- Pieter Tolsma
Former board member of AAC-Atletiek and former Chairman of AAC-Rugby Bram van Steveninck passed away
The AAC Board members heard about this during the last General Members Meeting of Rugby Netherlands which took place on 31-03-2021.
As Bram has done a great deal of meritorious work in the past , I feel called upon to dedicate a few words to him.
Bram, born in 1931, became a member of the Amsterdam Athletics Club in 1950. It soon became clear that, just like Jan van Lunteren and Henk Knoop, after all that training on the athletics track, he would not break any Dutch or World records. And in 1952 he switched to the Rugby department of the Amsterdam Athletics Club. There, as a fit young man , he quickly played in the 1st XV-team and the 7's-Team. In 1954 and 1955 he won the van Broekhuizen cup and the Bechet cup with this team and in 1955 the National Sevens.
With these successes in his suitcase he left / emigrated, with his wife Loes, to a distant country (I thought Canada), Bram always showed an interest in the '' ups and downs '' of AAC- Rugby. He became a member of the Amsterdam Rugby Society "Club van Honderd".
(In 1959, this meant paying 100 guilders for the 1st AAC Clubhouse that opened in 1964.)
In 1969 Bram returned to the AAC rugby field, but not as a rugby player.
In 1970 he became a member of the AAC Rugby-Sevens Commission which organized the National Sevens . In the period 1970/1971 he was AAC Youth Coach and AAC Competition Secretary and in 1978 AAC Competition Secretary-Abroad.
After a good conversation with Toon Bogers, Bram became Chairman of the AAC Rugby Commission from 1972 to 1977. As a result, he was automatically on the Board of the Amsterdam Athletics Club.
1972 Member of the Sevens Committee on General Affairs
1972 Coordinator Amsterdam Sevens
1976 Coordinator Bus service Amsterdam Sevens
1978 Competition organization Amsterdam Sevens
1978 Finance Amsterdam Sevens
1985 Treasurer Amsterdam Sevens
One of his greatest achievements was the purchase / arrangement of the light installation around the field for the AAC Clubhouse in 1972 and in 1975 the 2nd rugby field.
From 1975 to 1981 and from 1982 to 1996 he was Chairman of the Rugby District '' Noord- Holland".
He also earned his spurs for Rugby Netherlands (then NRB, Dutch Rugby Association) . He was tireless.
1975-1981 NRB-Arbitration Disciplinary Committee
1985-1985 NRB Secretary
Other NRB positions that he enjoyed very much were: 1972-1977 NRB Leader National Junior Competition 1982-1986 NRB Manager Men's NL-XV team and Men's NL-7's team
As a last tour de force he was involved in the joint Rugby Stadium of AAC, Ascrum and RN in 2005-2006 as Treasurer / Secretary of the NRCA (National Rugby Center Amsterdam).
For all his efforts he received many awards and lots of feathers. In 1985 he received the '' Performance PUL '' from RC Hilversum. And on 01-10-1990 the Honorary Membership of Rugby Netherlands and on the same day he also received the highest decoration of the FIRA-AER: '' Médaille Mérite D'ore ''.
After so many tributes, we did not see Bram that often anymore along the Rugby fields on the Bok de Korverweg. During this period a number of prominent rugby players left AAC-Rugby including Don Maddon, Walter van Dalen, among others, they moved to NFC where Bram also lived nearby. After that Bram also became seriously ill. He recovered, but speaking remained a persistent problem that he coped very well, incidentally.
Bram was a humble personality who did not like to come to the fore. One of the last times he showed up at AAC was during the 75th anniversary in 2005, which we celebrated in Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam. He did not want to sit at dinner. Fortunately, he wanted to be in the picture with all eleven then still in the end of life AAC-Rugby-Presidents.
Many will wonder, was Bram not an AAC Member of Merit or Honorary Member?
I also asked myself this question and, driven by the Corona epidemic, started an investigation from 1914 to 2020.
There is nothing to be found in the AAC Archive about an appointment of Bram and even when inquired among the former AAC chairmen and members, no one had unfortunately '' a lasting reminder of it ''.
And I therefore propose, to the current AAC Board and members, to again express their appreciation at the next ALV (General Members Meeting) about everything that Bram did for AAC-Rugby, the Amsterdam Sevens Tournament now SRPA (Rugby Foundation) and how we will continue to remember him in the future .