Sunday, January 25, 2015
Adre Erasmus - 28/07/2977 to 20/01/2015
I lost my son in a cycling accident on Tuesday 20/01/2015 and this is what I had to say at his Memorial service.
Adré - 28/07/1977 to 20/01/2015
As we have some of Adré's colleagues from the UK as well as some other people who do not understand Afrikaans here, I am doing this in English.
Our us hearts are aching today and we are very sad with lots of tears, but we can celebrate a life filled with joy by a person who made many people happy and conducted his life in such a way that I as a father can be very proud of the legacy he has left behind.
People always had something good to say about Adré. He was not flawless, but the good outweighed the flaws to such an extend, we missed most of them.
I am very fortunate that we had a very good relationship. As I am a Paul Roos old boy, the thought did occur to me to send him to boarding school from Standard 6, but we decided not to. It was one of the best decisions I ever took. I was able to build into my son's life with some quality personal attention spending lots of time next to the hockey field watching him play. He decided at a very early age that rugby was too rough. In primary school his nickname was Wolkie (Cloud for the English) because he cried so easily.
I started playing golf in the early eighties, but when Adré bought himself a bicycle with the money he made from delivering papers, I decided to join him (with a bit of encouragement from my CBMC colleagues Mike Smit and Johan Schoeman). We were due to do our first Argus together in 1990, but it clashed with a school camp, so Adré only did his first Argus in 1991. We spent many hours together on the bicycles. I still have many fond memories of this 14-year-old boy cycling to my work at the Pepkor Head Office on Parow Industria after school so that we could cycle home together. The bicycles also went with when we went on holiday and I also recall cycling the hills to the west of Mount Pleasant in Port Elizabeth swearing at him because he could not cycle up all the hills!
I always had the better of the young Adré on the cycle until 1994 when my work sent to the UK for a year. When I came back, Adré matured and kicked dust in my eyes. I think I managed to beat him in the Argus once since then and that was when he did it with just about no training during the year with the terrible South Easter. He would give done his 21st Argus this year. He did miss a number of years due to various ailments like a broken bottom bracket and some minor health issues. His best time was 2:49:17 on the old 105 km route, which finished at Glen Beach.
In 2006 he did a 3:02:20 on the new longer course with the Green Point finish. That is equal to a 2:55 on the old Glen Beach finish. Last year was not that good and, although he did not mention it to me, I think he decided to train a little harder for thus year's Argus so that he can try and break that magical 3 hour barrier again. This probably led to his death because on Tuesday night he was flying home with the South Easter on his back, resulting in him deciding to make the fateful choice of the normal but faster road between Boundary Road and Loxton Avenue rather than the little cumbersome cycle path with the undulations caused where Weir and Kei Roads join Marine Drive, which cannot be taken at high speed. Unfortunately fate had an appointment with him. I did go to the scene of the accident on Tuesday night and was not supposed to touch anything, but I did touch his leg and looked at the feet with the cycling shoes, at which I looked so often in the past when I was cycling behind him, lying in the road. I will miss them!
I also have some very fond memories of motor cycles trips to Welkom to watch MotoGp and a memorable trip we had to Kirkwood in 2003, riding down there on Saturday and coming back on Sunday. 1,700 km in two days! This was repeated some years later with Francois Meyer and Christo Kleynhans as company.
His commitment as a family man did result in us having very fewer motorcycle trips since the twins were born, but that underlined his commitment as a family man.
We also had a fairly regular date for a light lunch at Curry Quest, a quaint curry restaurant within walking distance of his work Mowbray. This just did not happen often enough and I was about to schedule our next one for early next month.
I loved my son. We had a great relationship. I am missing him and nothing will be able to fill the void. I rejoice in the knowledge that my son is in a better place and died doing something he thoroughly enjoyed! I will never forget the sight of those familiar cycling shoes in the road next to the Milnerton Lagoon!