ABRAHAM JACOB (JACK) ROSENBERG
17 MARCH 1928 – 02 JUNE 2014
Well-known “Kingite” and staunch Old Dalian Jack Rosenberg died in Bloemfontein on Monday at the age of 86.
Dale College played rugby against Kingswood College in Grahamstown on Saturday 31 May 2014. This may seem to be a random piece of information with which to start an obituary, but where Uncle Jack was concerned, this was the most important event of the weekend. Until last year, before his retirement as the Old Dalian PRO, Uncle Jack would always have been present at such fixtures. But since his retirement and his departure for Bloemfontein and Johannesburg, Jack has had to be content with receiving news of Dale’s sports results by telephone. This past Saturday evening was no different as he joyfully received the news of Dale’s victory against Kingswood.
Jack was so pleased to be present at the Dale Reunion weekend of 16-18 May 2014 and he absolutely soaked up every moment of the experience. He remarked during the course of the weekend that he had been part of Dale College for seventy-eight years. He also mentioned that it was difficult for him to come back because it was just so emotionally overwhelming. It was fitting that the Dale First XV was able to gift Uncle Jack with a victory on that occasion too.
Jack was born in Fort Beaufort. He came to Dale College as an eight-year-old boarder at Diocesan Hostel. He delighted in his experience at Dale College and as a senior he played for the First Cricket XI and also for the First Rugby XV. He was awarded colours for cricket.
After matriculating in 1945, Jack moved to Port Elizabeth where he opened several butcheries. He continued to play club rugby for Crusaders and cricket for Union Cricket Club. Jack returned to King William’s Town in 1964 and successfully ran the Central Hotel for many years with his wife Esra. “Jack’s Place” was the restaurant at the hotel and it became a favourite watering hole for many. Jack also continued to play sport for Pirates Rugby Club and Alberts Cricket Club. Jack and Esra raised two daughters in King William’s Town. Jack served on the School Governing Bodies of both Dale College and Dale Junior and he also served as a town councillor. He was also a staunch trustee of the Heron Club which was a fundraising arm of the ODU. Jack was a true philanthropist who always had time for those in need and he was always delighted to be of assistance wherever possible.
Jack served two terms as National President of the Old Dalian Union and he was appointed as the ODU Public Relations Officer in 1998. It was in this capacity that Jack became so well known and loved by so many people across the country. He would be present at every sporting fixture and would also often travel to tour venues where the Dale First XV was playing. He was the most passionate supporter of Dale College and he was affectionately known as “Mr Dale College” and “Mr Old Dalian Union”.
Jack so enjoyed his interactions with the Dalians. When working as the PRO of the ODU, Jack would attend assembly at the junior school every Tuesday. Last year, when in Bloemfontein, nine Old Dalians attending the University of the Free State sprung a surprise visit on Uncle Jack and spent a happy time reminiscing with him. Such was the love and respect that so many had for him.
Dale College has been richly blessed to have such an uncle as beloved Uncle Jack. We were sad when he retired, but his passing has now left a void which cannot be filled. We offer our sympathies to Jack’s long time friend and fiancē, Ray Kibur in Bloemfontein. Jack’s daughter Lesley and his son-in-law Ivor Sacks, his grandchildren and great grandchildren are also remembered at this sad time. Rest in peace Uncle Jack. Your presence will continue to be felt in the corridors and on the sports fields of Dale College and Dale Junior for a long time to come.