Elizma’s death leaves a void in several spheres
“It’s so sad.” This was the common reaction to the passing away of Elizma Fourie – on Friday 4 November, at the age of 57. She was a multitalented woman who played an active role in various spheres until her short illness. Our club will remember her as one of our top photographers, and for her contributions during and beyond her two-year stint as club president from 2019. She joined the club early in 2014, from Upington, where she had founded, built up and was still running a customs clearing business, delivering services to clients exporting and importing goods Elizma Fouriebetween South Africa and Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland since 2006.
Photography was just her hobby, but she did not do it half-heartedly. She was elected to the club committee in 2017, and, still as a “junior” (3-Star) photographer, presented workshops on aspects of macrophotography.
That year she started exploring new terrain by joining our club’s audio-visual (AV) group. She entered her AVs for salons, and won third place in the Impala Trophy AV competition for 2017-’18.
Elizma was elected club president in 2019. It took some persuading from her predecessor because, with her strong Afrikaans background, she thought her English would not be good enough for the task.
Her greatest task in her first year was to lead our club in hosting the annual Western Cape Interclub Photographic Competition at the end of October. It was a spectacular success.
The Hermanus Photographic Society hosted a “gold standard Interclub awards evening that raised the bar totally off the page”, wrote Nicol du Toit, PSSA Western Cape Regional Director, in his special regional newsletter dedicated to the event.
The following year, 2020, Elizma faced a far more daunting challenge – to lead the club through Covid, which paralysed many local, national, and international activities, events, organizations, industries and sectors of the economy. Our club missed only one monthly meeting.
As for Elizma’s doubts about her command of English, she simply joked about it, and never allowed it to deter her.
After her two years as club president, Elizma kept on helping the new committee, especially with managing virtual meetings, while she became more involved with the Photographic Society of South Africa (PSSA) to which our club, and about 100 others from all over the country, are affiliated.
She served on the committee organizing the latest PSSA annual congress in Greyton in August, and took over administrative responsibility for the Facebook page and website of the Western Cape Photographic Forum.
Meanwhile, the high quality of her photography was recognised by her being awarded two types of Honour – firstly the Licentiateship of the PSSA (LPSSA), for a portfolio of ten images, last year, and secondly the fourth level Diamond rating (DPSSA), based on successful salon participation, this year.
Allways striving for excellence, she entered the two-year Judging Accreditation Programme (JAP) presented by the PSSA last year.
PSSA spokesperson Trudi du Toit said not only did Elizma obtain the JAP qualification, she “took leave” from hospital,where she was undergoing tests, to do her final evaluation online at home. “And she did exceptionally well.”
The JAP award ceremony was on the day after she finally yielded to the cancer that had been diagnosed only a few months earlier.
Elizma is survived by husband Gert and son Gerhard.