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South African Dental Journal

On-line version ISSN 0375-1562
Print version ISSN 0011-8516

S. Afr. dent. j. vol.70 n.3 Johannesburg Apr. 2015

 

OBITUARY

 

Herman Adolph Reinach, 7 August 1936 - 26 March 2015

 

 

 

A giant- in figure, voice and deeds - has passed away!

When he retired, it left a gaping hole that took a while to fill. He was a man with a heart to match his imposing manner and figure- Herman just could not be ignored. He was where the action was and if there were none, he made something happen... he was simply too industrious and active and even towards the end of his life, in spite of failing health - he was fulfilling a function to actively assist his fellow man in the facility where he resided. An unfortunate motor car accident cut his orthodontic career short and led to the request by his children and other family members that he should close his practice and move to his last abode, a retirement facility in Bloemfontein.

Herman had many firsts but the name "Dr Reinach" first came to public attention after the earthquake in Ceres in 1969. He had been elected Mayor of this Boland town in 1964 at the young age of 28.... and when the earthquake struck he immediately handed his practice over to a locum in order to concentrate on relief work for the next year.

After qualifying at Maties in 1975 he was the first orthodontist to practice full time in Bloemfontein with branch practices in Kimberley and Welkom. He spotted an opportunity and founded the orthodontic supply company Reinor in 1981 and successfully did business from the unlikely base of Bloemfontein. Thus he was the first person to save us all the hassle involved in the direct importation of our orthodontic materials and thereby to rescue us from many hours of queuing at the post office and arguing with recalcitrant officials about import duty.

On top of this all he was involved in stud sheep farming, cattle farming, fresh-water crayfish, gold fish and other business enterprises as well as a caravan park. Herman's achievements could fill several columns. One of his early enterprises was a holiday resort in the Cape for the exclusive use of a section of the nation that had no/or very little access to other holiday accommodation at that time. A younger Herman would have been seen on a bull-dozer, levelling the building site in his spare time!

He was City Counsellor in Bloemfontein, member of SADA Federal Council for many years, member of SAMDC for most of his active life, but also consultant for post graduate students at Medunsa for 10 years, helping to qualify two Heads of Orthodontic Departments and a present Dean.

Indeed, how many lifetimes did he fit into one!...?

Herman, we will miss your arguments at meetings, your drive and enterprise arranging tours to congresses, your hearty, booming laughter at socials and, not to forget, your ability to laugh at yourself when you made the odd mistake! It was an honour to have worked with you, to see how you stayed true to Herman Reinach, walking by the light you had.

To Sareze, your children and your family, our condolences and everlasting gratitude for your continued support to Herman, especially during his last days. To his children Ronel and Herman, as well as to all the close family who shared his life, every condolence and especially to our colleagues, Norman and Monica who followed in his footsteps. It could not all have happened if he had not led by example. Also a deep appreciation to his cousin Dr Andre Delport, who so ably supported him through challenging times and who had to make extremely difficult decisions in managing Herman's orthodontic practice after the motor car accident.

And to you, our friend, but also a friend to all those people you served by way of all your endeavours, may those that stay behind experience joy and comfort in knowing that you not only did what you had to do, but above all... you walked the extra mile and more... and did it with big strides! Great friends are hard to come by, and many of us, both professionally and personally, have lost a great friend.

We wish you a safe journey to your spiritual home. It was a privilege to have known you and your spirit and example will forever leave deep footprints in our hearts.

Until we meet again.

Piet Botha