Slain teacher's husband pays moving tribute to her

Port Elizabeth – “Jayde is not gone; she is everywhere. Jayde resides in the wind like an elemental force. She can be experienced in the blooming of flowers; she is the yellow in daffodils of her favourite flower. She is the crest in every breaking wave, she is the fertile soil; she is the enduring embers of the fire.”

These were the moving words of Jayde Panayiotou’s husband, Christopher, during his speech at her funeral at the Mater Dei Catholic Church in Cape Road, Port Elizabeth on Monday.

“To my bride, my wife, my best friend and love of my life, it seems as words fail me.

“You were the salt in my sea, the stars in my sky and my sand on earth. You have always been and will forever be beautiful in my eyes. You exuded a radiance that took my breath away; you cast a glow on everything and everyone around you, rendering them purer and more lovely than ever,” he said.

'Jayde kept me going'

Panayiotou said it was an honour that Jayde had chosen him to be her husband.

“I looked forward to a life that we had ahead of us in which we worked each day to bring out the best in each other. We had the potential to live full and gratifying lives, to be a positive influence on those around us,” he said.

Panayiotou described Jayde as being the most capable and wonderful woman he had ever known.

“I was honoured to be with her for the last 11 years and I am staggered by her sudden passing.

“She made me feel like the luckiest man alive and I never quite figured out why she gave her heart to me.

“Jayde was my drive to do better, Jayde kept me going,” he said.

Panayiotou described Jayde as being a master chef and master baker, who could have made "Mahatma Ghandi break a fast", as well as being incredibly versatile, capable and deep.

“Jayde would often come home in tears as all she wanted to do was save every child and animal that crossed her path,” he said.


“Over the past 11 years that we were together I grew a profound and deep love and respect for her family, who became my own,” he said.

He said Jayde had always wanted to prove to her parents that she was a capable human being, and had often confided in him about how proud she was of them.

“Jayde only ever wanted the best for her sister Toni,” he said.

'Not a day of sadness'

Panayiotou thanked the hundreds of individuals who had filled the church for the funeral.

“On behalf of our family I want to thank you all for coming here today to honour Jayde’s life,” he said.

“Today should not be one of sadness, although her passing is truly tragic, it should be a celebration of life for one of God’s greatest creations,” he said. 

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