On Friday 24 April 2015
Bert Kamstra has been appointed Member in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
Bert Kamstra (1953) has worked full-time at the Reception of the University’s Academy Building since 1986. He is also an enthusiastic, active member of the Referees’ Association for Groningen and surrounding areas. As a member of the technical committee, he is in charge of organizing various football tournaments. At one point, he stepped down from this official position, indicating that would still be available if needed. As it turned out, he was asked to help so often that he was officially reinstated. He has been on the board of editors for the club magazine since 1996 and is responsible for providing gifts for anniversaries, injuries and illness. He performs this task with the utmost care and has never been known to miss an important event.
In 2000, Kamstra started as a stand-by volunteer trainer with the Referees’ Association. Again, he was asked to come and help so often that the Association made him one of its regular trainers. He is known within the club as someone who will never let you down, is always ready to roll up his sleeves and enjoys hard work. When one-off projects or special club evenings need to be arranged, Kamstra usually takes on the organization and coordination side without being asked. He thoroughly deserved the Silver Referee he was awarded by the Central Organization for Football Referees (COVS), and in 2010, he was appointed member of merit of the Referees’ Association for Groningen and surrounding areas. Despite suffering a heart attack with complications in 2014, he is still a fully active member of the association and regularly referees matches both on the pitch and indoors.
The Kamstra family has always spent its summer holidays on Terschelling. For as long as anyone can remember, while he is there, Kamstra organizes a large-scale football tournament, ‘obviously’ refereeing many of the matches himself. He also referees the odd match at the request of the island’s local football club, simply for pleasure.
The Reception serves as a business card not only for the Academy Building, but for the University as a whole. The building is the heart and soul of the University and Reception fulfils a visible and fundamental role for visitors, students and staff. Kamstra is an exceptionally reliable, helpful, friendly and experienced member of Reception staff. His focus on customers, calm persona, decisiveness and considerable knowledge are essential to the efficient running of the Reception service. He is not only exemplary in his role, but is also prepared to go the extra mile without reward. He is willing to help day and night, even when he is not on-call (a 24-hour shift, including weekends, available during emergencies). Colleagues can always ask him to take on their on-call duties, which stops him from venturing too far from his home. After suffering a heart attack in 2014, he only spent two months on sick leave and even then, was in permanent contact with his colleagues. Kamstra has now resumed full-time duties.
Kamstra is also traditionally responsible for organizing the national Beadle Day for the delegation from Groningen (hotel, transport, attire, etc.), and arranging the entire programme for the day when it is Groningen’s turn to organize the event.
In addition to his regular duties, Kamstra takes an active part in organizing numerous events that the University organizes for staff and students, including public activities such as public lectures, the Sinterklaas parade, information days for prospective students and anniversary celebrations.
In his spare time, Kamstra helps to plan and coordinate the wreath-laying ceremony on behalf of the University of Groningen, performed by the Rector Magnificus on 4 May. Finally, he is an outstanding, dignified representative of the University of Groningen during important visits, including visits by members of the Royal Family.
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