Thursday, July 17, 2014

R.I.P. Keith Mattison, ex HBYC and Great Capetonian

Keith aboard his beloved "FTI Flyer"
Keith Mattison passed away this morning 17 July 2014 at about 4 am, peacefully. On Sunday he went sailing and then watched the World Cup final. Keith had a nasty case of some lung disease which saw him carrying oxygen around for the last few months, next to his beer! Despite all this, in January he entered the Cape to Rio.

Keith was one hell of a guy. Anyone with more lust for life I have yet to meet. Born in Toronto, Canada, he moved to South Africa for an early work assignment - I'll skip the details because there is a whole blog on his life here - which makes very interesting reading. He spent most of his adult life in Cape Town, being a notable academic  - head of department as I recall - at UCT in the I.T. Department, and was extremely well known in South African computing circles. He had various work assignments including Southern life, Shell (where I worked), IBM and others. Always larger than life, full of humour, and a joy to be around. He later went on to found Faculty Training Institute (F.T.I.), a notable I.T. and Project Management training institute in Rondebosch where I sent many of my own staff. He was an excellent musician and singer, and active in many music circles. Did I mention pubs? Best if I don't! Also a keen rally driver.....

And then there was sailing! I think sailing was Keith's main thing. He was the most enthusiastic and committed sailor for miles around, in his beloved FTI Flyer. His previous boat ended on the rocks on the end of Hout Bay's South mole one sad and very windy day - the mast of that boat stands as a timeless memorial to Keith in front of HBYC (as the club flag and signal mast). FTI Flyer entered every race and regatta there ever was in Cape Town, with Keith at the helm. He participated in HBYC's most recent Admiral's Regatta which was the last time I chatted with him. He had several ocean crossings to his name, including Cape to Rio and the Governor's Cup. What a champ!

I am proud to have known him!

Go well Keith! You will be well remembered at HBYC!

Humphrey Worthington-Smith took the amazing initiative to collect the various tributes to Keith at this blog, with Keith's full knowledge and support, before he died. It's a very interesting read.

Memorial Service:
It will take place at Christ Church Constantia this coming Monday (21 July 2014) at 3.00 pm. It will be followed by drinks and snacks at the Constantia Cricket Club club house next to Virgin Active.