Princess Charlene attends Sandton function to promote water safety
A cocktail was function held in Sandton, Johannesburg, on April 21, 2017, aimed to publicise the need to increase our awareness of water safety and the danger of death from drowning. The event was hosted by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, which tirelessly promotes increased consciousness of the danger of death by drowning, the third most common cause of accidental death around the world. The Foundation was established not only to enhance public awareness of this major threat to public health and safety but also to teach children to swim and to equip them with effective safety and preventive techniques. Princess Caroline personally addressed her guests at the function, summarising the mission of the Foundation for an audience that included leading South African personalities as well as some of the country’s most prominent athletes.
Water safety and the future of South Africa
A very important point was made by Gavin Varejes, chairman of Richmark Holdings and president of the Foundation in South Africa, when he highlighted the increased risk of death by drowning among children in marginalised or poorer areas. Varejes pointed out that since South Africa’s future depends on the ability of its children to live healthy and fruitful lives, the project of preventing needless deaths from drowning is vital for the whole country in the years ahead. Princess Charlene observed that the vital work of teaching water safety can be successfully done simply by working with one individual, one family, one neighbourhood at a time and building from there.
During her trip to South Africa Princess Charlene also made a return visit to Gugulesizwe Primary School to see how the now-thriving vegetable garden that she donated to the school in 2012 is now helping to sustain the local community.
Exhibition Preview Reveals the Inner Nelson Mandela
Leading South African artist John Meyer explains that his main objective in painting the images of Nelson Mandela that make up a major new exhibition was to capture the inner man as well as the public figure who continues to inspire dispossessed people around the world. The exhibition, which consists of 16 images rendered variously in acrylics and sand-on-canvas, was previewed at the Circa on Jellicoe gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa, on February 23rd, 2017. It will then be seen in major artistic capitals around the world.
The Mandela Exhibition: Origins and Objectives
This important show owes its existence to Richmark Holdings CEO Andrew Dunn, who gave Meyer the task of making the featured works and has now loaned them to be shown in the exhibition. The result is an event that works not only in artistic terms but also as a means of gaining new insights into Mandela’s life and achievements. The potentially daunting project of depicting such an inspirational figure drove Meyer to transcend his previous accomplishments and to reach new artistic heights.
Another major contributor to the exhibition’s success is Mark Read, who owns the Circa on Jellicoe gallery, where the one-off, pre-tour preview was held. As Read sees it, the new show is important not only as an aesthetic phenomenon but also as a means of inspiring new thinking on South Africa’s past and future. Such an emphasis on fresh ideas, makes it especially apt that Richmark Holdings was associated with the exhibition; From its beginnings in the year 2000, when it was founded by businessman and philanthropist Gavin Varejes, Richmark has firmly supported the new creativity, both commercial and cultural, that young entrepreneurs and other leading figures will need as they lay the foundations for South Africa’s future success.
Gavin Varejes bids Joost Farewell
In February 2017 Joost van der Westhuizen, Rugby Legend and Captain of the South African Rugby Legends passed away after a long battle with motor neuron disease (MND). Rugby fans and the entire nation are mourning the great loss. At the touching memorial service, SARLA President Gavin Varejes spoke about his friendship with Joost and their mutual love for South African rugby.
South Africa’s favourite sport and its players.
In South Africa, rugby is more than just a sport – it is a brotherhood that brings people together regardless of culture, race and personality. Players like Joost make incredible sacrifices while also facing their darkest fears on the field, a difficult lifestyle to lead and even more difficult when they stop playing professionally. SARLA was founded to help these players transition from professional rugby to real life while also giving back to the community through several grassroots initiatives. As Captain of the Legends, Joost van der Westhuizen was actively involved in the Association's projects and dedicated to its goals. But rugby aside, he and Varejes were also close friends.
An Honest Friendship
Their friendship began in 1998, when Gavin Varejes assembled the World Cup captains together in order to promote unity through sport. Varejes was one of the first people to notice the changes in Joost’s speech and movement. He confronted his friend, thinking that he could be drinking a bit too much, but it turned out that Joost’s slur and unsteady walk were not because of alcohol consumption. He was suffering from ALS, a motor neuron disease. Varejes described the experience of receiving the devastating news from his friend. They both cried together, he said, for the first and final time. Despite being told that he had no more than two years of life left, Joost did not give up on living and he certainly did not let the devastation lead the way, not even for a day.
Thank you Joost.
Like the rest of South Africa, Gavin Varejes was inspired by the never-say-die attitude Joost possessed. Even during his darkest hours he did not stop working on the J9 Foundation, which he founded to aid others suffering from MND, or investing in his honest and close relationships with his family and friends. Joost spent his final months showing everybody in his life what the true meaning of family, friendship, brotherhood and integrity is – and for that we are truly grateful.
More Than Just a Game – South African Kids Participate in an Inspiring Rugby Tournament
SARLA (South Africa Rugby Legends) and Cell C are currently involved in an exciting rugby initiative for underprivileged children that is also supported by the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and the Monaco Rugby Federation. The initiative involves bringing young rugby enthusiasts from the Western Cape to Monaco to participate in the international Sainte Dévote Rugby sevens Tournament. It gives the children a unique opportunity to experience unknown cultures, enjoy the spirit of teamwork to its fullest and learn about themselves and their ability to perform in a new and unfamiliar environment, while playing rugby. The Sainte Dévote event is the perfect environment to meet and tackle these challenges, as it is all about positive cultural exchange, tolerance, fair play, and collaborative group dynamics. The tournament, which is the 7th of its kind and the 3rd for South African youngsters, is due to start in early March 2017.
