Honoured for serving others

2019-02-19 06:00
Aunty Sybil was honoured for 50 years of service.

Aunty Sybil was honoured for 50 years of service.

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Sybil Beukes (90) of St Clare’s Anglican Church in Ocean View was honoured for long-standing service on Sunday 3 February.

Bishop Margaret Virtue of the Diocese of False Bay visited St Clare’s Ocean View to present ‘Aunty Sybil’, as she is affectionately known, with the Bishop’s Award.

Aunt Sybil has been active in the church since the congregation’s forced removal from Seaforth, Simon’s Town in 1969. Her son Trevor Beukes was the first altar server at St Clare’s and is still serving to this day. Aunty Sybil served as a Sunday school teacher, first Holy Communion instructor, confirmation instructor, parish councillor and sacristan, and initiated the Passover meals on Palm Sunday.

“Serving in the church as a sacristan was my life. Even though I didn’t know what was expected from me at first, I grew to love serving in God’s church. I’ve been inspired by Leonard Clarke and many others on this journey. He was the first lay minister to serve at St Clare’s under the leadership of Rev. Wraige, the priest in charge at St Francis Simon’s Town,’’ she said.

“At harvest festivals the children would bring up to the altar seeds, plants, flowers, soil, flour, fruit and vegetables, giving thanks to God for the bounteous gifts.

“The food donated on that day would be distributed to the community and used to run the soup kitchen. On Palm Sunday, we would initiate a Passover meal in preparation for the Lenten journey after we would do a procession through Ocean View. This I’ve been doing for over 30 years and is still part of the practice at St Clare’s,’’ said Aunty Sybil.

Her message to the church was that the members must never forget the promises they made before God and many witnesses to serve, to maintain the unity within the church, to love and always to be of service to one another.

Sharone Daniels of St Clare’s said the church was filled to capacity with parishioners and visitors alike. “The presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit filled the place. The message shared with young people was to stay away from the temptations of drugs, alcohol and sex. By doing so they can avoid becoming sex slaves through human trafficking syndicates. They were encouraged to pursue their education and for us as parents to support, guide and love them.

“As the effects of substance abuse are evident, Bishop Margaret told the young people that they are special and that the future depended on them. The community was challenged to take back the streets and become active citizens to change the tide of gang violence in Ocean View,’’ she said.

Daniels said they had the pleasure of being in the presence of their church members visiting the parish for two weeks, all the way from Cleveland, Ohio in the United States.

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