Andre was the founding President the Irish South African Association which now has branches in both Johannesburg and Durban as well as Cape Town.

30 October 2013:  It was a great honour to receive the first Honorary Lifetime Membership of the ISAA presented by His Excellency the Irish Ambassador Brendan McMahon and the former President of the ISAA Chris Mahon.  ISAA : Irish South African Association www.Ireland.co.za

Testimonials and Letters of Reference:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

Andre de Villiers

I met Andre de Villiers, who is of Irish descent through his late Mother, about twenty years ago, when I became a member of the Committee of the Irish South African Association, in Cape Town, of which he was first President.

A man with a passionate interest in all things Irish, Andre had single-handedly revived what, up until then, had been a moribund, often fractious and certainly dysfunctional organisation, and breathed completely new life into it.  It was an exhilarating project, which put Irish culture front and centre of, firstly Cape Town Society, and eventually all of South African Society.  Under his direction, we forged solid relationships with the Irish Diaspora locally,  and with our fellow Celts in the Scots and Welsh Societies, and the local coloured and black communities, as well as building a vigorous connection with the Irish Embassy, which supports our every effort to this day.   I was proud to carry on his legacy as 2nd President of the Society and persuade the Irish Government to build on his foundation, by giving the Society an annual grant.  During those early, difficult days,  Andre used the facilities of his very successful Estate Agency business to help the infant Irish Society, gain its feet, and often dipped into his own pocket, to ensure our various activities could survive.

Even later, when the pressures of running one of the most successful businesses in the Cape, which had International connotations, drew him away from the day to day operation of the Society, he remained a devoted and committed member, whose valued and sage advice was always at its disposal.
Socially, I have always found him a highly intelligent and refreshing companion and friend.  He is a highly approachable, engaging, charitable and reliable human being, an honest and straightforward friend, a gifted speaker and a highly efficient and successful businessman. I am honoured to call him my close personal friend.
His companion Romeu and I have known each other for some five years.  A Brazilian by birth, he is an extraordinarily gifted, intelligent, and totally pleasant young man, whose company and friendship I have come to value greatly.  A student of Architecture, I recently recommended him to as an intern to one of the most prestigious Architectural Firms in Dublin, where he rapidly became a valued member of their team, impressing everyone with his industry and zeal.
Their mutual love of Ireland has drawn them to move permanently there, where they have bought a small farm.  I have no difficulty in recommending them in the highest possible terms to anyone in Ireland wishing to engage with them in any capacity, from simple friendship ູ to business.
I shall miss them both greatly and can only say that South Africa’s loss is most definitely Ireland’s gain.
Chris Mahon
Managing Director

Kincora Investments (Pty) Ltd

 

12 November 2018

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

Ref:  Mr Andre de Villiers

Andre de Villiers was a founding member of the Irish South African Association in Cape Town.  From humble beginnings, he steered the organisation to  what it is today, with over 500 members throughout South Africa and chapters in Johannesburg and Durban as well as Cape Town.

In addition to his support for the ISAA, Andre is a well known and respected businessman in Cape Town, who has established and run an extremely successful chain of Estate Agencies in Cape Town.

I believe Andre will be an asset to the community in Athlone when he moves to Ireland.  He will be sorely missed in South Africa.

Michael O’Brien

Chairman, ISAA Cape Town