FORMER Mountain Rise SAPS member Nithia Pillay, better-know as VN-Lucy, recently passed away after serving the police service for over 32 years. Speaking on his former colleague, Logan Govender said: “It is with much sadness and regret that we have learnt of the sudden passing on of a former colleague and friend. VN-Lucy, as he was affectionately known by all who knew him, was a stalwart member of the SAPS who held the rank of warrant officer.” Govender added that Pillay enlisted into the SAPS in 1969, adding: “After his basic training, he was posted to the Gauteng province. Not many Indians were posted to that part in those years. Later he was posted to Mountain Rise in the uniform branch and thereafter to the detective branch.”Govender also explained that Pillay, along with the former Pietermaritzburg communications officer and head of Crime Prevention, Colonel Henry Budhram, established the first Hindu Society in PMB. Furthermore, Govender described Pillay’s immense love for sport. “Unfortunately, due to ill health, Pillay was forced to quit work in 1999. However, Pillay’s love for and involvement in all sports never stopped. He was an accomplished soccer player,” said Govender, adding that, even after Pillay’s retirement, he was still involved in the Midlands Hindu Society, the Integral Yoga Centre, a branch of The Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India. Another aspect Govender said he will miss about Pillay is his sense of humour. Hazel Soobramoney, the wife of Colonel Elvis Soobramoney, said: “Pillay was part of the successful Young Sastri FC team at a Easter tournament in East London. He represented the Natal Inland Bowling Association at the South African National Bowling Championship.” She added that Pillay and his wife were recently presented with an award by The Sports Veterans’ Association. On behalf of the Retired Police Officers Social Club, Govender conveyed his deepest sympathy and condolences to the bereaved family. “May his soul rest in peace. Our prayers and thoughts are with the bereaved family during their time of anguish,” said Govender, adding that the community turned out in great numbers to bid their final farewell. “At the hall there was a never-ending queue waiting to view. The queue was from the entrance of the hall to the entrance gate. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him,” said Govender.