Honouring Ian Webster

Ian Derick Webster retired from PROTEC Pietermaritzburg in December 2021. He joined the Board in September 1998, whilst working for the Natal Witness as a Human Resources Officer. Theologically trained, but with an Accounting, Financial and Pastoral flavouring, Ian was highly insightful and could enrich any discussion. He was always very much a people person, and he actively sought the good in everyone.

He and his wife Jen often spoke about their close relationship with Lindi and Dave Still’s daughters – and I know how very special that relationship was to him. Although Ian knew so many people, he was a very private person, and Jen was really the centre of his world and his soul-mate 😊



We worked together at PROTEC for 18 years – which these days, is a very long time. He was also born in 1954, so we are of the same vintage. My Husband Lloyd had worked with his Mom, Norma, at Hilltops, when it served as the Pietermaritzburg Children’s Home, and I think that is the reason for us understanding just what a valuable and quality person, Ian truly was. He was literally a chip off the old block – he was also the dutiful son who took the old folk shopping, and cared for them deeply, throughout their lives. He also stayed around Pietermaritzburg when a man with his talents, could easily have gone elsewhere in South Africa. But he chose to stick around here, for them.

He, as Chairman of the Board of PROTEC PMB Academy from 2004 – 2019, guided us towards always adding value to the lives of those who needed it most – the academically talented yet totally economically disadvantaged children of Pietermaritzburg and the KZN Midlands. Any good idea which could become a reality to the students’ advantage, was encouraged and nurtured – and it happened. To his great credit, PROTEC PMB which was only founded in 1990, has in excess of 500 technologically trained graduates of universities around South Africa – graduates in the fields of Medicine, IT, all branches of Engineering, Forestry, etc. Ian’s steady hand on the wheel, and in handing it over to our current Chairman, Bonga Ntuli in 2020, helped to make all of these attainments, a reality.

I believe that he suffered much sadness and loss in his life, but never allowed those events to make him bitter, which I feel is his greatest achievement. He rose above all of that and sought only to help others and to bring happiness and a positive vibe into the lives of all of those whom he encountered. He will be most sorely missed.

Rose Smuts


‘A life that touches others goes on forever.’

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