Professor I de V "Tinkie Heyns
19 November 1924 - 6 January 2009
Tinkie Heyns Memorial Garden opening - 19 November 2011
This garden was established and opened in memory of Professor Tinkie Heyns who was a dedicated member of the boarding house and Rondebosch family for over 60 years.
Professor I de V “Tinkie” Heyns was involved with Rondebosch for over 60 years. Known affectionately as Prof to thousands of Old Boys, particularly the boarders of Mason House, he came to Rondebosch in 1948 to assist with the coaching of sport. He also taught Maths to Std 6 boys for a period. He served the School in a variety of capacities both prominent and humble. Prof played a leading role in the coaching of Rondebosch athletics, cross-country and rugby over many decades and was also associated with sport at a much wider provincial level. As a runner he at one stage held the South African 880 yards record and was an athletics Springbok.
He served for various periods as secretary, vice-chairman and chairman of the RBHS School Committee (now the Governing Body). He was a lecturer, professor and Dean of the Faculty of Education at UCT and had a great influence on many students who went on to become teachers themselves.
Apart from a few years when he was doing research in the USA and elsewhere, he spent most of his Rondebosch years living in Dorm A in Mason House. To mark his 80th birthday in 2004 funds were raised for the extension of Mason House. In ending his birthday speech to a standing ovation Prof said: “If I had my life over, I would do things differently the second time, but I would quite certainly still want to be a teacher, to be at RBHS and to live at Mason House, the best house in the world.” The Tinkie Heyns wing was opened in 2006 by Prof Heyns and included a suite of rooms for him.
Several plaques adorn the walls of the Tinkie Heyns wing. One acknowledges the generous donations from the Carleton Lloyd Trust, Professor Heyns himself, Old Boys and parents. The other reads: “This wing was built to honour Professor Tinkie Heyns’ long association with Mason House”. The dining room in Canigou is also named in his honour.
Prof Heyns was awarded Honorary Life Membership during 2008 of the South African Rugby Referees’ Association. He was also a Life Member of Western Province Referees' Society and the Western Province Rugby Football Union. He served on the Executive Committee of the WP Rugby Referees Society for over 40 years and edited the SA Rugby law book for a similar period. He gave a lifetime of service to the game at many levels – referee, referee’s coach, international touch judge and administrator. He was also an honorary Vice-President of the Rondebosch Old Boys’ Union.
Prof Tinkie Heyns will be greatly missed by all who loved, honoured and respected him. The memory of Prof as a humble gentleman is captured with the inscription on the plaque below one of his canes which has been mounted outside the new Mason House Prep Room: “In honour of a great man who gave so much and yet asked for so little”.
Altius et Latius.