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RIP Bert Heijerman

Article Date: 2014-09-08

Hewigo owner Bert Heijerman dies aged 61

Bert Heijerman, son of the founder of frying range manufacturer Hewigo, has passed away in Holland at the age of 61. He had been the Owner and Managing Director of the company, which has two factories in Holland and the UK, since the sudden death of his father in 1987. Until that time, following national service in the Dutch army where he operated British made Centurion tanks, he was forging a successful career in banking – an experience that he always maintained taught him the value of financial prudence. "Never spend more than you can afford” was his often quoted philosophy.
He will be particularly remembered here as the man who rescued the ailing Bateman business in the early 90’s and alongside Phillip Purkiss, the UK General Manager and some of the existing staff rebuilt the company into today’s Hewigo UK. He always had great faith in the British operation and forcefully backed his judgement in 1996 when he invested in a new purpose built factory at Oldbury, West Midlands. Hewigo UK has since become one of the most successful home based range makers, skilfully combining British manufacturing expertise with the latest technology, often developed in Holland. Most notable was the pioneering introduction of high efficiency ranges which set the benchmark for other manufacturers to follow.

A thoughtful and cultured man, Bert loved music and was director of a local choir. He also had a passion for travel. His unassuming manner often hid a steely single mindedness and a sharp eye for a business opportunity. Always the first to expound the importance of family values, it strongly influenced his private and commercial life. A consequence is that Hewigo is now fortunate that, just as Bert was able to take over from his father, his two sons Stephan and Bjorn are experienced and well equipped to continue the successful running of the company.

Phillip Purkiss who is the face of Hewigo in the UK said, "Bert became a very close friend to myself and family and gave me the opportunity to be there at the start of Hewigo in the UK. He was a man who, once he had faith in you, backed you to the hilt. We and the industry have lost someone who quietly, yet very much in his own way, set the highest standards for frying range manufacture and business integrity both here and in Europe.”

We at the federation would like to pass on our thoughts to everyone connect to Bert.
Fish Friers