Below is a statement by Brett Herron, Secretary-General of GOOD, to the Western Cape’s Provincial Legislature proposing that they acknowledge former Springbok player Chester Williams’ contribution to “building our country and for giving us hope when we needed it most” and that, on behalf of the people of the Western Cape, that the Provincial Parliament conveys its condolences to Chester’s wife Maria, his children, Ryan, Matthew and Chloe, and his family, friends and colleagues.
Thank you speaker.
It is fitting that we take this short moment to pay our respects to a great son of Western Cape soil.
Mr Speaker, it has been reported that as recently as six weeks ago, and at his last public appearance, Chester was asked what he wanted his legacy to be.
“Great dad, great husband, great son, great friend and great rugby player”.
By every account Chester’s legacy is all of this and so much more.
Every tribute that has been expressed, since his untimely passing on Friday, confirms that Chester Williams was a star on the field and off the field.
At a fragile time, as South Africans were breaking down centuries of barriers, and learning what it was like to live in a normal and just society, Chester played a major role in unifying us and in breaking down abnormal racial barriers using his talent, his authentic character and the power of rugby and sport.
His role in uniting South Africans did not end in the Springbok Rugby Team. He continued to inspire, coach and mentor.
Sadly, his coaching talents were overlooked by many in his home country and he was forced to export these to other parts of the world – leaving his family behind.
I propose that this house acknowledge his contribution to building our country and for giving us hope when we needed it most.
That we express the hope that his memory and achievements will continue to inspire South Africans.
I ask this house, on behalf of the people of the Western Cape, to convey our condolences to his wife Maria, his children, Ryan, Matthew and Chloe, and his family, friends and colleagues.
May they find comfort in the universal love and respect expressed for Chester.
I remind the people of the Western Cape that the memorial service at Newlands on Saturday is open to the public.