Bas den Breejen, Chair of the ITTF Media Committee

Bas den Breejen (left) is pictured in 1996 with now retired Dutch politician Erica Terpstra (centre) and (right) the late Cor du Buy (Photo: ITTF)

by Ian Marshall, Editor

A well respected member of the Swaythling Club International, Bas den Breejen of the Netherlands passed away on Wednesday 24th April.

Born on Thursday 7th May 1925, he died just two weeks short of what would have been his 94th birthday.

Most notably Bas den Breejen was the Chair of the ITTF Media Committee, fulfilling the role under the tenure of three Presidents; Ichiro Igimura, Lollo Hammarlund and Xu Yinsheng. In that position he was present at the 1995 Team World Cup in Atlanta and one year later in the same city for the 1996 Olympic Games.

Furthermore, he occupied that position at the 1997 World Championships in Manchester before handing over office.

Ever enthusiastic, two years later at the 1999 World Championships in Eindhoven, the first occasion on which individual events only were staged, he was present in a different role. He organised a display of memorabilia. My abiding memory is the kindly smiling face greeting me with the words “my future is in the past”. It was an intriguing past, most certainly the display attracted a great deal of attention.

The sport at heart, in recognition of his services to the International Table Tennis Federation, in 1993 Bas den Breejen received the ITTF Merit Award; moreover, also he was an honorary member of the Netherlands Table Tennis Federation and the recipient of the Order of Oranje-Nassau. A prestigious award, the Order of Orange-Nassau, founded on Monday 4th April 1892 by the Queen regent Emma, on behalf of her under age daughter Queen Wilhelmina is quoted as open to: “everyone who has earned special merits for society”. Bas den Breejen was most deserved recipient,

A memorial service was held on Friday 3rd May at the Dutch Reformed Church in Blaricum; a man with a caring, welcoming and gentle character, Bas den Breejen is sadly missed. Our condolences to his family.