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Goodbye Chris - and thank you

Posted By Vaughan Rimbault, Wednesday, 03 May 2017

SAIMechE has lost one of its most committed and influential members, Honorary Fellow Chris Reay, who passed away at his home in Cape Town on Wednesday, 26 April 2017.

 

Chris’ service to SAIMechE and the engineering profession stretched over four decades, from his service on Branch committees to more than thirty years’ service as a member of Council.

 

He joined SAIMechE as a Student member in 1963, and his contribution to the institution was recognised through his election to Honorary Fellow in 1999.

 

Chris participated at the highest level in SAIMechE, holding the office of President during the 1990-1991 Council session.  His father was SAIMechE President during the 1948-1949 Council session, giving them the distinction of being one of only two successive generations to have held this office in SAIMechE.

 

His influence was felt across most of the profession, from schools to universities to graduates and fellow professionals.  Many colleagues have commented on his passion for pertinent professional issues, and for holding all around him to the highest standards of integrity and commitment.

 

Chris is probably most well known in modern times for his regular column “An Engineer’s View” which was the leader to our magazine.  He set the bar high in this regard, and we will continue to honour him by using this space to be honest, forthright, courageous and critical of ourselves and other stakeholders in the engineering profession.

 

Thank you Chris, for giving us so much of your life, and for speaking out on our behalf.  We are a better organisation and profession because of you.  Until we meet again.

 

Note:  We invite members to share their memories and comments about Chris, either by emailing these to info@saimeche.org.za, or by commenting here on this post.

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Comments on this post...

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Joachim van der Merwe says...
Posted Wednesday, 03 May 2017
It is with great sadness that I learned about Chris' passing. During the past couple of years he was a great mentor and his example and legacy will continue to guide me. Farewell Chris, you will be missed.
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Michiel Heyns says...
Posted Thursday, 04 May 2017
Chris's, I, like many, got addicted to your passion for the Engineering Profession. I will miss the wisdom and innovative thinking that you shared with us in your writings.
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Thembinkosi Serbastian Mashwabane says...
Posted Friday, 05 May 2017
I am reminded of my days doing my Diploma, always finding interest in
the Journal "SA Mechanical Engineer"...even before considering
membership. Time flies and conditions change.

Thank you Chris for offering us candlesticks ensuring we have light in
those dark tunnels during our career paths.

Gone but never will be forgotten!!!
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Nemalen Chetty says...
Posted Tuesday, 09 May 2017
Please pass on my humble condolences to Chris Reay’s family. May his soul rest in peace.
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Andrew Allen says...
Posted Tuesday, 09 May 2017
I was shocked and saddened to receive the email this evening. Although I only met Chris a few times, I was an avid reader of his column and marveled at his eloquent writing.

This must have come as a terrible shock to you and the Team. Please accept my deep condolences and sympathy.
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Waleed Palmer says...
Posted Tuesday, 09 May 2017
I would like to convey my sincerest condolences to Chris Reay’s family on his recent passing. And I want to extend it to you at Enshrine, Engineer Placements and SAIMechE. I am aware that he was part of all 3 organisations.

I had the privilege of only talking to Chris on the telephone on a few occasions, and he’s professionalism was something to be admired. He was a good role model and great example for many.

As we say in my religion, “Surely we are from God, and unto him we shall surely Return”.
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Dave Hawkins says...
Posted Tuesday, 09 May 2017
I am truly saddened by the death of Chris Reay even though I have never met the man or spoken to him over the phone.

For me the highlight of the SA Mech Eng magazine was his editorial that was always so pertinent, relevant and full of wisdom. I longed for top government officials to take notice of what he was saying and to react in a positive way for the benefit of us all.

May we all remember Chris for his unselfish dedication and service to our organisation and profession.
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Jeremy Pougnet says...
Posted Tuesday, 09 May 2017
Indeed a true loss to our profession. A man who was fully motivated by the courage of his conviction to take a stand for what he believed in, and what he believed in was for the greater good of both our profession and our country.
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Jeffrey Chan says...
Posted Wednesday, 10 May 2017
This is a shocking news to me. Chris was one of the two panel reviewers on my Pr. Eng. peer review panel. I can still remember the review at UCT.
All I can say is Chris, thanks for your kind words during my interview and may you Rest In Peace.
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Prof John Sheer says...
Posted Tuesday, 16 May 2017
I’m sure that for all of us who were university classmates and friends of Chris Reay (Wits Mechanical Engineering, 1964) it is difficult to come to terms with the sad news that he is no longer with us. It was a great shock to hear that he had suddenly passed away on 26th April 2017. We would like to express our condolences to his wife Sharon and all his family.

