Prof Russel Botman was a member of the Board of EFSA and the Cape Development Dialogue Centre Trust for almost 25 years. The original founders of the EFSA Institute included representatives of the three universities of the Western Cape, namely the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Western Cape, as well as the Western Cape Council of Churches. Russel Botman became a Board member when he was appointed at the University of the Western Cape. Later he became the Chairperson of the Board and remained as such till his death. As chairperson, he displayed his rare attribute of attentive listening before he entered a discussion. Further, he was a visionary who envisaged the role of EFSA as a platform and forum for ecumenicity and academy in the South African context: “To create an ecumenical academy that can serve as forum and platform to bring different sectors and role-players together to reflect on the main challenges that a divided South African society was facing”. We are grateful that we have benefited from his leadership and talent and will miss him dearly.