RIP: Ronnie Bauser
Bauser was a player and after playing a referee and then an administrator, a most respected administrator, an imposing and determined man.
Bauser's school was CBC (Christian Brothers' College) Kimberley, an important school with five Old Boys who became Springboks – John McCulloch, Edward Delaney, Pat Lyster, Tony Harris and Tommy Bedford. In 1946 he captained the CBC 1st XV.
From school Bauser actually left Kimberley. He went to Johannesburg to qualify as a post office technician. He played for Wanderers while there and then hastened back to Kimberley where he played for De Beers and began working for De Beers, where he stayed for nearly 40 years, involved in labour relations.
In 1951 and 1952 Bauser packed down as a lock for Griquas in 10 matches, till a knee injury ended his career. So then he took up refereeing and for from 1958 to 1969 he was a provincial referee. But again the knee troubled him and he gave up refereeing. He was also a provincial cricket umpire in the 1950s.
While refereeing he also coached the De Beers for 13 seasons and was the club's chairman for seven years.
He had two years as a Griqua selector, notably in 1970 when Griquas beat Northern Transvaal in the final of the Currie Cup. He also helped coach Ian Kirkpatrick by coaching the Griqua forwards, not that coaching was as onerous as it is today. In those amateur days, players had jobs and many came from afar and could arrive for a match only late on a Friday or even on a Saturday.
From 1958 to 1976 he was the chairman of the Kimberley Subunion. He served on the executive committee of the Griqualand West RFU from 1961. From 1977 to 1992 he succeeded Wally Hammond as the union's president, and was himself succeeded by André Markgraaff. He was for many years a respected member of the South African Rugby Board and served on the Board's executive.
Bauser was a freemason for over 50 years, a grand master, an attorney general and a recipient of an OSM (Order of Service to masonry).
Politically, he shifted from the Nationalists to the New Nationalists and then to the DA.
Bauser was the Mayor of Kimberley.
Bauser is certainly a man who served and made an impact on his community.
Reunert Sidney Bauser, generally known as Ronnie, was born in Kimberley on 25 December 1928 and died in Kimberley on 28 December 1912. His wife of 62 years, Valerie, predeceased him and he was survived by his sons, Jerome and Reunert, and his daughter Karen, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.