|A farewell gathering of the EHF Hockey family to thank R.David Balbirnie|
|Written by ehfnews|
The FIH President, EHF Executive Board, EHF Members of Honour, EHF Staff and honoured guests said goodbye to R.David Balbirnie in Brussels..
The EHF President, thanked David for his 23 years of service, presenting him with a silver plate engraved with the signatures of those he had served with over all those years. It was a small gathering of the hockey family along with David's own family, whom Marijke thanked sincerely for supporting David in his work for the EHF.
David had the opportunity to speak and reminded those gathered that it was a friendship that had bonded this "EHF family". He stressed the importance for European hockey to never lose that bond, which had encouraged the wider hockey family to always feel part of hockey. He also spoke about hockey's need to think far ahead, to consider where the sport has come in his 23years, when it was truly amateur and relied heavily on volunteers and no players received benefits for playing. He urged the EHF to consider a day when hockey may well be a professional sport and to prepare for this.
The FIH President, Leandro Negre spoke of David's contribution and his utmost respect for those around him, staff, Kings, players, coaches, umpires, thinking all the time of the best way forward for our sport, without ever losing those friendship bonds or his sense of humour.
The staff, represented by Siobhan Madeley, Communications Manager, also had something to say about their boss:
We’d like to pay tribute to RDB
He’s been a pleasure to work with
Don’t you agree?
His phonecalls were short and sweet
But never forgetting the pleasantary greets…
Hows the family?
Are things going well?
Have you done this, where is that?
Well… that put and end to the friendly chat!!!!
In 23 years we have moved on
From telex to fax and NOW all the mod cons…
David, bless him, went with the flo, except for the mobile, he never did go..
He now has and ipod, and ipad too…
So beware, those long lunches are now taboo…
In the office he’s tidy
Never making a mess…
He did like his teas – from Fortum and Mason – no less.
David’s a character, so full of fun
With generosity, kindness and time foreveryone
A great sense of humour and always upbeat
Sure a nicer guy you will not meet
So from all of us staff, present and past
We wish you the best
GO give it a blast
David is pictured above with the EHF silver plate presented to him
Images also include a gathering of the hockey family, The FIH President speaking about 'his amigo' and members of the EHF Staff.
Thanks to Morley Pecker and Jan Vymazal for the photographs.