FABI colleagues, friends and family met on 8 March to honour the exceptional career of Prof. Wilhelm de Beer who will retire from the University of Pretoria at the end of March.  Many colleagues were joined by Wilhelm’s family and friends to thank him for the more than 30 year association with the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) and FABI. FABI Director Prof. Bernard Slippers specifically thanked Wilhelm for his contribution to the success of the Institute and wished him well as he pursues new ventures. FABI founding Director Prof. Mike Wingfield spoke passionately of his close relationship with Wilhelm who he first met as a third-year student at the then University of the Orange Free State and how he had appreciated participating in Wilhelm’s education up to his PhD.  Mike thanked Wilhelm’s exceptional scientific contributions and how this had contributed deeply to his own research accomplishments over a 32-year period. Wilhelm was praised by many for being a ‘people’s person’ with a selfless nature who was always willing to help others. Many colleagues also commented on Wilhelm’s story telling ability and the passion that he has for his science as well as art. Wilhelm was one of the original group of students and academics that relocated from Bloemfontein to the University of Pretoria and played a key role in the establishment of FABI in 1998. Amongst his great number of accomplishments, he is globally recognised for his ground-breaking research on insect-associated fungi. In this regard he is a leading local authority on the Polyphagous Shothole Borer (PSHB) that has been devastating garden and ornamental trees in South Africa. Many colleagues and friends took the opportunity to speak of their admiration for Wilhelm, expressed their wish to continue working with him and wished him all happiness as he pursues his various passions in the future.