Hein, the Wine Auction and the NSRI

 

 
 
Tonight was a special night for Newlands Rotary.
 
Our PHF and Past Rotary President, Richard Burnett, led yet another remarkable Rotary Wine Auction. But, this time, there was a certain poignancy.
 
Hein Schipper, Chippy's remarkable father, Richard's extraordinary father-in-law, centenarian+, Honorary Newlands Rotarian and unstinting supporter of the NSRI was not there.
 
He was sorely missed.
 
Here is the tribute Richard gave at Hein's recent memorial service.
 
There is no way to have said it better.....
 
My Father died when I was 21 years old so I have been lucky to get to know my Father in Law for the past 40 years as he became my surrogate Father.
Over the last few days I have been wondering why we got on so well and what we had in common.
We are both immigrants to this Country and had to find our own way with limited resources.
We both came from a good strong family background.
We both came from a technical and trading background.
We both have an entrepreneurial spirit. His a little less rocky than mine.
We both love our cricket and Rugby which belies his Dutch heritage.
We both love the sea and messing about in boats.
We both enjoyed the occasional glass of Claret.
And most of all we both love his youngest daughter.
I only met Hein a few times before Chippy and I got engaged and he persisted in calling me Eric.  His opening comment to me on my first formal meeting re our pending marriage  Unusual Chippy does not normally skate on thin ice”.
As the years went by I came to admire his fine attributes.
In no fixed order.
He was a most respected business man. His high ethics are beyond dispute and H A Schipper and Co was above reproach. He earned the loyalty and respect from his staff to a degree which I have never seen in my own 50 years of business. I wish I could emulate it.
Hein with his business acumen and contacts helped me on several occasions providing support when most needed.
I worked for Hein for a couple of years and when it was time to move on he assisted me with stock and funds to set myself up. It was a pivotal moment in my career.
He was generous to a fault of which I can bear witness.
Hein loved Maelstede as a family home and He and Yetta created a wonderful environment. Throughout his life he gave his all to his family sometimes in difficult situations as all families go through.
Hein was a social beast. Nothing better than a good lunch, a glass of wine and an interesting conversation. He was capable of stirring up a shindig with his Cossack dancing.
I have been a Rotarian for over 40 years and proudly so. Hein often mentioned that he had been barred from membership by a competitor.  So I was honoured when he joined me in the Newlands Club in 2009. He was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow. Our highest award and recognition for his contribution to society.
His support of the NSRI is legend. So much so that in 2012 through our Rotary Club and our annual wine Auctions we launched a rescue craft  to the value of some R600 000 at Bakeoven Station  named after Rotary Schipper. The Schipper name is on station to save lives for years to come.
Once a year we have the Seniors race at the Royal Cape. 4 years ago they had to create a new Category for the over 100 division. Hein was the Skipper for the day on our yacht and it is the only race than Carousel ever wins. We are looking for a replacement so anyone in the congregation over a hundred please apply. I will give you your day of glory.
I got closer to Hein after the death of Jetta. He continued living at Maelstede for 5 year and the Sunday nights at our home become the norm. Then 13 years ago Maelsated was sold so we said to Hein move in with Chippy and I for the last couple of years of your life. !3 years later phew!
Hein’s long levity is remarkable and I wonder why. As chippy says Is it the morning spell on the bicycle and treadmill, his cold showers, is it daily dose of imported fruit tonic or is it some good claret. I do not know but at one stage when I was fighting poor health he was so healthy although 30 years my senior I considered putting him in my will.
It was probable the wonderful environment that Chippy created for him in his later years. In his own quarters but within a happy family environment gave him great comfort.
The last couple of weeks have not been easy for me as Hein suffered and fought to the end. I want to remember him as the man I knew.
His ethics and principles were above reproach.
His geneorousity assisted and helped the many.
He was successful and deservedly so.
His loyalty to his family, his friends and his employees was immense.
He was a mans man but also enjoyed by the ladies.
He could light up any occasion with his social intercourse and good humour.
And with it all he was the true gentleman.
Wherever he trod in this world he left a footprint of good ambiance, positive thoughts and some C’est la vie. Nothing better than a good life.
He is  much admired and much loved and with his long leverty a legend in his own lifetime.
What a guy.
I know this service is a celebration of his life but I must be honest I am incredible sad. I have lost my friend, my mentor and my father in law of whom I doubt I can replace.
Cherrio Skipper Schipper. Fair winds and a friendly following sea.