Many of us had kept in touch with each other over the years since graduation and indeed in 2014 we held a 50-year reunion, which Chris came from Cape Town to attend. It was an occasion to recall the happy years that we spent together at Wits, when Chris established his presence in our class as a delightfully humorous, irreverent classmate and committed engineer-to-be. He was always to the fore in ‘imagineering’ the class events and social occasions and, as his subsequent career showed, he tackled every undertaking with great enthusiasm. Those of us who worked with Chris on SAIMechE and ECSA committees know how much creativity and energy he brought to the profession to which he was devoted. We all especially admired his monthly leaders in the SA Mechanical Engineer over many years in which he continually urged action to improve the state of the South African economy, industry and education. His example should inspire us all. RIP.

On behalf of the Class of ‘64

Emeritus Professor T. John Sheer Pr. Eng. HonFSAIMechE
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
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Anthony Smith says...
Posted Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Sincere Condolences,

First encountered Chris at Davy South Africa and occasionally communicated over the years. Chris’ personality and focus came through strongly in his chosen career and his column often shouted from the mountaintops for society to wake up to truth.
Let us “listen” to a now silent Chris and appreciate his valuable input to Mechanical Engineering – freely given.
Many of my former colleagues are also leaving – we hope not before their legacy and integrity has been understood and passed on to benefit society as a whole.

‘May his Immortal Soul, Rest in Peace’.

Best Regards to those of his family left behind.
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Bob Mills, Hon FSAIMechE says...
Posted Friday, 09 June 2017
I was so saddened to hear of Chris Reay’s recent passing. I had been associated with Chris as an engineer for over thirty years and it was always a pleasure to deal with him, whether in person or over the phone. I will miss our networking and discussions that we had on a regular basis. The industry has lost a great asset and he will be sorely missed.
I send heartfelt condolences to his wife, Sharon and family.
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SAIEE says...
Posted Friday, 09 June 2017
The South African Institute of Electrical Engineers wishes to express condolences at the passing of your esteemed member Chris Reay.

The Engineering fraternity has lost one of its pilars of professionalism and integrity in the passing of Chris Reay.
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Cyril Gamede - ECSA President says...
Posted Friday, 09 June 2017
This is very sad indeed.

He was was one of my mentors when I joined the SAIMechE Council in the mid 90s. His contribution to the engineering profession is profound.

May his soul Rest In Peace.
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George Barbic - SAIMechE Past-President says...
Posted Friday, 09 June 2017
Kindly convey our deepest sympathy to Chris family.

The Mechanical Engineering fraternity has lost a big friend , it will be very difficult to find a replacement.
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Stan Bridgens - SAIEE CEO says...
Posted Friday, 09 June 2017
Thank you for the sad news. I have good memories of Chris – fine person.
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Allyson Lawless - SAICE Past-President says...
Posted Friday, 09 June 2017
Such a loss!
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Prof. Hugh Jeffery - SAIMechE Past-President says...
Posted Friday, 09 June 2017
It is indeed a sad moment when a professional like Chris passes away.

Chris did such a lot for the profession and particularly for SAIMechE being one of the “Young Turks” that changed the path of the institution and continued to stimulate us with his editorial.

He is the only one who served as President whose father was also President.

He will be missed indeed and it will be difficult to find a replacement.

Our prayers and thoughts are with his family at this time.
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Vaughan Rimbault says...
Posted Friday, 09 June 2017
Very sad indeed.
Chris Reay was a mensch and a gentleman, a true kind and humble person.
May he rest in peace.
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Gideon van den Berg, SAIMechE Council member says...
Posted Friday, 09 June 2017
My first dealing with Chris was at the interview for my professional registration.

He encouraged me to become active in the Eastern Cape branch of SAIMechE under the auspices of Danie (I was just about to move from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth).

No doubt it was advice that has served well.

It was a privilege to have served with him on the SAIMechE council.
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Samantha Naidoo says...
Posted Friday, 09 June 2017
It is with profound shock and sadness that I request that my condolences be conveyed to Mr Reay’s family.

Mr Reay was always of great support to me, both in my position as Manager: Education, at ECSA as well as here at Monash South Africa.

His contribution towards the development of the new Engineering programmes at MSA was invaluable, and for that he will be remembered with much respect.
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Christ Rubech Mfina-Mahoukou says...
Posted Wednesday, 21 June 2017
May he soul rest in peace, my deepest condolences to the family
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