The Lowvelder

Lion-hearted pillar of community dies

- Chelsea Pieterse

MBOMBELA - Tributes for a well-loved and treasured member of the Lowveld community for over four decades, Hugues Reniers, have poured in following his recent passing at the age of 74.

Regarded by the Nelspruit Lion's Club as its “most dedicated and passionate member”, Reniers will be missed by all who knew him for his thoughtful, caring and calm nature.

Born in 1948 in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Reniers immigrated to South Africa with his parents in 1955 when he was seven. After matriculat­ing from Yale College in 1965, he started his first job as a telephone technician at his local post office in Johannesbu­rg, but moved to White River 1970, where he built his home and started farming citrus.

He returned to Johannesbu­rg in 1973 and worked for the Barlows Manufactur­ing Co as a technician. After several promotions and transfers, Reniers resigned from his post in 1982 and returned to White River, where he joined his father in the engineerin­g business, Lowveld Casting Repair Services. When his father died in 1997, Reniers took over managing the business and even designed and built the factory building that the company currently occupies.

Reniers was also actively involved with the South African National Blood Service and had been a member of the local Blood Donor Committee for 19 years, and spent the last 15 years as chairperso­n.

According the Nelspruit Lion’s Club, Reniers first joined the White River Lions in 1986 and immediatel­y became a board member. He was club president twice, treasurer 15 times and secretary six times, and served for 15 years on the district cabinet in various positions including zone, region and district chairperso­n.

When the White River Lions closed in 2004, he transferre­d to the Nelspruit Lions Club and continued his passionate service to the community there. He was also the recipient of Lions Internatio­nal’s highest accolade, the Melvin Jones Fellowship.

“Usually one of the first people to call on birthdays and anniversar­ies, Hugues looked on all Lions members as family, and was interested and concerned about how everyone was doing, even when he wasn’t doing so well himself. He is a huge loss to our club, and all who knew and loved him,” said the members of the club in a tribute to Reniers.

Koos Schoonraad of the Lions Club added that Reniers was always very serious but calm about everything.

“I have never seen him without his Lion’s badge in the 27 years I have known him. He always carried it with pride. With his incredible knowledge of the Lions, he was always there to give advice and help. But above all this, he was also a friend in a million.

“You are leaving a void that will never be filled,” said Schoonraad.

Reniers is survived by his wife, Derica, his children, Yvette and Gavin, and his two grandchild­ren, Caitlyn and Zoe.

A service for Reniers will take place at 68 Suiderkrui­s Street (The Lions/Masonic

‘I have never seen him without his Lion’s badge in the 27 years I have known him. He always carried it with pride’

Hall) on Friday September 9 at 11:30.

Those wanting to attend this celebratio­n of Reniers’ life on Friday, contact Yvette on

082 878 4222. For those who cannot attend, Yvette can be contacted for a link for the live streaming.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations to the Lions Club’s orphan fund can be made. For details, contact Lion Mel Boswell on 083 204 5183.

 ?? ?? Hugues Reniers was a passionate and dedicated member of the Lowveld community and a member of the Nelspruit Lions Club.
Hugues Reniers was a passionate and dedicated member of the Lowveld community and a member of the Nelspruit Lions Club.

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