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WHS pays homage to Coetzee brothers

2024-04-17  Correspondent

WHS pays homage to Coetzee brothers

Zebaldt Ngaruka 


Windhoek High School (WHS) yesterday morning lowered their school flag to half-mast to observe a week of tribute to two former students, who died in a horrific accident on the Windhoek-Rehoboth Road on Sunday.  

Edmando and Ethan Coetzee were integral members of the WHS school rugby team, who contributed not only their exceptional skills on the field but also their unwavering dedication and sportsmanship. 

The school’s public relations and project manager Juanita Birch said the school is saddened by the tragic loss of its former learners.

“Their untimely passing left a profound impact on our entire community, highlighting the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing every moment. As a tribute to their memory, we felt it was essential to honour their legacy in a meaningful and lasting way,” Birch said. 

She added that paying tribute to these exceptional individuals is not about commemorating their contributions to their school and rugby team, but also celebrating the bonds of friendship, camaraderie and sportsmanship they exemplified.

“It is our way of ensuring that their spirits live on and continue to inspire current and future generations of learners and athletes of the blue school,” noted Birch.

According to her, the Coetzee brothers’ presence was felt both on and off the pitch, inspiring teammates and coaches alike with their passion for the game and commitment to excellence. 

Asked about the accolades the two achieved at the school, Birch said their contributions were significant and far-reaching.

“Edmando played for the WHS Rugby A team during 2018/19. They played pivotal roles in numerous victories and achievements as part of our school rugby teams,” she alluded. 

Birch continued that the Coetzee brothers would be remembered for the positive impact they had on the lives of those around them.

“While the loss of these outstanding athletes has left a profound void within our school community, their legacy of excellence and sportsmanship will continue to inspire us,” she stated. 

On behalf of the WHS board of directors, management and staff, the PRPM head extended their deepest condolences on the passing of the two old WHS learners to the bereaved family. 

“Their presence at WHS was cherished, and their memory will forever remain in our hearts. Please know that our thoughts are with you during this difficult time,” Birch said sadly.

Janinne de Koe, speaking on behalf of the bereaved family, said the Coetzee and De Koe family are grateful for the pleasing gestures shown by WHS. 

“We express our deepest gratitude for the beautiful tribute that the school organised in honour of the late Edmando and Ethan, proud old scholars of WHS. Your decision to honour them speaks volumes about compassion and empathy that define the school community,” she added. 

De Koe said such tribute showed a profound respect for their memory and the legacy they have left behind.

“Such gestures not only honour the departed, but also provide comfort and solace to their families and friends, adding that it also reflects the value of empathy, unity and reverence,” noted De Koe. 

The two rugby players died with their father, Ettienne Coetzee, who was the chairperson of the FNB Falcon Rugby, a seasoned rugby legend, as well as a family friend, Greschinn Bruwer.

The flag-lowering will continue for the week. 

The date for the funerals is yet to be announced. -

2024-04-17  Correspondent

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