Roll of Honour
It is with great sadness, sorrow and pain that SA JKA Headquarters reports the tragic and unexpected deaths of Sensei Derrick Geyer and Sensei Gordon Royffe on Friday 15th June 2007. All karateka both in South Africa and Internationally who knew them are deeply shocked by this tragic event. Derrick Geyer and Gordan Royffe will always be remembered by us as True Karate Masters and Honorable Men. We take this opportunity to send our personal condolences to Derrick Geyer's and Gordon Royffe's families, friends and students
In its long and distinguished history, SA JKA has suffered no greater tragedy than the devastating events that so prematurely claimed the lives of Sensei Derrick Geyer and Sensei Gordon Royffe at Germiston on the night of 15 June 2007.
Both men, of different ages and therefore different competitive eras, were nevertheless imbued with the same fighting spirit that unites all authentic karate champions. Derrick and Gordon were warriors and in the manner that has dominated warrior tradition for centuries they shared the capacity - outside the combative dojo arena - to convert uncompromising ferocity into the love and affection that they gave so unconditionally to their families and friends.
BOB ZAGER passed away at the great age of 83 on the 16th August 2007. It was during World War II that his fascinating career started. He was a gangly 16 year old, who lied about his age to join the air-force. He became a champion boxer and quickly gained the respect of his colleagues, to then become a combat instructor. Not losing his passion for engineering (not many know he was a qualified Fitter & Turner!), he was awarded the title of Flight Sergeant.
In 1947, he set up the first gymnasium in Johannesburg, namely Central Gym. It was in a ramshackle building and he completely renovated the interior and manufactured all the exercise machines himself. Apart from his mechanical work, he repaired radios, became a Masseur and a Naturopath! From there he went on to excel in Wrestling, Boxing and Body Building before starting his Karate career along with Sensei Stan Schmidt.
Along with all his other accolades he was an incredibly keen fisherman, car enthusiast, diamond dealer, jeweler and antique expert. He was a wonderful father - always there to advise and support my sister and myself in our sport and business careers. Without his dedication to us kids, we surely would not be where we are today. He made wonderful friends and everyone remembers his naughty sense of humour and ability to make everyone smile. Rather than saying we miss him terribly, I would rather say thank you for his time with us there are only wonderful memories.
Sensei Dan was born in 1937 on 12th of November in Taung The late Sensei Dan is survived by his wife and 4 daughters.
He matriculated in 1958. Worked for the Kimberley Municipality. Then worked as a teacher at Batlhaping High School, Gaborone High School in Botswana and Kebalepile High School in Mafikeng, thereafter was employed by via Afrika Bookshop. He was awarded a 6th Dan Degree in recognition for his contribution to Karate in the country by the SAJKA governing body.
Sensei Dan: The Father of Karate in the North West Province was a no nonsense Karateka, one of the best karate administrators; this was attributed to his experience as a teacher as he was able to deal with all difficult karate students with ease. His qualification, as a strategic manager and public relations officer respectively made him an outstanding karate administrator.
He excelled in Katas, and was an excellent judoka. Sensei Dan enjoyed and loved hard training.He could take a punch and he could also dish it. I met him for the first time in 1977,as I was an instructor at St Mary's Karate Club and he was an instructor at Zen Karate Club. As Karatekas with one goal in mind we agreed to form an association in 1978 and he was the first chairperson of the Molopo Karate Association. He was also the founder member of BAKA in the sense that during 1980 he was the convener of the constitution drafting committee, and became the first chairperson of BAKA . As a visionary leader, he established strong links with all Senior Karate Instructors in the country and internationally. Through him we were able train with Sensei Stan Schmidt, Sensei Ken Wittstock, Sensei Eddie Dorey, Sensei Eddie Sensei Johan Roets Sensei Derrick and Keith Geyer, etc.
It was through him that we affiliated to Griquland. He introduced us to the late Sensei Frank Hopley and the late Sensei Allen Fourie respectively. Through his leadership skills and his relationship with Sensei Eddie Mtshali we were able to stage one of the first and the best Karate Challenge in the area in 1979. As a Karate Instructor of virtue he was appointed the Area Head. With him we spent sleepless nights travelling between Kimberley, Springs, Germiston, Margate, Johannesburg (Hombu Dojo), etc, enjoying training with the best of the best. Sensei Dan as the father of Karate in the North West Province has left a legacy of more than 200 black belt karatekas currently active and non active. We have lost a father but his legacy leaves on. We shall continue to spread the Karate Gospel
May his soul rest in peace