Beloved manager of The Haven passes away
Piet Maree, well known as the manager of The Haven night shelter in Mossel Bay and known for his gentleness in working with the homeless, passed away from Covid-19 on 19 July.
Besides providing much-needed accommodation for people who find themselves on the street, when possible The Haven also goes the extra mile to provide meals for the poor who are not housed there, with the donations it receives from the public and businesses.
In a statement, The Haven committee noted: “We will miss him greatly and it will be difficult to replace him with someone of his calibre. Our hearts go out in sympathy to Piet’s wife Hanli and his two sons and their families.”
The committee noted in its statement: “In 2007 a volunteer committee under dominee Robert Knobel began to do the preparation work to make a night shelter in Mossel Bay a reality. There were a number of attempts and then after several setbacks, the dream became a reality.
“In June 2014 The Haven opened its doors in the town centre.”
The committee pointed out that one of the hardest tasks was finding the right personnel for the shelter. Piet, a former school headmaster, applied and fitted the role of The Haven manager perfectly. Thus, he was part of The Haven from the start and later became the face of The Haven in Mossel Bay.
In the first week of July, Piet became ill and later tested positive for Covid-19. He was hospitalised and despite rallying and improving at times, he later lost the battle against Covid-19.
Piet’s contributions to The Haven’s operations was immeasurable, the committee noted.
His attention to quality and fulfilling the real purpose of the The Haven could not be matched.
The committee concluded in its statement: “He was always prepared to go the extra mile and had incredible sympathy and care for marginalised people in the community and for his staff.”