By Martin Vedris
SYDNEY: Tributes for Stephen van Wessem portray him as a well-liked, well-respected individual and a successful businessman. For all those who wish to pay their final respects to Stephen van Wessem and his family, the details of his funeral service have been announced.
The funeral service will be held this Thursday 19 March at 12 noon at the Palm Chapel at Macquarie Park Crematorium, on the corner of Delhi Road and Plassey Road, Macquarie Park, Sydney.
Stephen van Wessem’s passing has moved many in the industry.
“I remember Stephen very well during my time at Philips,” said Groupe SEB managing director, Wivina Chaneliere.
“He was indeed a very nice man and very respected within Philips. He was the General Manager for Philips Lighting. When he was in charge of that division, it was ranked as one of the best places to work because Stephen was a regarded as a genuine fair manager. In a very crowded ‘male’ company at the time, he was one of the rare managers that would come and speak to me during the big managers conventions the chairman would organise. I really feel for his wife and daughters. He was too young to die.”
Frank Amadori, managing director of Sony Centre Victoria, worked for van Wessem at Brashs and said that a lot of the Brashs success could be attributed to van Wessem.
“When I joined Brashs it was just a Victorian company but Steve was very much instrumental in the company’s growth and he left at the peak of the company’s success,” said Amadori.
“I had the great pleasure of working with Stephen. My deepest sympathies are extended to the van Wessem family To Sue and Pieter whom I have not spoken to in many years, my thoughts are with you and family.”
Family friends, David and Iris Plumb were at a loss.
“Having known Steve for a number of years, albeit randomly when we visited our family, the Andersons in Wahroonga it came as a great shock when we heard firstly of his accident, the regular updates on his condition and finally on Saturday of his passing,” said David.
“Our visits to Oz were never complete until we had met up with all our friends, Steve in particular, and many a happy hour or three have been spent in his company and I am glad that on my last visit I managed to put a few bucks his way in buying a Dave Brubeck CD from his St Ives store. We will be writing to Sue and the girls today, although words mean little at times like this.”
Sam Carlone from Changhong Electric Australia said, “Condolences’ to Sue van Wessem and to Pieter van Wessem, sorry to hear such bad news.”
Ray Renfrey paid tribute to Van Wessem’s character.
“I called on Steve in his early days at Brashs, I found him a challenging, but also a listening person,” said Renfrey. “Steve was tough, and Steve was thoughtful, he did not put people down, he listened.
“It was clear in my mind that Steve had an idea in his mind about the future. I am saddened, it is over 20 years since I last saw him. I still remember him.”
Craig Mackie, JB Hi-Fi general manager, hardware, mourned the loss of his mentor.
“For many years working at Rentlo, while Stephen was general manager, from the first day he employed me, I admired the man and considered him my mentor,” said Mackie.
“What he taught me, both by instruction and through observation, has and will serve me well throughout my career.
“A meticulous planner, and with a knack of being able to accurately forecast and predict trends within the business, he was as astute as they come. His foresight, his advice and his appetite for success was infectious, and you could not help but be impressed by his manner.
“Stephen will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all those who he has educated and nurtured in their careers. Sincere condolences to Pieter, Sue and family.”