Dear All,


I have spent considerable time contemplating my future as President of the RPC and I concluded that it is time for me to resign.

It was a great honour and privilege to be unanimously elected and appointed as president of this, newly established breakaway, rebel if you like, organization. In 2013, our vision was to provide a friendly,
accommodating environment and alternative – a haven for passionate and dedicated powerlifters in South Africa. We all shared, with varying experiences of the intolerance, politicised animosity, governmental interference, and clique forming of past organisations.

As EXCO we made it our mission to steer away from all the petty differences, banning, mandatory equipment choices, etc. Initially we also started with the traditional, now archaic, membership concept until Dan Hurlin proposed the “membership-less” idea, whereby anybody can, after paying the entry fee, enter and participate in any RPC sanctioned event. This model makes it profitable for the promoter of
the event; he only must give 15% of his income to RPC to have some RPC funds. This visionary proposal of Dan provides for lifting without having to deal with half-year membership rebates and sanctioning of lifters with expulsion for participation in the events of another organization and/or expose our “members” to the vindictive and vexatious persecution /banning of an individual by THE OTHER organization for allegedly walking past a premises where a heretic organization staged a competition! It smoothed over the movement and freedom of choice and affiliation, removing a lot of acrimony, creating a more tolerant dispensation for lifters who are only interested in lifting weights and not territorial bickering.

We established an EXCO to handle the day-to-day functioning of the RPC through WhatsApp and e-mail communications. I was very firm regarding two conditions of my leadership. I will not be –

a) interested in holding those laborious AGM’s taking place before or after the Nationals, listening to ancient gripes and dissatisfaction(s), having to deal with petty, self-glorification rivalry and jockeying for
position(s). (I pause here to note that I am aware that I have been accused of being a dictator but has yet to be the victim of an assassination attempt!). The fact that we did not hold AGM’s, was to my mind more beneficial than detrimental to the RPC – decisions were taken and there was progress. After the initial couple of Nationals, we sent out Survey Monkey© questionnaires, which, unfortunately, elicited tepid responses; and
b) instrumental in staging a World Championship in SA, having to deal and appease glory seeking government officials; our financial independence was and still is of paramount importance. If we
receive zero government financial assistance, we don’t tolerate ANY government interference or demands/prescripts; we are a voluntary sports club, getting together occasionally to defy gravity
and lift weights.

The driving force for my involvement in RPC was my self-imposed moral obligation to repay the “debt” that I have incurred during the 40 plus years, to all the people, officials, spotters, loaders, referees, “table ladies”, etc. who were always there when I turned up to lift, ensuring that my attempts were legitimately executed, achieved, and recorded.

Since 1980, I have been the vice president of the SAPF, under the late Sarel de Bruyn, president of SANDF Powerlifting and Western Transvaal Powerlifting, which I established. After ten years at the helm and in the referees’ chair, of RPC, I feel that my societal debt has been sufficiently extinguished. I now also realise the veracity of the saying: treat your moments with care, they can become memories.

I have mentioned to some of you in passing that the hardest part of getting old, is to talk about yourself in the past tense. The age chasm between myself and the present lifters is just too wide to bridge with
memories. Anyway, age tends to blur the lines between memories and imagination! The distance between me and the modern lifters is exacerbated by the fact that I lifted equipped vs RAW today, making
proper comparison impossible and training methods/advise obsolete. I just don’t feel relevant anymore.

Over the years I have compiled a “Code of Conduct” to keep my moral compass true, and I like to share some pointers with you –
o A British Lord Chancellor, Blackwell, reportedly once said: “I like my judges to be gentlemen; if they also know a little law, so much the better”.
o What is a gentleman? He is a person who accepts an invitation to a garden party and attends, even if it rains. I always tried to be a gentleman.
o A gentleman can see a question from all sides without bias. The small man is biased and can only see a question from only one (his) side.
o It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought, without accepting it – Aristotle.
o Respect was earned, not demanded, but dignity was taught by example – Julie Garwood.
o Do not plant your dreams in the field of indecision, where nothing ever grows but the weeds of “what-if” – Dodinsky.
o “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable of.” ― Socrates.
o “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead; don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow, walk next to me so that we can talk and be friends.” – Albert Camus.
o “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it.” – Voltaire.

And, I never realised that getting old will happen so quick!
I wish all of you, strength, health, and happiness for the future. Thank you for ten years of support and camaraderie and please don’t let RPC die of faction fighting and complacency, sacrificing it on the altar of self-interest. Make it your personal quest to ensure the longevity of the RPC!

Yours in gratitude,

Louis H Dunn

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