‘Oom Hertzog will truly be missed’
“Oom Hertzog”, as known by his many friends, passed away on the day that the fire started in Knysna, after suffering a severe stroke in the week before the disaster, at the blessed age of 91 years. The memorial service was held on Monday, June 12.
Mr Kluyts started early in his young life as an apprentice in the then thriving local furniture business.
In those days, visitors who came to Knysna, many sometimes for a day trip on the ChooTjoe train, recognised the excellent talent and craftsmanship he showed in making the furniture.
He first made a very bold move to start his own small factory in Knysna central, where he focused mainly on the manufacturing of fine quality furniture. With his wife Anna at his side, their sheer hard work, dedication and the quality furniture that came from this factory paid off as the business blossomed – it was time to expand.
Bylaws of the town changed and he needed to relocate to Knysna Industrial Area. This move gave him the opportunity to erect a modern factory still known today as Kluyts & Co, which afforded and placed him in a position to have ample space available to acquire some of the best woodprocessing and woodworking machinery of the day.
During his time of ownership in Kluyts & Co, he managed to build and organically grew the company and at one stage employed a healthy staff component of 60 full-time employees.
Mr Kluyts took part in many international exhibits, one of which was in Dallas, Texas, USA to showcase South African fine furniture. He was a great and humble man who produced a proud, internationally recognised product from the soil of Knysna.
His wood creations bring tremendous joy and sincere appreciation not just locally but internationally.
Hertzog Kluyts will truly be missed.
He will be remembered by his family, friends and community as a man with a great heart, hard worker, leader, caring father, and wonderful “Oupie”.
We’ve learnt so much from him and will cherish the life and example that he lived.
Hertzog Kluyts, founder of Kluyts & Co, died on June 7, 2017 at the age of 91.