On the 17th of August, I lost my best friend and business partner, Jaco Meiring.

 

He touched many lives and made an impact on a lot of people. As much as I kept telling him this, he never truly believed me.

 

The stories and comments below are proof of how great a person he was. I hope he now sees the impact he made, the lives he touched, and how he is truly being missed by many people.

 

 

 


 

“I have known and worked with Carla and Jaco for many years and am so deeply saddened by the tragic news of Jaco’s passing.

I thought to relate some of the words he used to describe himself on his own LinkedIn business profile:
• Info-hollic, book fanatic, trend-geek
• I am hugely interested in the intricacies of “business life”
• I have been “practicing” on the Internet since 1997 and just when I think I know something, it all changes again – exciting stuff!

These words only go to highlight what a thirst for knowledge he had, always exploring and eager to learn and practice more – his work and quest was never done…

In his inimitable, quiet soft-spoken way, he would ask questions, explore options and share his thoughts on how business could be improved through the use of the Internet and technology.

We will miss this brave explorer and adventurer of the Digital Industry!”

“I first met Jaco when I was running the Investec advertising account at Ireland-Davenport.

I warmed to him immediately as he was so approachable so kind and so incredibly decent, I could see straight away that he was a deep and special soul.

As the days and months continued with working together my respect and admiration for him grew and grew.

Jaco and I soon realised that we were very much on the same page in terms of what we wanted to achieve with the digital disciplines for Investec and the need for integrating this goal with all the Investec communication agencies.

Jaco was open, honest and had endless patience and answered all questions no matter what or how complex, a true leader with a manner in dealing with people that many do not have.

Over time Jaco, Carla Jones from “Said What” and myself developed a very deep professional bond which grew into strong friendships and the friendship bond never changed even when we all moved on to other companies.

Jaco was always there for me no matter what and gave me incredible encouragement during my darkest hours, having friends like Jaco is a true blessing and very, very rare.

He was a phone call away no matter what.

This loss has shocked me and devastated me to the core.

Jaco was one of a kind and we are all blessed to have had him in our lives, very few can match the calibre of this man in any way.

This world is not going to be a better place without him.

I miss you my friend and always will, your passing has left a deep hole in my life.

May you rest in peace and know how much you were loved and respected, thank you for the impact you have made on my life.”


“My story in knowing Jaco was very simple.

I met Jaco when he was head of Digital at Investec.

I was the newly appointed CEO of his agency. where sadly at the time we were having difficulties.

So my first meeting, in my new role, was to meet Jaco. I walked in and told Jaco we have a problem. He agreed and we both agreed we have two options.

One, we get divorced and we bring in our lawyers to fight it out OR we make an agreement as the heads and make a commitment to make it work one more time.

From that day onwards, we built a formidable relationship, based on trust, respect, integrity, openness, honesty, and values.

Words that are fitting for a man like Jaco. For me, in one word that really sums up Jaco was that he was a true ‘Gentlemen’. Someone I admired, respected, valued and enjoyed working with.

Adland and the world have lost another great man, too early and too soon. May his soul rest in peace. May he look down upon you all with the love he has.”

“Jaco, a refined gentleman that knew what he wanted out of life, a man with a heart of gold. The Jaco I knew was just this, one who always had the next person’s interest at heart. Looking back and reflecting at the gentle-man that he was, Jaco was very direct and to the point, there was no pussy footing with Jaco, you knew what you would get from him as he knew what he wanted. Let’s not forget his dry sense humour and wit, this personified the smart intelligent person Jaco was, there is so much one can say about Jaco, I can carry on and on and on but that we will talk it over in the by and by. Farewell my brother, gone to soon!”


