George Claassen – #994
The Comrades Marathon Association has expressed its sadness at news of the death of George Claassen, the 1961 Comrades Marathon winner and a notable member of the Comrades Green Number Club. He was 97 years old.
During his Comrades running years – 1960 to 1977 – George had earned two Gold, 4 Silver and 4 Bronze medals to his name; claiming 3rd position in 1960 and his winning title in 1961.
Former CMA Chairman and Green Number Club Convener, Barry Varty reflects on news reports of George’s win at the 1961 Comrades Marathon. “George Claassen was greeted by Vic Clapham, founder of the Comrades Marathon, as he crossed the Finish Line. It was a great moment!”
Barry tells us that the Claassen Family has over the years made a significant contribution to the Comrades Marathon Association. He says, ‘George is the father of Wynand Claassen, the Springbok Rugby Captain from 1981 to 1984. Wynand was also involved in the restoration of Comrades House for the Official Opening in 1988. There is a plaque at Comrades House to this effect.’
On George’s death, Barry says, ‘Another great Comrades veteran fades in the light of the setting sun. Sadly his race is now over, and we on the road, don't say goodbye. We say “Carry on George, we'll catch you later.”’
George will be fondly remembered. The memorial service will be held at 11h00 on Monday, 23 June 2014 at the NG Kerk, Bloubergstrand.
Graeme Fraser – #666
The Comrades Marathon Association is saddened by news of the death of Graeme Fraser, an ardent Comrades Marathon runner and long respected member of the Comrades Green Number Club.
Graeme passed away on Sunday, 15 June 2014 after a battle with a degenerative illness. He was 65 years old.
Graeme ran for the Hillcrest Villagers Athletics Club, was a top Comrades gold medalist, with 6 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals to his name between the years 1975 to 1988. He won third position in both 1982 and 1983.
He will be sincerely missed. The memorial service will be held at 14h00 on Thursday, 19 June 2014 at the Kloof Methodist Church – 4 Park Lane, off Village Road in Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal.