In memory of the ‘Sand Man’ – Vic du Plooy

It is with regret and great sadness that we learned of the passing of Christiaan Martin Lodewyk du Plooy (Vic) in April 2018 at the age of 78.

Vic du Plooy was born in the small farming town of Makwassie situated in the North West Province on 20 December 1939. Vic first attended school in the nearby town of Leeudoringstad before continuing his schooling at Brentwood Park Primary School and thereafter at Brandwag High School in Benoni, Gauteng. Vic continued with his studies after leaving school at Technical College Johannesburg and his last qualification was an ICS London, Diploma in Metallurgy, which he completed in 1973 while in his early 30s.

Vic was married to his sweetheart Cornelia Maria Rudolph (Corrie) for 53 years and they had two children, Nelia and Riaan, and he was the proud grandfather of Corly, Marco and Danielle.

Vic spent his entire working career in the foundry industry and his last position was at the University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein Campus. He started his career in the foundry industry at African Malleable Castings in 1959 as a junior laboratory assistant. Following his training, he worked his way up to become the chief chemist, a position he held until leaving in 1970.

Vic spent a total of 54 years working in the foundry industry. Since leaving African Malleable Castings in 1970 he carried his knowledge and expertise to companies such as Ferroform, J&C Malleable Castings, Autocast, Auto Industrial, Alfa Foundry and G&W Base Minerals.

He was fondly known as Oom Vic while he was employed by the University of Johannesburg from 2005 holding positions such as lecturer, consultant, supervisor and project coordinator until he finally retired in December 2015, this being well after the allowable employment age of the University of Johannesburg.

Oom Vic dedicated his working life to the improvement of the foundry industry through his various positions held, research performed and an unwavering willingness to contribute to the knowledge and skills upliftment of the next generation.

One of his last ‘masterpieces’ led to a publication by the NFTN on silica sand profiling, a comprehensive look at the available supplies of aggregate to the local foundry industry. Oom Vic also played a part in the benchmarking of foundries for the NFTN and teaching curriculum for the trades of melter, moulder and patternmaker.

The South African Institute of Foundrymen recognised Oom Vic for his work done and passion for the foundry industry when the Institute awarded him the AH Guy Medal Award in 2013. This award is presented to members who have made an exceptional contribution to the industry.

Our thoughts are with his loved ones in this trying time. We thank his wife for her patience and love during the years he worked tirelessly for the foundry industry in South Africa.

Oom Vic passed away on 20 April 2018 and will fondly be remembered as the “Sand Man”.