Hon. Judge Pat Tebbutt
Patron, UCT Rugby Club
I remember Basil as a passionate lover of rugby in every one of its aspects and through that he also loved Bishops, UCT and False Bay rugby – and they all loved him. He was truly a man’s man, but he also dearly loved his family.
President, UCT Rugby Club
I never played in one of Basil’s teams nor was I coached by him, but I did see him play. My father was a regular at Newlands on Saturday afternoons in the early 60’s and he would bemoan the state of the game. “Rugby is losing its great characters” he would say, pointing out Basil at the front of the line out – bent over, hands on knees, and jersey hanging out over the back of his shorts. That was probably towards the end of his playing days. I recall a prop that shambled more than bounded.
Basil has been part of my rugby awareness ever since, and strangely if I was to associate him with one word it would be ‘ambition’. Ambition to reach a level of expression in rugby, and life, that went way beyond ordinary.
“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for…” I hear him murmur still.
In that sense, all of us at UCT were coached by Basil.
Furthermore, my father was right… Rugby is losing it’s great characters.
Doc Cecil Moss
Ambassador, UCT Rugby Football Club and Oldest Living Springbok
When I started coaching at UCT I inherited a group of players who had been nurtured by Basil and had been exposed to a sense of discipline and dedication to training. Basil Bey first team captain of 1959 to 1962 had promoted a great technique of running rugby in the club. His team played attacking, exciting and adventurous rugby and had attracted many fans.
Basil was a great student of the game and his influence of ‘open’ rugby was the style the students preferred. He had produced a group of players who were talented, ambitious and loved “to make the ball do the work”. His teams were not about victory alone, but it was a combination of the desire to win and a genuine appreciation that the sportsmen who played the game should enjoy and revel in it.
My lasting impression of Basil’s teams above all was the enjoyment they all showed. It was a culture that dominated Varsity rugby for many years. We are all indebted to this great player, coach, administrator and above all friend who influenced our appreciation of the wonderful game of rugby
Ambassador, UCT Rugby Football Club
I was a few years behind Basil but he quickly became a rugby idol of mine for the reasons so many of these tributes point out. So, let me tell a sensitive story from the past. Basil had left UCT and joined False Bay just as others moved on to the likes of Villagers. However, some UCT players followed Basil to False Bay. I was part of the Rugby committee at the time and some members wanted to ‘take action’ against Basil for being disloyal. It got so heated that our coach Tom Hugo Hamman (another Ikey legend) stood up and made a strong speech defending Basil, and was so incensed by the sentiments that he promptly resigned. My view was that what had happened was a credit to Basil as a man who instilled great loyalty, and that in no way had he or would he have poached them – he was an Ikey to the core.
Committee tempers cooled, others felt the same, and I was given the job of persuading Tom to rescind his resignation. He did, but insisted that we allow him to tell Basil what had happened and reassure him that we knew he was still an Ikey through and through. Basil was of course mortified, but being Basil bore no grudges. In fact, False Bay icon as he became he was still the proud and great UCT captain. I can still hear that voice of leadership I heard from the stands. The last time I saw Basil was at his home in February this year, and as we talked it was, as always, not just about the game of today, but also about what Ikey rugby meant.
Moulded in the old Rhodesia’s, as we both were, our greatest growth – our emergence as men – was based on rugby at UCT, with all that it stood for and still does. It moulds men and the best example of that was Basil. He has left a true legacy with the way he influenced his own generation, as well as the younger generations who followed. The mould is broken, but may the legacy live on.