With great sadness we bring you tragic news. Reginald Schaumans, our JCI leader and 1991 JCI World President, unexpectedly passed away on September 28, 2017 at age 66. This is a great loss for our organization and its members. His contribution to JCI can hardly be put in words, and his true leadership has made a positive impact in so many lives.
We present to you a brief summary of his career in JCI: Reginald was actively involved in JCI since the early 1980s. As a member he was taking up responsibilities in his local chapter JCI Brussel. He always stayed active as a local member and later on as a Senator for his local chapter. Even while traveling the world, his local chapter could always rely on him for his expertise and advice.
Since the early 1980s he also took up responsibilities a as a trainer in JCI Vlaanderen and internationally.
He was president of JCI Brussel in 1981-1982 and in 1983-1984. In 1985-1986, he became president of JCI Vlaanderen. In 1986-1987, he was president of JCI Belgium. In 1987, he won the award of Best National President worldwide. In 1988, he was Special Assistant for Development and Growth in Europe In 1989, he was Vice-President and Member of the Strategic Planning Committee. In the same year, he got the Presidential Award Best JCI Vice-President. In 1990, he was Executive Vice-President. In the same year, he was honored with the Staines Memorial Award.
During the 45th JCI World Congress in Puerto Rico in 1990, he was elected World President. The motto for his presidential year 1991 was ‘You make the difference’, a testimony to his selfless contribution and dedication. This theme was based on the philosophy of JCI to motivate members all over the world to set up programs in their communities to make a positive change.
He chaired “The international Model United Nations” in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations in New York, held by JCI. The declaration of Global Citizenship was signed by delegates of over 90 countries.
During the opening ceremony of the World Congress in 1991 in Helsinki, he delivered an inspiring speech in which he called on each individual member to take their responsibility, and to use their unique skills, creativity and talents to take on the challenges of years to come.
Even during political unstable times, he never hesitated to catch a plane and serve JCI members around the world. Supporting the local level, has always been at the center of his attention. He believed that the local level is where the true impact of our organization is created.
After his active membership of JCI, he took up responsibilities as a Senator and within the JCI Belgium Staines Foundation. Recently, Reginald accepted to take up the role of president of the JCI Belgium Foundation. He immediately started to reactivate this organization to make it future-proof. In this capacity, he was also involved in developing a vision for JCI in Belgium, together with the other JCI entities in Belgium.
Telling you about his accomplishments in JCI and the role he played in Belgium and internationally does not fully do justice to what he truly meant to our organization. Worldwide, he was very well liked, had many good friends in JCI and he actively contributed to the development of our organization and its members. His passing away is a great loss for our members and the organization as a whole.
But first and foremost, his family and friends lost a partner, father, grandfather and friend. To them, we offer our deepest and sincerest condolences, especially to his wife Conny, their children and their grandchildren. We hope they will find comfort in the many memories they have together. Our thoughts are with them in these difficult times.
The funeral will take place on Wednesday October 4, 2017 at 10.30 AM (CET) in Itterbeek, Reginald’s home town.
Those of you who want to pay respect can do so on Tuesday October 3, 2017 from 5.00 PM until 8.00 PM (CET) in the funeral center Baudewijns, Verheydenstraat 23 in Dilbeek.
In the meantime, we invite you to visit the online commemoration register that was opened for Reginald: https://remembr.com/reginald.senior.schaumans.
The JCI Belgium 2017 Board of Directors