Gavin Varejes - Supporting SA Rugby
President of SARLA Gavin Varejes has been involved with South African sports development for several years. He believes that the benefits of rugby go beyond the obvious physical advantages of the game. By working together as a team, players learn about solidarity and fellowship, team spirit and sportsmanship, he explains. Varejes is thrilled about the initiative and hopes that the children will use the valuable experiences they collect throughout the trip and tournament to grow and achieve success in the future. He is immensely grateful for the sponsorship received from Cell C, a leading South African mobile phone service provider. Through their on-going generosity, initiatives like this are made possible. Stefan Terblanche, CEO of SARLA is also excited about sending the 12 youngsters to Monaco for the tournament. He sees it as a great opportunity for the children and for SARLA to turn distant aspirations into unforgettable concrete experiences.
'Wake Up' with SARLA
Founded in 2001, SARLA is an organisation launched with the dual goal of developing rugby in SA and representing the interests of retired professional rugby players, known as ‘Legends’. The organisation runs various programmes geared for developing the sport and making it more accessible to underprivileged members of the community who have traditionally been deprived of structured training opportunities. SARLA’s main grassroots programme is named ‘Vuka’ which means ‘Wake Up’ in the isiZulu and Xhosa languages. Vuka gives over 2,200 underprivileged children from more than 65 Western Cape schools access to various rugby events and regular rugby training clinics run by professional coaches and the 'Legends' themselves.
Golf with Richmark Holdings
Once again, golf clubs have been dusted off, and clients, colleagues and friends were invited to a thrilling game of golf. The golf day or night is not only held with fun and games in mind – proceeds are collected and distributed to various charities.
Celebrity Golf in 2015
The previous Richmark Holdings golf day happened at Randpark Golf Club on 15 October 2015 and had celebrity sports icons like James Small, Shaun Bartlett, Wayne Fyvie and Clive Eksteen join players for a four ball game. The golf games were followed by a charity dinner and auction. The following year’s event was not celebrity driven but turned out just as entertaining and successful.
Golf in 2016
In 2016 Gavin Varejes' Richmark Holdings charity golf event was held at the Houghton Golf Club on the evening of the 3rd of November. The players were assisted on the playing field with fluorescent golf balls and golf tees guiding them across the nine holes.
The golf night was highly successful and raised a significant amount of money. Two cheques, each to the value of ZAR200,000 were given to two charities by Andrew Dunn, the CEO of Richmark. The charities were The Kirsty Watts Foundation, and Joint Aid Management, also known as JAM. Richmark Holdings and Gavin Varejes are proud to back these charities.
Thanks from the Executive Chairman and CEO
On behalf of Richmark Holdings and the beneficiaries of the event, CEO Andrew Dunn and Executive Chairman Gavin Varejes expressed their gratitude to everybody who made the golf night the success it was. It was indeed a wonderful occasion with a fantastic turnout that would not have been possible without the support of the friends, co-workers and clients involved.
The Sun International CEO SleepOut is a socially innovative initiative that gets South African leaders like Gavin Varejes to spend a night on the street for charity. CEO SleepOut was launched with the aim of reinventing the way we approach philanthropy. Since the initiative started in 2015 it has distributed a total of R34 million to various beneficiaries.
Springboks Receive Jerseys from Gavin Varajes Before Playing the Baa-Baas
Gavin Varejes was once again on hand to present the Springboks with their jerseys in the build up to their match against the Barbarians at Wembley. This is the second time Mr. Varejes has been honoured with this role, a tradition that carries a lot of pride and importance for the esteemed national rugby team. With the concept that Springbok jerseys are earned and not given, it has become tradition to invite high profile individuals like Gavin Varejes to present players their jerseys in a pre-match ceremony. A spokesman for the Springboks commented that “Gavin is a very passionate Springbok supporter and we value his tremendous contribution to the team.”
Cell C's 2016 CEO Awards were a glamorous and entertaining affair, which revolved around the company's clients, distributors, dealers and staff. The CEO of Cell C, Jose dos Santos, was front and centre to present awards to staff for who had displayed exceptional performances and raised standards during the year.
This year the Ambassador of the Year award was won by Richmark Holdings Executive Chairman, Gavin Varejes. He won the award in recognition of his contributions and continued loyalty to Cell C and Mr Dos Santos.
Gavin Varejes, President of South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA), is seen here presenting gifts to Francois Louw and Eben Etzebeth – to commemorate the pair reaching their 50th test caps. Varejes, who is also the Executive Chairman of Richmark Holdings, said how proud he was of the young sportsmen for achieving the fantastic career milestone and making South Africa a great rugby playing nation.
An Entrepreneurial Venture
Mauritius-based Universal Partners is undertaking an initial public offering on AltX, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s alternative exchange. The private equity group intends to list in an effort to raise R1 billion, which would further add to the £80 million it already secured this year from various investors, including Global Capital, Investec Bank, Credo Wealth, and Richmark Holdings.
Universal Partners' CFO, David Vinokur, was among the consortium of investors, and he joins the likes of Gavin Varejes in backing the fledgling company. The entrepreneurial spirit of Gavin Varejes is on display once again, as the serial entrepreneur opted to get in at the ground level before one of the more exciting IPO’s on the AltX kicks off with Universal Partners.
Gavin Varejes is the CEO of Richmark Holdings LTD and the President of SARLA (South African Rugby Legends association)