Obituary: Captain IJ Bester

09 October 2006

The late Captain Isak J Bester

Captain Isak J Bester has passed away in Cape Town at the age of 78. He held the position of University Engineer from 1969 to 1993, a period of 25 years, during which time he made a significant contribution to UCT's infrastructural and built environment, laying the foundation for much of what followed in the next decade. His knowledge of the campus was legendary and his records were meticulous. He had held the post of production manager of the SA Navy in Simon's Town, with the rank of Captain, from 1960 to 1968, for which he was awarded the Southern Cross Medal. He had unusual design skills as a mechanical and electrical engineer and was held in the highest regard by the professional teams engaged by UCT in this period, and by those who ran what is now the Properties and Services Department in his era including: Len Read, Neville Gaunt and Malcolm Roach. He pioneered energy management systems in the 1970s and was associated with a period of important and rapid expansion, as well as the consolidation of the service infrastructure on which a small town (such as the University is) relies from day to day.

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