The Field Band Foundation salutes
It is with profound sadness that the Field Band Foundation marks the death earlier today of its co-founder and Honorary Life President, Mr. Bertie Lubner.
From our very beginnings in 1997, Bertie has been an active and involved supporter of the Foundation’s outreach to more than 40 000 children of disadvantage across South Africa. Through this time, he personified active citizenship, humane caring for people less privileged, consistent optimism in positive outcomes, and diligence in helping to direct the Foundation’s growth. His was the most emphatic example of tenacity in the face of every kind of challenge, and with this came telling examples of inspiring courage, right to the last.
Bertie Lubner never tired of being delighted by Field Bands and was always supportive of this endeavor to the common good. He urged us on, refused any options of retreat, and never stopped enjoying the magic that he helped to create with young dancers and musicians. He was, in the idiom, “a mensch”.
In February this year, and despite his worsening health, Bertie insisted on attending the Field Band Foundation’s national championships in Soweto with his ever-supportive wife, Hillary. Not only did they stay for the entire four-hour event, but Bertie was on the field as much as possible – close and personal with participants, as was his style. Here was a man who took great pleasure in being immersed in the music and movement of youngsters who were grabbing life’s opportunities in the best ways possible.
He was delighted at the surprise rendition of “Happy Birthday” played in his honour by the band he was most long associated with – the founding PFG Londulusha Field Band of Springs. And, with that chuckling, twinkling, grin that was a trademark, he had a surprise in return: “Ha! Let’s play it again!”
That’s our Bertie.
And for him we will play again and again, in an expansion of horizons of opportunity for young people right across South Africa. We honour his memory as we do.
Rest in peace, dear Bertie – a true son of our soil.
- Issued by the office of the Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Nicky du Plessis, Field Band Foundation, Johannesburg, 18 April 2016.