Pretoria Bonsai Kai

It is with sadness that we learned of the tragic death of our friend and internationally acclaimed bonsai Master.
We as Pretoria Bonsai Kai were honoured to have a member of his stature.

Louis was a member of the Pretoria Kai since the early seventies.  Louis was a respected and beloved person with a great personality. He was always friendly and helpful and willing to share his advanced knowledge with everyone.

Louis was very fond of nature and the outdoors and he was a very enthusiastic and skilled bonsai artist. He was a very talented bonsai grower and a number of his trees won international awards. One of his Buddleias was selected as one of the hundred best trees in the World. The photo competition was arranged by the Nippon Bonsai Society.

Louis was one of the leading bonsai Masters of our Club and was also invited by almost every Bonsai Club in the country. He was an invaluable source of knowledge and inspiration to all of our Kai members as well as to the rest of the bonsai world.

Louis is regarded as the Buddleia King as he introduced the species to our Club as well as to the rest of the country.  While jogging one morning, he nearly stumbled over a shrub which was lying along the side of the road. He picked it up and decided to plant it. Luckily the plant survived and turned out to be a Buddleia saligna. At the time the club did not have much experience of indigenous trees and we were all excited about this new plant species suitable as a bonsai.  Today Louis’s Buddleia collection is one of the largest in the country.

He was not only a very talented bonsai grower but a great orator. His sense of humour was one of his strong points and he won lots of awards for the best speaker on bonsai Conventions.  One of his famous saying after a statement was made was, “It just shows you” and then after a second or two he would continue “Whatever it shows you”.

Louis represented South Africa at the 6th World Friendship Bonsai Convention in Puerto Rico in 2009. There he demonstrated one of our traditional African tree styles, namely the Pierneef style.  After he styles the tree, he uses a giraffe-hand puppet to show the audience how we used giraffes in Africa to prune our trees in nature.

Louis always pointed out that a bonsai tree should tell a story and he usually explained the reason why he created a tree into a particular style.

His death is a great loss to the Bonsai World and he will be missed by his friends at the club and indeed, by the rest of the bonsai world.

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