HELDERBERG – The close-knit community of Raithby is mourning the loss of a leading local rugby personality, Edward Frederick Rabie, who died aged 90 on 23 June.
Born in Cape Town on 16 June 1930, he and his family lived in nearby Walmer Estate, before he moved to the small town of Raithby with his mother.
But school took Rabie back to the city and he lived with an aunt in Woodstock while attending Wesley College in Salt River, which he attended until Standard 6 (now Grade 8).
Rabie excelled as an athlete and was a champion sprinter for Western Province.
A skilful rugby player, he played for Perseverence RFC as part of the old City and Suburban Rugby Football Union, which was initially based in Mowbray before moving to Crawford.
Rabie also played for Raithby Universals Rugby Club, before moving to Young Stars Rugby Club and returning back to RU.
For a short period he played for the local board team, but remained an old stalwart of the Raithby club.
His working life saw him employed initially at clothing manufacturer Rex Trueform before he took the step to join the police force.
After a stint as a bus driver he returned to Rex Trueform, where he worked for a remarkable 40 years.
Grandson Hayden Groepes, assistant coach at the Blue Bulls, said his grandfather “retired so he could drive his grandchildren to school and join and support them in their sporting activities”.
“He spent most of his days as a spectator on the sports field, for he had a great love and passion for all types of sport,” Groepes related.
“He was a devout member of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, serving as deacon for more than 30 years.”
According to his family, Rabie also fought for the rights of the underprivileged as well as those who were affected by past discrimination.
“He was a diligent, trustworthy and loyal worker, who opened doors for many others, especially where employment was concerned,” the family shared.
A memorial service for Rabie will be held at a later date. He is survived by two children, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
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