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This article is part of a Festschrift honouring Professor H Koornhof on his 80th birthday. My colleague and friend of over 40 years, a truly great man. An internationally recognised microbiologist, accorded great honours. A humanitarian, acutely sensitive to any suggestion of discrimination. I remember at one of the meetings of Heads of Departments which the then Director, Professor J Metz, regularly used to call, Hendrik enquired as to why white employees receive white payslips and black employees yellow payslips. This typified his caring and sensitivity. Hendrik, I consider it a privilege to have been your colleague for many years. I salute you.