Over the course of nearly nine decades, the former city mayor proved to be an integral figure in the local community.
Prominent Kimberley resident, Ronnie Bauser, died yesterday morning at the age of 89.
Over the course of nearly nine decades, the former city mayor, Griqualand West Rugby Union President and mentor to aspiring leaders, proved to be an integral figure in the local community, having had a direct impact on sport, commerce and governance in the Northern Cape.
One of Bauser’s three children, Jerome, said yesterday that his father had spent his final hours in the company of loved ones who had gathered in Kimberley to celebrate Christmas which was coincidentally also the deceased’s 89th birthday.
“My father had been in and out of hospital over the last month or so,” the family spokesperson said yesterday.
“It was not a prolonged illness but his passing also didn’t come as a surprise. We were given the opportunity to spend Christmas together and to say our goodbyes.”
Bauser was born in Kimberley on Christmas Day, 1928 and completed his schooling at St Patricks’ College (then CBC Kimberley), where he captained both the school’s rugby and cricket teams, before leaving the Province to further his studies.
Upon completing his tertiary education, he returned to the city to start work as a technician for De Beers, where he went on to make a significant impact on the city and its residents in a variety of capacities.
Jerome yesterday recalled fond memories of his father, reciting an impressive list of achievements that had a tangible impact on what Kimberley is today.
“When my father studied industrial relations it was very much a new academic field and this saw him spend years working on the policies and practices of De Beers before he was seconded by Anglo America shortly before he went on pension in the late 80s,” Jerome said yesterday
“He was also passionate about both rugby and cricket, having played rugby for Griquas before serving as president of the union from 1977 to 1994 while also serving on the national executive of Saru.
“My dad was also a fully qualified rugby referee and cricket umpire and a founding members of the CBC Old Boys Cricket Club.”
Bauser was also a Grand Master of the Freemasons and an active Rotarian.
After spending nearly 40 years working in the local mining industry, Bauser stepped into the local political arena, at a time when South Africa was undergoing major transitions, where he would serve on the municipal council for nearly 29 years, five of them as mayor.
Leader of the DA in the Province, Andrew Louw, yesterday sent condolences to the family, saying that Bauser had made a substantial contribution not only to the opposition party but to the political landscape of the Province.
“On behalf of the DA, we would like to send our deepest condolences to the family of ‘Uncle Ronnie’, as he was affectionately known,” Louw said yesterday.
“He was instrumental in a number of significant events in the Province, having served, with integrity and distinction, as a councillor and mayor for many years.”
The DA leader added that Bauser’s attention to detail had proven an asset to the party for many years while decades of experience and a willingness to pass on his knowledge made him an outstanding mentor for aspiring leaders of the DA.
“I will always remember him as caucus leader, in 2006, when he always made a point of reminding us that punctuality was important.
“In 2011, he mentioned that he was planning on retiring and I will always be grateful that he agreed to remain for another term to assist with all his experience.”
Bauser is survived by his children Reunert, Karen, Jerome and daughters’-in-law Karen and Elaine, grandchildren Ivan, Shaleen, Daryn and Kirsty-Leigh, in-law grandchildren Tanya, Solly, Jason and Carla. Great Grand Children Nathan, Anndrya, Roxy-Leigh and Quantenique.