To­wn mourns de­ath of John Ross

Oudtshoorn Courant - - NEWS -

Well-kno­wn and be­lo­ved Graaff-Rei­net re­si­dent, John Ro­bert Ross (77), sad­ly died of Co­vid-19 on 4 Sep­tem­ber. A pri­va­te me­mo­ri­al was held for him on 15 Sep­tem­ber.

John was born in the Wyn­berg Dis­trict, Ca­pe To­wn, and mo­ved to Graaff-Rei­net with his pa­rents Ro­bert and Syl­via in 1950, w­he­re they far­med on Wel­ge­von­den. John be­ca­me a bo­ar­der at U­ni­on High S­chool in 1951, w­he­re he pro­ved to be a ta­len­ted swim­mer.

In 1960, John ma­tri­cu­la­ted from U­ni­on with a first-class pass. In 1961, he com­ple­ted one y­e­ar of mi­li­ta­ry ser­vi­ce in Sal­dan­ha Bay, af­ter which he at­ten­ded Groot­fon­tein Col­le­ge in Mid­del­berg to obtain a Di­plo­ma in S­heep and Wool. John re­tur­ned to Wel­ge­von­den in 1965.

In 1968, John star­ted stu­dying en­gi­neer­ing at the U­ni­ver­si­ty of Ca­pe To­wn, but soon trans­fer­red to ac­coun­tan­cy. He stu­died part-ti­me, whi­le ser­ving ar­ti­cles with Ce­cil Kil­pin & co for fi­ve y­e­ars, and la­ter with Ho­ard and Jou­bert, be­t­ween 1973 and 1975.

In 1970, John mar­ried Rei­net Vos­loo. Four y­e­ars la­ter they had their son And­re, and Da­vid ar­ri­ved in 1977. Both sons we­re born in Cla­re­mont, Ca­pe To­wn. John and Rei­net would la­ter di­vor­ce, in a­bout 1980. John re­tur­ned to his roots in Graaff-Rei­net in the la­te 80s, w­he­re he boug­ht a lo­ve­ly ho­me on Qu­een Street. His two sons fol­lo­wed in his foot­steps by al­so ma­tri­cu­la­ting from U­ni­on High. John re­mai­ned pas­si­o­na­te a­bout his al­ma ma­ter, ser­ving on the Old U­ni­o­ni­te Com­mit­tee. John’s de­di­ca­ti­on to Graaff-Rei­net was e­vi­dent in his in­vol­vement in the com­mu­ni­ty. For ma­ny y­e­ars, he was the ac­coun­tant and then la­ter the ma­na­ger of the Graaff-Rei­net Club. He ser­ved the Li­ons Club for 35 y­e­ars as pre­si­dent, se­cre­ta­ry, tre­a­su­rer and zo­ne chair­man. C­hai­r­per­son Ge­rald Buis­man said that John’s main lo­ve in Li­ons was B­rig­htSig­ht, a pro­ject that hel­ped ma­ny needy Graaff-Rei­net­ters to ha­ve their ey­es tes­ted and get glas­ses, if nee­ded. “Alt­hough he felt it was ti­me to re­ti­re, he kept on be­cau­se the club nee­ded him,” said Buis­man. “He will be so­re­ly mis­sed.” John was al­so a vi­tal part of the Cam­de­boo Hos­pi­ce, for which he kept the ac­counts and en­su­red its fi­nan­ci­al vi­a­bi­li­ty for ma­ny y­e­ars. Buis­man, al­so the c­hai­r­per­son of Hos­pi­ce, said that John ge­ne­rous­ly wor­ked free of char­ge w­hen Hos­pi­ce fa­ced fi­nan­ci­al dif­fi­cul­ty. “His wi­se ad­vi­ce and gent­le dry hu­mour at bo­ard meet­ings will be gre­at­ly mis­sed,” Buis­man ad­ded.

John spent his last few y­e­ars at the Par­so­na­ge Street Ho­me for the A­ged. P­re­vi­ous­ly cal­led the Red Cross Ho­me, this ho­me was foun­ded by his mot­her Syl­via, to­get­her with a few ot­her la­des, in the 60s. Alt­hough no lon­ger with us, the im­pact that John had on his com­mu­ni­ty will be re­mem­be­red for y­e­ars to co­me.

Re­a­ders can kind­ly con­tact Pe­ter Ross (083 302 3791) for any mo­re de­tails. - Com­pi­led by Pau­la-Ann S­mit

John Ross.

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