The Strawbridge Pointers and Kangaroo Island lost a great friend in July with the passing of Henk Levering due to complications with emphysema.
Henk was a great supporter of the Pointers, regularly participating in sailing days aboard his beloved 20' Jar Cat, "Angel's Wings" and accompanying many other skippers on various craft.
Always one to enter into the swing of things in a wholehearted manner, Henk was a ray of sunshine on the wharf at the river and certainly a wonderful, if unsuspecting entertainer on the water.
Henk first appeared at a Pointers sail in mid 2009, and quickly came to love the sailing group.
He particularly enjoyed the presentations of the "Porthole", awarded for a singular act of remarkability on the day, and was thrilled to be the recipient as well as the awardee on many occasions.
Henk received the porthole on his very first outing, as well as only four weeks later for unplanned water entries!
He also lovingly kept a scrapbook, which contains all The Islander reports of Pointers doings. A genuine archive.
A typical entry from November 2010 reads: "the porthole was awarded to Henk for his unfailing good humour, on what was a most trying day!"
That really summed up the affable Dutchman.
Henk's proximity in the fleet was always announced by his sidekick, Ruby the wonder dog, whose sailing savvy, but never her devotion, may have been questionable.
Ruby was Henk's faithful fo'rard hand and radio beacon for many seasons.
Who can ever forget Henk's impromptu immersions at Rocky Point or approaching the boat ramp.
Always surfacing with a grin and a shake of the head and then into the cabin for another change of clothes.
No stranger to nautical drama, Henk pushed the Jar Cat to its limits and often a little beyond, particularly in the waters adjacent to Point Morrison, giving many a fright to the accompanying fleet.
Henk was also a great supporter and willing volunteer for the Rebuild Independence Group at the River.
His eternal legacy will be shared the world over when visitors buy a plank to support the rebuild, as Henk was the designer of the schooner motif on the planks.
Using his gas-fitters skills, he also made the stencil, which is used to burn on the design.
Henk will be greatly missed by his many friends, all over the Island and particularly those at the Strawbridge Pointers and the Kangaroo Island Yacht Club.
We offer our condolences to Henk's sister Teeni and to his extended family and friends. - Hal Yard, Strawbridge Pointers
Dedicated to KI
Henk was featured in Catherine Murphy's "My Island Home" column that appeared in The Islander in February 2014 under the headline "The island is freedom". See:'The island is freedom'
I am sure it would have made his scrapbook too.
He told Catherine he was awed when he first visited Kangaroo Island in the late 1970s as a crew member on a SA Yacht Squadron boat.
He moved to the Island in 1996, finding work as a plumber and then started his own business. He was an Ambulance officer in Kingscote for seven years and a member of the Coast Guard.
Asked what made the Island precious, he said:
"It's the freedom to do what you like and there are no restrictions such as traffic or traffic lights. When I first lived on the Island I used to love just going for a drive in the country. The Island is freedom."