Pappa passed away on 14 May 2016. Known to many as simply Advocate Meyer, he was a friend, father, lover, mentor and protector of many.
I’m struggling to find the words to describe this loss…
HJS Meyer – leader, father, mentor
It’s hard to describe what kind of life he’d lived. His work was his greatest glory – his thousands of projects woven together so finely under his unique vision.
Those who knew him understood that he had greater priorities. He as concerned with building the communities of Southern Africa and reaffirming the onus of the tribal communities, of upholding tradition and heritage, of protecting the weak and disenfranchised.
At his funeral one of his colleagues explained how many judges would fear going up against Advocate HJS Meyer – because he knew the law better than anyone else, better than them. We heard how he’d held council with kings, queens and state leaders. We heard how much he’d meant to the unrecognised tribal leaders. We heard how he’d built several schools throughout South Africa, and how many plans there were (and still are) for AFSEF. We heard of his particular soft spot for orphans – something which, of course, we’d always known.
These words gave me much needed comfort – in knowing there’s a legacy left to succeed – in knowing that there’s meaning in life and death.
But it’s hard to piece this full tapestry of his life together again. It’s hard to pick up the threads – to know the right person to give the reins of each project, task and case to. It’s hard to understand how to approach people in whose circles I will never have found myself under normal circumstances. I am but a simple person, with simple dreams, and little courage. I guess grief gives us a bit of a courage boost when needed.
These next weeks, months, years will be tough. It’s hard to grasp the enormity of our loss. I feel it in different ways on different days. But here’s hoping we can take on the visions of a legend and honour the legacy of Advocate Manie Meyer.
Dad will be laid to rest this weekend, 28 May 2016 in Natal. A wife of one of the chiefs he’d worked with had had a dream that he needed to be buried there – among his people – on the land his ancestor once gave to their ancestor. He would have loved that.
Some comments from my previous website where this blog was originally posted
Comment by: Michael Goldberg | (firstname.lastname@example.org ) | 6/8/2016 | 13:03:48
I so happened to be restoring a davenport ( small antique writing desk) last weekend, which I purchased from Manie some 23 years ago. Having not seen Manie since 2012 when I visited JHB last, I checked online to see if he had any contact details!
It was with great sadness that I came to read of the death of Manie, a man I met while doing military training in 1980 and who became a friend, fellow officer and a colleague, having briefed Manie on a number of matters while practising in JHB.
Manie was a larger than life figure, bold, confident and a competent lawyer but always willing to listen to and help others and I experienced those qualities first hand.
I wish the Meyer family my sincere condolences but at the same time encourage them to embrace and cherish everything that was positive from the Manie experience.
Borehamwood, Hertfordshire UK
Comment by: Antoinette | (email@example.com) | 6/27/2016 | 15:56:11
It is with great sadness and disbelieve to hear about the passing of Adv Meyer. Although I only worked for him for a short while, (he was my first ‘boss’ as I was only 20 yrs old at the time) it was quite an honour to be associated with such a respectable man.
My condolences to you and the rest of his family.