Celebrating Doug Hillen, IC of South Africa
It is with a great deal of sadness that we must advise the passing of our former IC of South Africa President, Doug Hillen.
Doug always held the International Club in high regard and like anything to do with tennis, he devoted his full energies into his time as president, a position he held for 10 years. His commitment to the game was spawned by the fact that his father set the example of commitment to the game by being the power behind the rise of Commercial Tennis club to become one of, if not the, top club in Johannesburg in his day. So much so that Commercial club added the name “Hillen” to the name of the club. So, his upbringing ensured that the love of the game was passed from father to son.
Tennis was not in his DNA, tennis was his DNA.
He just could not play enough tennis and his famous blue court at his home must have been worn through with the amount of play that the court soaked up.
Doug was on the IC Executive as the African representative a position he was proud to be asked to fulfil. He again devoted time and energy into this position in true Hillen style and fervour.
On court Doug represented South Africa several times at the World Veterans championships and for the IC SA and he vigorously pursued IC matches against other countries on his travels. He was passionate about representing the IC abroad and such was his standing in some of these countries, that he was made an honorary member of several other IC countries.
At home he regularly represented his province, Gauteng Central, in inter provincial matches and became almost a permanent fixture in any Gauteng Central team. It is thought that he represented his province close to 50 times throughout his career.
A memorial service was held for Doug at his son’s house on 25th April and well attended by family friends, close acquaintances and a well turned out number of IC members. As chairman I was honoured to be asked by his son, Greg, to speak about his work with and for the IC as well as on a personal level as he was often my doubles partner at tournaments.
Sadly, Doug suffered from dementia in his later years, and this was a trying time for his family.
Doug will leave a huge hole in tennis, not only in South Africa but the world as he was a shining example of how to be true ambassador of the sport and his country.
Doug leaves behind his wife, June, a son Greg, daughter Dianne and six grandchildren.
On behalf of the IC SA I extended our condolences to his family at the memorial.