Mr. Ron Hendricks, former Managing Director/station manager of Radio KC is no more and yet he will always be. Upon hearing of his death I informed my son whose child like response was “he was such a kind man daddy”. I have tried many times to call him uncle Ron but could never get myself doing so, one reason I suppose was that he was my primary school teacher and in my culture once you call a person meneer, you just never quite get around to calling him anything else but meneer. The community has lost a giant and God has gained one of the most excellent.
I sometimes think that God uses death to show us how fragile life is and to remind us of what really matters. Mr Hendricks has been called home by God, his work complete, a reminder to all of us what servant hood really means. Here was a man who at 72 still had the energy and the commitment to serve his people, and may I say, he did so with distinction, passion and commitment. Mr. Hendricks achieved in his professional life all he could and yet after his “retirement” he continued to serve the broader community .On the 24 September we will be celebrating Heritage day. This is not just another shopping mall day, but a day that we should use to remind ourselves and our children about what makes us strong, what defines us as a people and as a community. In mourning the death of Mr. Hendricks we celebrate his life and the legacy that he leaves. Listening to people who worked close with him, this is the legacy that he leaves behind.
- Serve – N Eldon Tanner said, Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on earth. This by implication means that we never retire and that service is a life long commitment. At age 72, he was still serving, dreaming, hoping and showing the way.
- Respect begets Respect – When the limits of my understanding embrace the limits of yours that is RESPECT. Mr. Hendricks not only preached respect but lived it. Respecting those older and younger than you is a fundamental human principle. It’s true what they say, respect begets respect, even upon disagreeing he would show respect for another view, no wonder old and young called him Uncle Ron.
- Be Yourself – He did not need to fight people to get his way, but through his gentleness enforced respect. He never went out seeking position, rather position came seeking him. Here is a principle. If you do your bit, if you put heart and soul into any matter, opportunities to make a difference and to serve will come to you.
This is the legacy, the heritage that Mr. Hendricks leaves all of us. Despite what some say, we are a proud people and Mr. Ron Hendricks counts amongst our finest and smartest .The town of Paarl has lost an entertainer, teacher, husband and father but most of all, the town lost a leader. We say thank you to his family for allowing him to share his life with the community and thank God specifically for his exemplarily life. Mr. Hendricks, we salute you and will cherish your memory forever.