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Rest in Peace, Mr Neil Hoare

BY Mrs M. Woods

It is with great sadness that we mourn the death of one of our own, Mr Neil Hoare. Mr Hoare was a beloved teacher at Riebeek College for many, many years. He came to Riebeek from Muir when he was appointed as Deputy Principal of Riebeek in June 1976. He retired after many years but was easily persuaded to return the very next year, to continue teaching and running the Physical Science Department on a part time basis. Mr Hoare was a gentle giant of a man who loved and respected by all the pupils, both present and past. His passion for his work and Riebeek College was quite evident in everything that he did. He always spoke fondly of the girls as his "mossies" and his compassionate nature was what endeared him to all who knew him. He became ill towards the end of 2015 and went to stay with his daughter, Jackie, her husband and his granddaughter Alwen Dumbrill, in Cape Town where he sadly passed away on 18 March. His late wife, Yvonne Lemley Hoare, who was a secretary at Riebeek for many years and his two beautiful daughter, Jackie and Stephanie, were all Riebeek Old Girls so Neil's wife was entrenched in the life of Riebeek College too. He has left his mark and will be sorely missed by so many, many people in the Riebeek and Uitenhage community. Neil was a lover of the arts and theatre and produced many musicals over the years with the Riebeek girls and Muir boys: Oklahoma, South Pacific, Paint my Wagon, The Sound of Music and Grease being the ones that I clearly remember. I had the privilege of working with him on the production of Fiddler of the Roof and Grease. I have but the fondest memories of all the fun we had doing Grease in particular. He was a masterful task driver and he even had a real car driving onto the stage at Riebeek. That certainly was a first. I also remember Neil as a young man, being an active member of the Uitenhage Amateur Dramatic Society which consisted of a very vibrant and talented group of people. Neil was a natural on the stage. He brought such energy to the characters that he portrayed so competently in many serious plays and comedies. He had a very precise sense of timing on stage and was a truly great actor. He spoke beautifully and projected his voice so well that he never really needed a microphone. He was a man of presence. Neil was an exemplary family man whose love for all his "girls" and his animals was too precious for words. He was a staunch supporter of SPCA and a great protector of those who could not speak for themselves. He was quite rightly extremely proud of his two talented daughters who were with him when he passed. Riebeek will pay a special tribute to Mr Hoare at an assembly when school resumes. It is going to be sad start to the term but also a celebration of an honourable man who lived a good life. We shall miss him terribly but continue to believe that to live on in the heart of those we love is not to die.

 March 18, 2016
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