Home Sport Obituary: Thomas Jossie (24 February 1951 – 30 October 2023)

Obituary: Thomas Jossie (24 February 1951 – 30 October 2023)

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Last week, the Kimberley community bid farewell to another remarkable individual. Thomas Jossie, a devoted family man and inspirational sporting personality left this world on Monday, October 30 2023, at the age of 72.

The Kimberley community bids farewell to yet another remarkable individual, Mr. Thomas Jossie, who left this world on October 30 2023, at the age of 72. Picture: Supplied

Last week, the Kimberley community bid farewell to another remarkable individual. Thomas Jossie, a devoted family man and inspirational sporting personality left this world on Monday, October 30 2023, at the age of 72.

According to family, friends, colleagues and teammates, Mr. Jossie’s journey through life was marked by his unwavering dedication to various spheres of society, from sports administration to education, and his legacy continues to inspire all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Sports administration pioneer

Thomas Jossie’s extraordinary journey into sports administration began at the tender age of 16, setting the stage for a lifelong commitment to the development and unity of sports in Kimberley, during a time when sport was still segregated along racial lines, with separate leagues for what at the time was defined as ‘Indians’, ‘Coloureds’, ‘Africans’, and ‘Whites’.

In a time when racial divisions were stark, Mr. Jossie navigated through these challenges, working tirelessly to promote non-racial sports.

Diversity and unity in rugby

Rugby soon became part of his administrative journey. The Arabian College RFC honoured Mr. Jossie with the secretarial post, and one of the highlights of his tenure was the club’s celebration of its 75th anniversary. Subsequently, Mr. Jossie became a delegate of the Arabian College RFC to union meetings. When a vacancy for the secretary position arose, he was duly elected as secretary to the GWRFU (SACOS), further solidifying his commitment to promoting non-racial sports and unity in the sporting community.

Historic moments and collaboration

In 1971, Mr. Jossie was part of the Perseverance Training College’s efforts to bring about the amalgamation of the Diamond Fields Cricket Union and the GW Cricket Board (Malay), a time when the African Cricket Union was non-existent. This historic meeting marked a significant step towards unifying cricket across racial lines.

The late eighties and early nineties witnessed a rebirth of non-racial sports, prompting the need for change in school sports. School rugby convened a meeting to discuss these changes, and over time, Mr. Jossie contributed significantly to the restructuring of school sports.

Diverse administrative roles

Mr. Jossie’s commitment extended beyond the realm of sports administration. He served as the secretary of the municipality’s Indian Management Committee and as the secretary of the Assumption Church’s working committee. His commitment to the church continued, as he served on the Parish Council of the Church of Assumption for two years, declining re-election due to other responsibilities.

Rugby as player and coach

Mr. Jossie’s engagement in various forms of rugby coaching and his own playing career were additional facets of his sports journey. In 1970, a combined Kimberley team was formed to play against visitors from the University of Western Cape, and Mr. Jossie made his official entry into the world of rugby.

He always spoke about how he fondly recalled how Alwee Alexander, a gentleman of the game, made a lasting impression with his diminutive size and exceptional skills on the field.

After high school, Mr. Jossie played for Thistle Rugby Football Club from 1973 to 1975. He later joined Arabian College RFC (ACRFC) in 1976 and went on to represent Griquas. A notable achievement was his selection for the AR Abass SARU Invitation Team to play against an ACRFC Invitation Team, captained by the great Peter Jooste from Tygerberg.

An inspirational life

Looking back, it can be said that Thomas Jossie’s life was characterised by unwavering dedication to sports, education, and community service. His legacy, a beacon of inspiration for the younger generation, is rooted in the values of sportsmanship, unity, and good character.

He leaves behind a remarkable example of a life well lived, and he will be deeply missed by all those who had the privilege of knowing him.

Former members of Arabian College RFC paid tribute to their fallen teammate and friend.

“As we bid farewell to Mr. Jossie, we remember the words he cherished: ‘O powers, make me observe and keep the rules of the game; help me neither to offer nor to welcome cheap praise; give me always to be a good comrade; help me to win, if I may; but – and this, O powers, especially – if I may not win, make me a good loser.’ ”

Thomas Jossie is survived by his loving family, including his devoted wife, Raghma, his son, Thaaqib (Jared), and his cherished daughter, Melanie, along with her husband, Ricardo.

Also his sister, Elaine, and his beloved grandchildren, Kristen and Kiana.

Mr Jossie’s enduring legacy lives on through his family, who were his constant source of joy and support throughout his remarkable journey.

May he rest in peace, leaving a lasting legacy that continues to inspire all.

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