20 September 1941–16 February 2015
We heard with deep regret that Dirk Panhuis, our erstwhile Secretary of CPTI, has died after a long illness on 16 February 2015. Dirk was the key person who held CPTI together since its inception, ably supported in many ways by his wife Emilia.
Since the foundation of CPTI in Hondarribia, Spain, on 17 September 1994, Dirk has been the engine driving CPTI. In 1996 he became the Secretary of the organisation and took care of its incorporation as an international not-for-profit association in Belgium by Royal Decree. And, no doubt, he was also involved when CPTI was granted "special consultative status" with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations in July 1999. Dirk retired from his role in 2013, when the organisation was moved to the United Kingdom.
Over those years, Emilia and Dirk generously hosted the CPTI Board meetings at their home in Leuven, Belgium, lodging and feeding the Board members and keeping their attention on the agenda. Board meetings always were efficient and efficiently minuted.
If Dirk's work would have had to be paid, CPTI could never have afforded to fund all these different special services he offered as a volunteer: He learned, on our behalf, how to set up the association, obtain and maintain its recognition as a charity, how to meet all the statutory requirements, how to keep the books—and they were always accepted by the Belgian authorities. This was a far cry from his day-job as a teacher, teaching classical languages at high school. He acquired these skills through his own diligence.
We have benefitted from Dirk's talent for languages: Flemish, English, Spanish, and French. Even the Swedish leaflet he wanted to correct! Emilia, too, served us as an interpreter during a number of conferences.
We wish to express our enormous gratitude for Dirk's magnificent efforts, for his reliability, and his charm. Our sincere condolences to Emilia and their two children.