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Kees (Cornelius) DeJong served the HPB community in several executive positions for over 10 years. In 2011, he was elected to the EHPBA (soon to become the EAHPBA) council. He was an active member of council, and in 2015 was elected the Secretary General of the EAHPBA and served in that position until 2019. The EAHPBA underwent significant transformation during that period and Kees was instrumental in guiding much of the changes. In 2018, he was elected as the Secretary General -elect of the IHPBA and served in that position until he resigned due to ill health in September 2021. These were challenging years due to the Covid pandemic and his wise council and guidance were essential to the progress made by the organisation during that time. In 2022, he was awarded an Honorary Membership of the IHPBA in recognition of his contribution to the organisation and to HPB medicine in general.
Kees was a respected member of the leadership of both organisations. He was a friend to all he worked with and his dedication to the organisations was unyielding. He will be remembered with fondness by all who knew him and in particular, the younger generation of our membership. He always had time to talk and share a joke with them, to support them in their careers in many different ways as an excellent clinician, teacher and scientist. At a personal level Kees became a close friend someone I always turned to when issues in the organisation needed a cool head and wise council. I will remember him for his quiet dignity and with deep love for a friend lost to us all far to early. To his family I am grateful that I was allowed the time to work and develop a friendship with Kees. I am sure he is at peace after several years of significant personal struggle.