GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - Arno Hollander, the final-year University of the North West student who was electrocuted at Potchefstroom Railway Station on Saturday, 26 October, and died on the scene, was a familiar face and much loved in Hartenbos.
Arno (23) and a friend were taking photographs at the station, when he climbed on to a train carriage and was shocked by an overhead electricity cable.
During university holidays Arno, who was studying pharmacy, worked at Mosskem Pharmacy in Hartenbos. He was due to start work again there on 11 November.
He last worked there during the July holidays this year.
Born in Mossel Bay in 1996, Arno attended Park Primary School in town and then Outeniqua High School in George before university.
Speaking on behalf of Mosskem pharmacy, personnel manager Maryna Snyman told the Mossel Bay Advertiser: "We were expecting Arno here on 11 November. He couldn't work in September because it was a short holiday and he had too much on, so we saw him last in July.
"He was to do his internship with us in 2020. We know him well.
"After Arno's internship, he was to do his year's community work for the state in 2021 and after that, in 2022, he was to come and work here at Mosskem."
In articles on Arno published on the web, university associates described him as extremely hard working.
Maryna said Arno was a "pleasant child with really good manners, rare to find these days. He was extremely loyal and kind. It's terrible, what happened."
Maryna admitted sadly: "We are actually looking for a new intern now. So many students don't have internships. There is a vacancy. Obviously we're terribly heartsore it is not going to Arno."
Arno's parents, Frikkie and Madelene, live in Cape Town. His sister, Nicolene Viljoen, a pre-school teacher, lives in George, according to her facebook page. In reply to a message sent to her by the Advertiser, Nicolene said she and her mother would only be ready to speak to the Advertiser about Arno on Monday, 4 November.
A memorial service was held on Tuesday night, 29 October, in Potchefstroom, organised by the university.
Nicolene posted a message on her Facebook page on Wednesday, saying a memorial service would be held in Mossel Bay as well.
"We are just sorting things out in Potch, then when we are back in Mossel Bay, we will plan and organise it. We will keep everyone posted."
Locally, friends and associates of Arno expressed their grief on the Laerskool Park Primary Alumni Facebook page and the South Cape Children's Choir Old Stars Facebook page. Arno had been the "headboy" of the choir for a period. Both pages are administered by Mossel Bay local Anne Swart, who used to teach at Park Primary.
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