It is possibly true to say that a man like Dirk Nel (65) had two sets of parents: God our Father in Heaven and Mother Nature and, of course, his biological parents. This was certainly true as he worshipped both sets of parents, religiously.
Regarding the Father in Heaven, perhaps his passionate service to the Polokwane Presbyterian Church and his establishment of the same denomination's church in Tzaneen might persuade most of his commitment to the Christian faith. But if that doesn't convince a look at the way he lived his life and upheld moral Christian values will certainly show that this man certainly had his blessings in Heaven.
But his love for Mother Nature was also readily apparent in his care and conviction not only about Kruger but also about the staff members. Every year, he preached sermons at Letaba Rest Camp and led other Christian activities in and around the Kruger National Park as part of his conviction to serve the Lord and Mother Nature.
But Kruger staff really got to know Dirk with the indefatigable way in which he reported on the Park. Very few events slipped by without his presence and he reported on them in a calm objective manner that few journalists seem to master in this day-and-age of scandal sells.
His reports were not only heard on Jacaranda RMFM's regular news reports, but also via the State's news service BUA News and various newspapers including Polokwane Observer, Polokwane Voice and various other community newspapers in the heart of Limpopo Province.
When his tragic passing was communicated, the whole of Kruger mourned and is now so much poorer for his absence. Dirk leaves behind his wife Eleanor, his sisters Sheila and Val and his three children Glen, Ronda and Trevor. The funeral service took place in Polokwane Presbyterian Church on Wednesday June 7, 2006.
By Raymond Travers