Monte Taljaard, the talented young Varsity flank, charismatic leader and friend has tragically passed away following a car accident on Sunday morning, 14th of September.
NB: A MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held Wednesday
17 September 2008 at Bishops in the Memorial Chapel at 16:00.
John Dobson, Monte’s coach and mentor found some words:
The absolutely devastating tragic, tragic
passing of Monte Taljaard robs the Taljaard family, UCT and the world of a
simply outstanding young man. Monte was a quality individual, a young man who
stood out as a leader, a player and a gentleman.
As Phil Kilroe, our vice
president says “It is hard to believe that this could happen to one of the
finest human beings varsity has produced in many a year in the prime of his
life. We will always remember him as a very special person and a leader of men.”
Monte had the world at his feet. He had
made staggering progress in his career path and his rugby was poised to
explode. He looked set to be our next Club Captain, something we were all
looking forward to as, being Monte, he would have reset the bar for this job.
He was set to play a vital, leadership role in next year’s Varsity Cup. I had
been working closely with him in the past few weeks on his preparation and he
knew he would have been in our starting lineup come February 2. I assure you he
would have set the tournament alight. He was the sort of person you could and
we were going to build a team around. And Monte being Monte he knew that. And
was going to make a success of it.
Monty came to UCT in 2006 from Grey PE. He
wasted about 3 nanoseconds in making his mark captaining the A1’s a first year
which is highly unusual, but such were his obvious leadership qualities. In
2007 he led the A1’s to unprecedented success, in a season that saw them go
unbeaten based on his amazing leadership. He made his First XV debut then.
In 2008, following Nick Mallett’s advice to
move to scrumhalf, he made a late start to the season back as a flanker,
but soon made the Varsity Cup team and
played for the First XV in an injury affected season. He still won two Man of
the Match awards. He was a popular choice on the players committee and served
on Exco. Through Neil Macdonald he had a great work experience job at Thynk
Property where, Neil says, he had made a real name for himself which would
surprise no one. Together with his “shadow’ Mike Ledwidge he coached the Bishops
U14A. He stooged at Bishops.
Monte always led and mostly by example. He
was confident, ambitious, yet thoroughly and always respectful, totally
wholehearted with deep, unwaivering principles and strong faith. He loved UCT
and we loved him
It gives me, as tears hit the keyboard,
great comfort and should give all of us comfort that he told Pete Haw on the
evening of the accident that he was very happy and that his life was going in
the perfect direction. To his parents and his girlfriend, it absolutely beggars
belief and we can but imagine. But please take solace that “Monts” was someone
who lit up all our lives and will never be forgotten. He was our captain. On
behalf of UCT RFC please accept our sincere, heartfelt and absolutely agonizing
To my team and our club I would say chaps,
we must be strong and we must together find a way to honour Monte. I know he
will never be forgotten.