in the words of his son, Kevin, “Gained real strength from doing things for others.” Peter could often be seen riding his bicycle past the dam through the park early in the morning. His respect for the creation, for this beautiful land and for people energised him and kept him strong in body and mind right until the end.
Their move to town gave Peter and Lillemor the opportunity to serve on an even greater level.
In Graaff-reinet he became integrally involved with his church and the bowling club, and always made time to fix furniture for friends, to provide a home from home for many, including his grandchildren and their friends at boarding school.
Even though hard of hearing, Peter would always stop to ask and hear how your day was. The tributes that have poured into Lillemor and the family have come from farm workers, petrol attendants, prominent business people, fellow farmers, school children, professionals and folk from the Protective Workplace, where he served - Peter Watermeyer was a man wellloved who held no judgement.
A family friend said, ‘Peter and his family did things right. They can have no regrets.’ Peter Watermeyer leaves his wife Lillemor, children - Susan from New Zealand, Kevin from Zuurplaats, Carl from Cape Town and 6 beloved grandchildren.
Thomas Moore said, “Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot.” This community has lost a humble, servant-hearted and much-loved man. Truly, a man of heavenly virtues.