PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - Former principal of Wittedrift High School, André Bouwer, passed away on 23 May in an accident outside Sedgefield where he was pronounced deceased on the scene after colliding with a truck.
Bouwer was the beloved principal of Wittedrift High for 19 years between 1994 and 2013, where he became a well-known and dearly beloved member of the Plettenberg Bay community.
He impacted thousands of lives during his time as principal, but very few (if any) can say that he had changed their life as much as he did Lynn'e Kapp Faasen's whom he saved from choking in 1994.
Faasen recounted her tale in a Facebook post shortly after Bouwer's death.
"In 2013 I had the privilege of doing an interview with Mr Andre Bouwer in his office. One of the questions I asked him was about the day he arrived in Plettenberg Bay," she began. "He arrived in Plett in 1994 and told me about a lady who he had rescued by doing the Heimlich manoeuvre. He was busy having lunch at The Wimpy (where Flashbacks is today) with his very young family when the lady opposite them started choking. That lady was me. My lifesaver."
To Faasen he might have been a literal lifesaver, but to many a former Wittedrift learner and Plett resident he was a shining light. "Devastating and surreal. Mr Bouwer, you were such a genuine, loving, caring human being. You always put others ahead of you and built up so many people, young and old alike," said Megan Grant on Facebook.
Another Facebook user, Ninette Lourens, said, "If you were lucky enough to meet this amazing man you will know just how incredibly kind and caring he was. He had an amazing passion for teaching and children seeing the individuality of each child."
One of the many touching Facebook comments came from Vuyo Enzokuhle Vuyolwethu. "I am also a fruit from this great tree that has fallen. I'm honoured to have gotten a chance to be groomed by Mr Bouwer. I am deeply hurt because a leader, principal, father, mentor is no longer with us," the comment said.
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