Tributes pour in for curator

2015-10-21 09:00
Bronwen Van Doornum

Bronwen Van Doornum (Bronwen Van Doornum)

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Pietermaritzburg - KwaZulu-Natal is without a passionate archaeologist after the death of Dr Bronwen van Doornum, who was killed in a car accident on Monday.

Van Doornum was returning to Pietermaritzburg from Gauteng when the accident occurred near Warden in the Free State.

She was an instrumental member of the KwaZulu-Natal Museum, joining in 2002 as a senior curator. Her PhD was on hunter-gatherer interaction with farmers in southern Africa during the Later Stone Age, further focusing on the changing identities of the hunter-gatherer.

Van Doornum was remembered by many of her colleagues as a warm person who was always smiling and putting the needs of others before her own.

Viranna Frank, spokesperson for the museum, said: “I have worked with Bronwen for the last 10 years at the museum. She had a smile and kind word for everyone. She was full of great ideas which she could think of effortlessly. She was well travelled and very passionate about museums.

“She was articulate and exceptionally bright. Whenever I would ask for her assistance with something she would give more than 100%. She had a keen eye for detail and was very observant. As friend, I could count on her. She was a person of integrity with a huge heart.”

Burgert Muller, curator of natural sciences at the museum, said Van Doornum chose interaction as her main field of study, which spoke volumes about her personality as she was always interacting with people.

“She lived for the daily interactions with colleagues and members of public. Her public talks were always fun and educational. I was lucky and privileged enough to have been able to call her my friend. She was a kind and loving person and she leaves a void that will never be filled in our hearts,” Muller said.

Another colleague and friend, Debbie Turrell, said: “Bronwen was a steadfast friend to many people, a wonderful respecter of difference and diversity, and a role model for the young people she loved to work with and mentor. She had a tremendous impact on the lives of her many friends and colleagues, and her sharp mind and caring nature will be deeply missed."

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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