Francke’s honoured

2019-04-09 06:00
Edward Francke and his wife Julia Francke arriving at the celebration.PHOTOs: Nomzamo Yuku

Edward Francke and his wife Julia Francke arriving at the celebration.PHOTOs: Nomzamo Yuku

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Long-serving senior pastors, Edward Francke and his wife Julia Francke were honoured for the role they played in the community of Parkwood.

Hundreds of people, young and old from different denominations and organisations gathered at the Parkwood Restoration Centre, singing the same tune of thanksgiving to the senior leaders of the community on Sunday 7 April afternoon.

They were awarded certificates of appreciating and their South African colours, and treated to various performances.

The two have been married for 55 years and built the church 50 years ago when they arrived in Parkwood from Saldanha. They have three daughters.

According to the speakers they have been a beacon of hope to many over the years. They did not only feed the community spiritually, but they fed empty tummies too.

“Parkwood is a poor community with a lot of issues resulting to all these social ills. Pastor Francke never gave up on us and he still continues to serve the people of this community,” says pastor Paul Philips, a fellow community leader.

Philips said it would not suffice that the couple is celebrated by the few in their church while they had dedicated half a century of their lives not discriminating against people and giving back through charitable initiatives, and opening up their church to various community events.

He said through diverse celebration they wanted to strengthen the legacy Francke has built and let everyone know that humanity comes before anything else.

“We can still come together and rally around and find a way forward, irrespective of our political affiliations or beliefs.

“Let there be peace, let us embrace each other as these two elders have shown us,” Phillips said.

All seemed glamorous at the event, but Pastor Julia recalled their journey: “We obeyed God and served from our hearts. We had very little, but God made it possible. There were tears of sorrow and joy but today we know the journey was all worth it.”

Pastor Edward thanked everyone, saying he had never thought he “would see the day. I have never expected this.”

The couple encouraged the community to remain united, and also to continue to pray together “and so God will bless them,” says Pastor Edward.

Mayor Dan Plato was a keynote speaker. He also sent his gratitude to the couple and also praised the leadership of the church and Parkwood for acknowledging the elderly in the community.

He said it is through strong leadership, unity and respect that the community would achieve greater things.

Plato said despite the social ills in the community, more can still be achieved and change is possible. He encouraged the elderly to motivate youth to get an education and be involved in community upliftment so to continue the good spirit and secure the legacy left by the duo.

He condemned violence, drug use and illegal protests.

Hughleen Kleinsmidt spoke on behalf of the family and thanked everyone for acknowledging and being faithful to their parents. She said though there are three biological siblings, through the good hearts of their parents they have many brothers and sisters and know the Francke’s legacy will live.

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