June Van Der Merwe (front right) and St Francis Craft Group
Maboloka children holding their trick suit
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few’’. (Matthew 9:37)
June Blanche Grant, the youngest of five children, grew up in Cullinan and later in Pretoria West. Here the family worshipped at St Saviour’s Anglican Church, where the offices of Tumelong are now located. On leaving school, June worked at Iscor in the Accounts Department. This is where she met her future husband, Johannes (Joe) van der Merwe. Joe studied extra-murally at the University of Pretoria, gaining a BCom degree and eventually qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, but remaining his whole working life at Iscor. Joe had become a committed Christian while still at school and joined the Anglican Church when he married June. The couple had two children, Olivia and Leslie.
The family moved to a house in Groenkloof in 196?. For a while they continued to worship at St Saviour’s, but also started attending the newly built church of St Francis of Assisi in Waterkloof, where they soon became involved in leadership roles. June taught in the Sunday School, eventually becoming the Superintendent, while Joe became a lay minister and a member of parish council, twice serving as church warden.
June was also a founder member of the St Francis Craft Group. The members used to gather at one of their homes, where they shared their expertise and learned new crafts. June was a good knitter and a keen painter. She also pressed flowers, using them to create greeting cards and calendars. The ladies sold their wares and used the money to equip the new kitchen, which had just been built at the church. After this initial project they continued meeting, putting their talents to work for various Church charities, until the plight of the Tumelong Aids orphans was brought to their attention. From then on they concentrated their efforts on bringing these children a little warmth and joy, knitting them jerseys for the winter and giving them a Christmas party at the end of the year.
We from Tumelong could like to thank June for her kindness and generosity. Her contributions brought smiles to our children at Maboka Haven and (ECD) Early Childhood Development at Garankuwa. June and her group played a vital role in June 2012 by organising Track suits for Maboloka Haven children. She also helped with organising a Christmas party for our ECD at Garankuwa. Her contributions in helping the poor and the marginalized will be highly missed.
MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE.