GILL MCLAREN: A GENTLE SOUL
The side lines at Bay matches will be noticeably quieter and poorer with the passing of one of False Bay RFC’s most devout and passionate supporters.
Gill McLaren and her husband, Andrew were fixtures at every match False Bay played, home and away, their presence unfailing, their passion palpable and their post-match feedback objective and constructive to the players.
Gill retired last year after a long and valued career at Pathcare Laboratories, where she was recognized as dedicated and passionate about her work and patients. Her knowledge of her work, kindness and caring nature were endearing traits. Her warmth, keen and dry sense of humour lifted the spirits of those around her, her calm nature a positive influence.
A well-travelled missionary, her passion for her faith was unquestioned. Gill served as a missionary in refugee camps in Asia and Lesotho.
Gill married Andy McLaren almost three years ago. “Mac”, a Bay stalwart on and off the pitch, is well-known to any Bay member since the Seventies, and their union seemed to be pre-ordained. No matter where False Bay played, Andy and Gill would be in the stands, exhorting their team to greater heights, encouraging their efforts, never denigrating those on the pitch. Well, maybe the referee.
They received the Jean Clark Trophy awarded for the most committed and enthusiastic supporter/s in the year under review in 2018.
In the same year, Gill and Andy embarked on a trip to Scotland, connecting with family and soaking up the heritage of Andy’s lineage.
Gill loved reading, rounds of scrabble and her karate. She reveled in the challenges of the art, almost relishing the response she got when she spoke of her passion for and participation in the sport. Just another example of her the mischief which was a base ingredient of her sense of humour.
“No matter where the FB match was played, Andrew and Gill would be there. Always engaging, always optimistic and always sincere. We are very fortunate to have had this couple on our team for all these years”, said Justin van Winkel.
“There are some special people that make up False Bay Rugby Club”, says Graham Knoop, “ and Gill was one of them. “Her passion and support for the club every week will be sorely missed. Post-match you could always guarantee support and a congratulations from Gill. The team will miss that dearly”.
The spectator stands at future Bay matches will be that much emptier, but if you listen carefully you will hear Gill exhorting her team to greater heights, eagerly showing her appreciation for their efforts. Listen just a little bit closer and you may hear her delivering on the spot analysis of the referee’s performance. Worry not though, this kind, gentle soul would never ridicule, the referee would not suffer insult.