Thursday 26 January 2017

A tribute to Sylvia Webster

Sylvia Webster held high by fellow team mates (from the left) Butinyana Mothibedi, Don Malambe, Samuel Pule, Petrus Mqoshekile, and Gregory Kupczyk.
Sylvia Webster was one of the great unsung heroes of Mind Sports South Africa.

Few knew that Sylvia, was part of the first Morabaraba team to ever officially represent South Africa. Such team attended TAFISA's 2nd World Sport for All Festival in Bangkok, Thailand. The team was one of the most successful teams ever having won gold.

The team also turned heads and attracted huge amounts  of supporters when the team demonstrated the game and handed out free samples of the game. Such was the interest shown, that extra police had  to be deployed to control the crowds.

Yet Sylvia was not deterred.

Even though Sylvia was diminutive in stature, Sylvia had the heart of a lioness.

Little, if anything scared her.

Even though Sylvia was a formidable Morabaraba player (which Sylvia credited to her degree in Mathematics), Sylvia was drawn into helping administrate MSSA itself.

However, Sylvia never sought elected position. Sylvia was ever happy to work behind the scenes ensuring that events went off smoothly.

Without Sylvia's help and expertise, MSSA would never have been able to have hosted 5 out of the 6 world championships hosted by MSSA. Such championships in which Sylvia was involved were those held in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2007, and 2012.

Sylvia's contribution to the Checkers test match between Hugh Devlin (of Ireland) and Lubabalo Kondlo (of South Africa) in May 2001 was truly phenomenal. Little, if anything, was too much trouble.

Sylvia too threw her heart-and-soul into SK Gaming's visit in 2008. Nothing was too good for 'her' Swedes and she treated them royally.

Through her efforts, Sylvia built up a world-wide network of friends, all of whom she loved dearly.

Sylvia tackled all her problems head-on in her quiet unassuming manner. She kept all her successes and hardships private. All except for her ultimate joy in life, her son, his wife and their son. David, Kelly, and Cooper were her life. Of them, Sylvia would  speak often and with much love.

With Sylvia's passing the world has become colder place, but her spirit will remain as bright and cheerful as ever, and Sylvia, although having gone too soon, will remain forever young.

There will be a memorial service for Sylvia Webster in the Round Table Room, Old Edwardian Society, 11 Ninth Ave., Lower Houghton on Saturday, 28 January 2017 at 14H00. Those wishing to  attend must please RSVP to the Club Administrator, Celia Niederhoffer on 011 728 7335.

Sylvia Webster at IWF's 1999 World Championships Award Dinner in The Castle, Cape Town.

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