skip to Main Content

Irene Irmgard Maria Kotze born Gassner

No not born a South African, I was born in Germany on the 21ST of July 1940, in Heidelberg Germany . Primary, High School and University education all in the home town. After graduating as a CA I wanted to explore the world and had the opportunity to sign up with an American Company as their Internal Auditor for a number of countries; Iceland, Norway , Denmark , Norway , Spain, Honduras, India , Pakistan and a few others. After all the years living out of a suitcase in early 1999 it was time to take roots and finish my Honours Degree and it took some adjustment to do just that . But the travel bug had obviously got the better of me and when the opportunity came up to become Project Financial Manager for 2 projects in South Africa, there was no stopping me and believe me as a woman I had to fight hard to get that job!! But hurray on the 4th of January 1970 I landed in a very hot Johannesburg. And that was the turning point in my life, on that same evening I met my now late husband when he and our Company’s Chief Engineer met me at the airport. No, it was not love at first sight, but over the next few months, romance started to blossom and in July 1971 we were married in Germany.

I continued working till the end of 1973 when our daughter was born. My husband always had the dream of travelling through the southern parts of Africa. So a huge decision had to be made – him being 17 years older than myself , it was now or never-. And my answer was yes, NOW. So we had a special caravan built for us with a special V5 to tow us and Baby Martie came to live in a caravan with her parents for the next 6 years. NO REGRETS, because my husband died of a heart attack 2 months after we completed what was his life’s dream .I will never forget the 6 years of travelling nor will my daughter who had the privilege of having her Father around every day of her young life. When she was older she said “ I had Dad around for much more than all my class mates”. A new way of life started with Mom working. And after various auditing jobs I think I really found my niche, the General Manager of Garden Grove Retirement village for the last 17 years. Those were without doubt the most fulfilling years of my entire professional career.

I am happily going into Retirement at the end of February 2012 ,oh that does not mean the end of Rotary activities ,contrary more time for Rotary!!


Back To Top