“Speaking of a time when I worked with Jaco

Jaco, you are gone too soon.
You gave opportunity and encouragement. You were gracious when I made mistakes. You were just in your actions and looked out for others. You stood up for what was true and right. You held fast in your beliefs even when it was uncomfortable and challenging to do so. I am sorry we lost touch, and that I didn’t say thank you in person. I believe you are safe now, and at peace. Memories of you will live on in all the lives you touched. “

“I feel honoured and privileged to have known Jaco. He had a good, kind heart, was super intelligent, wise and smart, a true gentleman with the sharpest wit. I am grateful for all that he taught me in work and in life and he will always have a special place in my heart and mind. Rest In Peace Jaco – your legacy lives on!”


“The news reaching London that Jaco had died hit me like a baseball bat to the chest.
I am truly gutted that such a good guy has left us before his time was supposed to be up.

Jaco and my paths crossed when we became close colleagues doing the same job in two locations at the same company. Jaco in Joburg and me in London. Because of this we met regularly and spoke even more often. I felt a connection to Jaco because our journeys ran parallel for that brief moment in time – working hard, enjoying life, supporting young families. Jaco’s passing is all the more painful because he was a such a kindred spirit to me.

Jaco was, and will always be a cool guy.

I hope your grief might be ever so slightly lessened by the image I carry of Jaco now – happy and smiling back across at me in some pub in London on some random night out celebrating nothing in particular, an image of someone without a care in the world.

Even though time and distance meant we eventually went our separate ways, I knew he was always there, so now I will miss him as though we were in that pub just last week.”

I will always hold Jaco in the highest regard and feel privileged to have known him.

All the words I try to use to describe him seem meagre and superficial. I can tell you this, it took years to try to “get” him and even then, whatever I know I only scratched the surface.

I admired him for multiple reasons. His profound love for his girls and unwavering dedication as a father towered above all.

He was a deep thinker, a compassionate, generous, discerning man with a wicked sense of humour. He generally only chose to speak when his words added value to the conversation and, with that, his choice of words often had me in stitches. He otherwise observed.

He enjoyed learning and he was constantly on a crusade to figure out how ‘stuff’ works but, actually, taught many people a great deal –whether intentional or not.

I think he liked to see people succeed and grow. I never understood why he chose to support me, but am honoured that he did.

Jaco, thank you so much for your friendship. Thank you for the advice, the motivation and for backing me. I don’t know what I did right but you made so much time for me which I am sincerely grateful for. Thanks for the laughs, musical education, intellectual sparring, guidance with work, thanks for tolerating my constant intrusions and welcoming me so readily. Thanks for understanding my Disney references and teaching me a few more. Thanks for just being one of the most standup gentlemen I have ever met.

There will always be a chilled glass of wine at the table for you. Rest in Peace.


I met Jaco the first time in 2013 in London.
He was there with Carla, my daughter, for their work by Investec.
He was a man who did not come to the fore, he did not speak much but what he said was valuable.

He ,together with Carla, made my website (www.mariposam.nl) exactly the way I wanted it. It means they really listened to what I wanted. When I had questions about it, he always was there to help me.

When I wanted to surprise Carla and Nick for their 10th honeymoon, I contact him and asked for help. He just did it.
I know he was always there special for Carla, but also for Nick.
When I wanted to make a surprise visit to them in April this year he helped me to arranged it.
But because of his concern about Carla and Nick, he also gave me advice by coming.
In the car to Carla and Nick he apologized for not speaking. I told him, not to apologize, because I like silence too.
He did not talk much, but what he said was, like already mentioned, valuable: no empty-minded conversation.

Dear Carla,

I’m shocked and saddened to learn about Jaco’s passing and extend my deepest sympathies. I have on several occasions thought about the few times I met him in person and the calls we had, remembering how open he was to meeting someone unproven in the market you both worked in. Our conversations proved to be fantastic coaching for me even in a sales setting and he set a new standard for how I have since tried to meet every new acquaintance; with patience, curiosity and an open mind. Jaco will be sorely missed.

 

If you’d like to add your tribute to this page, please email me on media@nouveautopia.com.

 

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