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Opinion: Tribute to Andrew George ‘Dries’ Scholtz

2021-06-18  Reverend Jan Scholtz

Opinion: Tribute to Andrew George ‘Dries’ Scholtz

Never had I thought that the pain that death brings could be so deep and so profound. So many times I had to comfort the bereaved and give them words of encouragement, now we would experience the full extent of that pain in our bodies and souls. Now I can understand that the death of all people, even those who lived unworthy lives or those whose deaths were of their own doing, causes immense pain to those who ae left behind.

Sometimes our pain is so unbelievable, so difficult to carry that it seems as if something had died within us also. Other times, it is easier to cope. His untimely death has made me realise that we are but pilgrims who are on our way through to the Holy Land.

Sometimes, dying at a ripe old age blunts the reality of our pilgrim status; how extremely difficult we have found it to give them back to God; how painful it has been to let go of them. Yet, it is true that is only “in giving that we can receive”, in letting go that we can truly have them as our own. Sometimes, we wish all our experiences could have been different, that we as a family could have been spared the immense pain we are going through. Yet, God’s ways are truly not ours, nor are His thoughts our thoughts.

Schooled at Suiderlig High School in the late 70s, he humbly started working as a storeman at Waltons in Windhoek before life opened up doors for him to further his law career at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein. Here was a man who had vision and passion for people, and build a lot of parks and complexes. 

 He was a true leader in the business arena, a dedicated family man, husband and father, a property developer and a lawyer by profession. In 1998, he was the businessman of the year in Bloemfontein. Just as John Rockefeller, he always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity. 

He identified opportunities in every circumstance, and went for it, the reason why he was here in Windhoek since March until the time of his untimely death. 

Many a times, we forget the selflessness of those around us while they are still alive. 

A strong message I am sending to those of us alive today is to step out and recognise the honourable deeds and contributions of those surrounding us in all spheres of life. On this memorable day, we lost a devoted child, husband, father, brother, uncle and friend whose experiences, wisdom and total commitment in seeking solutions to the issues that confront us on daily basis will be sorely missed.

 In times like this, our attention is always assembled in one place with a common goal of bidding farewell to our loved ones, and the day of today is exceptional in remembering and bidding a deserved farewell to my beloved cousin Dries, as many would call him. Namibia has been robbed of one of the illustrious sons of the soil whose endless contributions, achievements and legacy will forever live on in Namibia, South Africa and beyond. 

You will be missed, but never forgotten. 

The late South African President Nelson Mandela on one occasion said “when a man has done what was expected of him to do, for his country and the people, he must rest.”  

Dries, son of the Scholtz family, you have fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith, and your call of crossing the border has come; that border which is crossed but once. 

“Praise God that He promises us His very presence as we journey along” (Ex. 13:17-22)

May your soul rest in perfect peace.

2021-06-18  Reverend Jan Scholtz

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