CAPE TOWN – The sorrowing Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) received hundreds of social media messages as the cricket fraternity went into collective mourning after the sudden passing of George van Oordt.
Van Oordt (68) was a long-serving life member of the Association. He was also a former chairman of the WP selection committee and a former all-rounder of Western Province.
He represented Tygerberg Cricket Club at cricket and rugby. Van Oordt was also a first team stalwart of the Ravensmead Soccer Club.
“George was a dedicated champion for non-racialism, and he had a caring, selfless personality that drew everybody to him,” said Johannes Adams, a close friend.
Adams shared the boardroom with Van Oordt while being part of the playing affairs’ committee of Western Province.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Cynthia, his wife, and their children Delina, Lawton and Melony, as well as George’s brother, Hansie.
“George was a legend. After his playing days which proceeded while he was in his 40s, he served as a good administrator.
“Later, he was a contractor who repaired club fields and squares. He also reached out to the Ravensmead community. Also, on Christmas-day he served meals to people without the means.
“He was also a trustee on the Ravensmead, Uitzicht and Cravenby Bursary Fund,” Adams added.
“George was one of the most passionate people I ever met,” remarked Rushdi Magiet, a former convenor of the national selection committee and recipient of the CSA Lifetime achievement award.
“He phoned me just three days ago to tell me he was working at the Tygerberg Club to improve the cricket facility,” he added.
Beresford Williams, president of WPCA, said Van Oordt was remarkable. He was a great all-round sportsman. When he left the first-class cricket scene, he continued in various positions – as convenor of selectors, team manager and club administrator.
“He was a developer of cricket pitches, squares and surrounds. At the 60-year celebrations, he made a passionate plea to the club members to continue to serve the community and make a difference.
“He made sure that members of the community that were denied opportunities, were cared for.
“Until his final hours, he was still toiling selflessly for the game and the community,” Williams said.
“Van Oordt was a multi-talented sportsman, a passionate administrator and a community man per excellence. He had a contagious spirit,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the WPCA.
People of his ilk who worked generously to uplift the community after a lifetime of service to sport, are rare to find.
“He will not only be missed by so many members of the community whose life he changed irreversibly; members of the WPCA board with whom George shared his astute administrative insights, will also grieve his sudden passing,” Dien added.
WP Cricket Association