Lorenzo Rodrigues – A Celebration of Life


Durban High School hosted a memorial service on 21 June to celebrate the life of Old Boy, Lorenzo Rodrigues, who matriculated in 2011.
Lorenzo was accepted into the French Foreign Legion where he served for two years; however, on 19 May 2017, he died tragically whilst saving his fellow comrades when a complication during a rafting exercise caused the vessel to capsize.
Lorenzo saved eight men, however, during his return to help another, he, himself did not survive. He and his fellow soldier both tragically drowned.
At a full Military Funeral held earlier in Marseilles, France, Lorenzo was posthumously awarded with four medals:
– Military Medal (Médaille Militaire) for valour, this is the 2nd highest award.
– Medal for the Military Protection of the Territory (Médaille de la protection Militaire du territoire) for operation “Sentinelle” the operation deployed in the aftermath of the 2015 Paris attacks
– The National Defence Medal (Médaille de la Défense Nationale) for service
– The National Defence Medal (Médaille de la Défense Nationale) Gold level for heroism.
The Durban memorial service was held at Durban High School in order for his family and friends to say their goodbyes and pay tribute to Lorenzo, who has been acknowledged as a hero for his bravery. The service saw a large group gather to celebrate his life.
On arrival, guests were welcomed by Head Master, Mr A D Pinheiro, followed by tributes and reflections by his former Principal at Glenwood Prep, Mr Louis Arde, two of his former teachers, Ms J du Preez and Mr S Bodasing, and close family friend, Mr Vernon Cobb.
Lorenzo’s father, Mr Aires Rodrigues, gave a heartfelt account of his son, saying how courageous, loving, and loyal he was. He talked about Lorenzo’s independent spirit which allowed him to be the man he was. Aires said he believed Lorenzo had been destined for greatness.
Lorenzo achieved so much in his life, travelling the world from an early age. His love for languages and culture became evident early on and his desire to please and make friends internationally proved to be valuable later in life when he joined the French Foreign Legion. He was able to tolerate and accept others, no matter their background.
According to his family, Lorenzo’s motto was, “rather be hated for being honest, than loved for lies”, which was evident by the kind of person he was.
The family thanked all who attended the service and hoped that those who have come to know Lorenzo, kept his spirit alive in their hearts.
Deo Fretus, Lorenzo!
Lorenzos Medals and Kepi Lorenzos friends DRC Army members

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