Gino Feng

4 Dec 1959 – 2 May 2007

It was with shock that the South African Dragonboat Association reacted to the news of Gino’s untimely passing. His premature and needless passing at the hands of armed criminals has robbed the dragonboat community in South Africa of a valued and tireless friend.

Gino will best be remembered as one of the founder members of the new SADBA committee when we all sat down at Colesberg, along with a mediator from local government, and sorted out the long standing rift between the North and South dragonboat factions. This was the beginning of a new era of co-operation within the South African dragonboat community and the birth of the new, and properly constituted SADBA.

Gino may not have been a paddler but more than made up for this in administration. He was passionate about the sport and its participants, arranging tours to Taiwan and China and many local regatta’s in the Gauteng region. His energy knew no limits and his enthusiasm was felt in every corner of the sport. One of the little things I noticed was that many of my questions were answered by email in the small hours indicating just how much Gino crammed into one day, accepting that he had business interests as well as “fulltime” dragonboat duties. He showed indeed that dragonboat racing crosses both frontiers and cultural boundaries being himself not South African, but Taiwanese.

Gino travelled around the country spreading good words about dragonboat racing and was a regular visitor at regatta’s held in different provinces. If we can all capture a little bit of his enthusiasm and use it to good effect, his memory will live on in our sport and in our country.

Rest in peace Gino, you have served us well. We will not forget you.

Greg Pearce
Treasurer - SADBA

Gino Feng, in fond memory

Paddlers of the Western Cape Dragon Boat Association are appalled and deeply saddened by the sudden and shocking death of our friend and colleague Gino.

Although not himself a paddler, Gino was passionate about Dragon Boat racing and poured endless amounts of his time, energy, enthusiasm and money into the sport. He was the driving force in Gauteng between the co-operation of our two Dragon Boat Associations, GDBA and the WCDBA, and in turning the IDBF- associated South African Dragon Boat Association (SADBA) into a truly inter-provincial association.

Under Gino's dynamic co-ordination the annual Gauteng Taiwanese Festival Celebrations came to incorporate a major corporate and club dragonboat regatta to which the Cape Town clubs have been regular visitors for the past seven years. We hope that this festival is not only maintained in his honour, but that it grows to eventually include clubs from every province in South Africa and from beyond our borders.

Gino was a regular visitor at our Cape Town Internationals, full of enthusiasm, encouragement and laughter - and with his inevitable video camera rolling.

The Cape Town paddlers that really got to know Gino did so as part of the Gauteng-Cape South African teams he took to compete in Taiwan and China. We all have many memories of these trips; how easy he made travel in China for those of us who can't speak Chinese, how infuriating he could be with his megaphone, and those vuvuzellas! how endlessly enthusiastic he was as he rushed alongside the race course filming every race, how he glowed with pride in every medal and consoled over every loss, his mischievous delight in introducing us to culinary novelties, the beautiful cds he made for us all from his videos and our pictures after each trip, his typically South African Rainbow-nation attitude in brokering friendship and co-operation across the Taiwanese-Chinese divide and his downright joy in life.

Although I only knew Gino through dragonboating, I suspect he was equally enthusiastic about everything he tackled.

We will all miss him and will always remember him fondly and with appreciation.

Pam Newby
WCDBA Chairman,
SADBA Vice-President 2007