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Boudi Maassen
17.12.1949 - 05.01.2024

- Boudi -

A wonderful man with an infectious zest for life.

A deep thinker. A rule breaker

A man who loved so deeply.

Eulogy by Blue

Boudi and I started playing in early 2003, mainly singles, and the group we have today just grew
around us over the years. We didn’t need to advertise - people could hear us all over the Blue
Mountains! We both had to fight hard in those early years to be accepted on the courts, and keep
our space and allocated time-slots, but now we’re fully accepted, the word badminton now
appears on the big sign out front of the sports centre, and we successfully advocated tirelessly for
the safety screen that divides off the courts from particularly the indoor soccer and the maniacal,
suicidal (for us) women’s roller derby teams! We’re even on WhatsApp and have our own website!


Boudi and I were fiercely competitive, especially as opponents - we were just hopeless playing
together, both because we played much the same game, going for the same shots on the same
spot on the court, leaving the rest of the court wide open and exposed for our rivals on the other
side to exploit, but mainly because we just couldn’t stop clowning around and laughing, carrying
on like rowdy kids! The others would stand there, arms folded, shaking their heads and rolling
their eyes at us, waiting impatiently for us to finish the inevitable Kiwi haka if we won a point.


Early on, I resorted to military-style psychological warfare, I’d seek to ambush him on arrival in the
centre’s carpark, telling him jokes and stories to put him off his game. This worked a treat as
rivals, but backfired badly if we teamed up together. Baddi is an extremely fast game, reflex
responses measured in fractions of a second, so you’ve really got to be focussed, on your game,
and not distracted. One time I saw him arrive and said: ‘Hey Boudi, what did one stone
monument say to another bronze monument in a public park in Auckland - statue, Bro?’ Well he
cracked up, took him ages to settle, and copped a few shuttlecocks in the chest before he settled
into the match.
Another time I said: ‘Hey Bouds, did you know that the Kiwi men’s international badminton team
are called the Black Cocks?’ He didn’t, and of course that was him done, out of the game nearly
ten minutes. And it’s true - they are. We were just about to go on the court one time and I told him
about an Aussie and a Kiwi having a few beers in a pub in Wellington, the Kiwi asks: ‘Hey bro’
how high an IQ would you need to be a brain surgeon or rocket scientist in Australia?’ The Aussie
responds: ‘Dunno mate, pretty high, maybe in the 150>160 range, I s’pose.’ Kiwi says: ‘What
about tying your own shoelaces?’ The Aussie: ‘Oh, about 9 or 10, single digit, I reckon, why?’,
and the Kiwi responds: ‘Just trying to figure out why so many of you arseholes wear thongs.’ That
again saw him done in, and we soon played together, disastrously.


As soon as he could, Boudi would bring Josh up for a game, and he quickly mastered it,
becoming in no time at all a fierce competitor. Boudi asked me to help with security etc for Josh’s
18th birthday party, at Leura, which I did, leading up to that milestone though Boudi in his naivety
says to Josh:, ‘Well mate, you can legally have a beer now, you and I can sit and have a few quiet
beers, at home, or at the pub.’ Josh says: ‘Oh Pa, my mates and I graduated from beers years
ago, we’ve been pretty much on the straight spirits since we were about 15!!’ On the night, hyper
alert for gatecrashers and other signs of impending trouble, I heard a bit of a ruckus developing
outside in the street, and I was about to go over and investigate when Josh comes up behind me,
puts his hand on my shoulder and says: ‘Oh don’t worry Blue, that’s just the Hazo’ kids!’


I knew Boudi loved poetry in all forms, so in another carefully timed and staged carpark ambush I
lamented on the youth of today, always looking for a quick fix, short exposure on various social
media platforms, quick history grabs online, shying away from textbooks etc, and told him: ‘Mate
did you know it’s got so bad in high schools that English teachers even have to teach an
abbreviated version of the iconic “Man from Snowy River?” ‘No! he says, horrified.’ I said: ‘Yeah, it
now goes: ..There was movement at the station as the word was passed around that the colt from
Old Regret had got away.., but they got him back.’ He actually doubled over in rapturous laughter,
fair game on the courts for about 15 minutes, slapping his knees and muttering to himself - ‘They
got him back - gold!!’

I broke my ankle canyoning in 2009, was laid up at home post-surgery, and Boudi would often
come around for a brew or a beer, always my beer, note, (he was Dutch, after all)..

Boudi once took me for a short scenic walk down into the National Park from the Wenty house, to
a beautiful, secluded little natural waterhole - with a wicked, evil grin from ear to ear, it became
clear just what was going on down there, but that’s Annette’s story to tell, not mine, the grandkids
and nieces and nephews just love those stories. And in a public National Park too, tsk tsk.


He was a gifted wordsmith, but sometimes the Kiwi uksent would trip me up. One time he told me
about an American troubadour he loved, - Eric Bubb. So I went home and called him up on
Youtube and the immediate response came back in italics - ‘did you mean Eric Bibb?’ Anyway, I
found him, and have since seen him perform live several times, and have been playing his stuff at
home this week; he’s a deep and genuine, emotional, soulful story-teller, and I can see why Boudi
warmed to him.

I took him abseiling and climbing first about 20 years ago, and by his own admission he didn’t do
so well, quite nervous and fearful, and it was many years before I got him back out on the rock to
overcome those fears. When I put to him that he needed to do this for his own growth, for
probably the first time ever, he just said: ‘Oh yeah, OK’, and not his usual: ‘yeah yeah yeah’, or
more commonly: ‘yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah’. So he and a mate of mine went climbing at Mt York
near Mt Victoria, and Boudi pushed through his fears and anxieties and successfully got to the top
of two climbs, falling once and cracking on in so doing. Well, on the way home he was so
delighted and wound up, if it wasn’t for being restrained in the back seat by a seat-belt, he

would’ve spun away into the ether, like that Tasmanian Devil cartoon character, or a super-
charged Energiser Bunny. My mate Luc, a dry, laconic bloke of few words says when we drop

Boudi off: ‘Your mate’s a bit different, eh?!!’

Well yes, he certainly was, and we all loved him for it. Both on and off the courts we remained
great mates, yet still ultra competitive, competing for influence and taking the piss on Spillo’s
commendable Men’s Mental Health local radio show. I noticed in the radio station carpark his
“little green Japanese jellybean” Mazda had a number plate containing ‘BM VP’ - so I asked him if
that meant “badminton, - very poor?” Only a bemused head-shake that time, he was too
focussed on getting on air, If he were seated here now, you can bet he’d arc up, bang the top of
the pew with: ‘What’s this got to do with men’s mental health??!!’


Despite the ubiquitous old pensioner pony tail, pink socks, (and now that I’ve just learned his
middle name was Maria, these things make a lot more sense!) splattered paint shorts, and
continual raucous laughter, I just loved the bloke, and I miss him, because, well, he’s a bit
different, eh?!

Blue Phillips
Monday 22 January 2024

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