Ezrah Davids, 12, was a strong boy who knew what he wanted out of life at such a young age.
On Monday January 29, Springdale Primary School held a memorial service for their pupil and classmate who had succumbed to injuries after a fire at his family’s New Woodlands home (“Boy, 12, dies in New Woodlands fire”, Plainsman, January 17).
A few of the pupils, saddened by the loss of their friend, could be heard crying.
Another memorial service was held on Wednesday January 31 in Johannes Meintjies Road, at the VGK Church, while the community arranged a drive-by memorial on Thursday January 18 in Johannes Meintjies Road, said his grandfather Willie Slaverse, 68, from Portland.
Ezrah’s mother, Yolanda Davids, 33, is out of hospital and does not wish to speak at this time. However, she said at the time of the house fire, Ezrah was sleeping in his room, with his brothers and herself. Ezrah’s father, Adrian Davids, 38, ran from a friend’s house to save his family as he was not in the house at the time of the fire. Ezrah and his father had suffered third degree burns and Ezrah later succumbed to his injuries.
Mr Davids is still recovering in hospital. Carlo, 9, started school on Monday February 5. Zachary, 5, is also recovering. Ezrah’s elder brother, Vayden Slaverse has not spoken much since Ezrah’s passing. He misses his brother.
Mr Slaverse said at the school’s memorial he remembers the last Sunday before Ezrah passed.
“He was with all his brothers. They finished swimming. On our way home we passed Portland High School and Ezrah said he wants to enrol at that school when he finishes primary school. His brother said, you already walk so far now you want to walk further. He was fond of school,” he said.
Without even knowing “that was the last I saw of my grandson,” said Mr Slaverse.
Mr Slaverse received a call about the fire after 3am on Monday January 15. “When I arrived, I saw the fire brigade and asked where my children were. They were transported to Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital, they said. I was emotional, I wanted to see them,” he said.
After confirming his relations to the hospital they escorted him to the ward they were in. The doctor told him it was not looking good. “He said Ezrah wasn’t going to make it,” he said.
He rushed thereafter to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital where Carlo and Zachary were. Ezrah was being transported to the Red Cross at the time.
“He was wrapped up in bandages. It was 5.20pm on Monday January 15, I stayed with him. My hand on his with the tears rolling. Ezrah shook his head and he was called home and passed,” said Mr Slaverse.
Ezrah was excited for his 13th birthday on Monday August 12, as he would be a teenager. He was a lovely boy and they had a lot of good times with him, he said. Ezrah was quite an active boy, in swimming and soccer to name a few. The community held a memorial tournament for him on Sunday February 3.
People flooded to his funeral on Saturday February 3 as he left a mark. Some of West End Primary School pupils attended as well as pupils from the surrounding areas.
“My son, Nathan Slaverse and his wife Stephanie Slaverse helped me and my family tremendously. I want to thank God for the community, they were so supportive. Thank you to each and everyone who helped us during this time,” said Mr Slaverse.
Ezrah’s class teacher, Brenda Schippers said he was a special boy.
“I remember Ezrah being a boy who loved to partake in class discussions, so much so that I often had to remind him that we need to continue with the lesson. I don’t think any pupil at Springdale loved their maroon hoodie more than Ezrah did his. He was someone who spoke out when he believed that something was wrong,” she said.
The last day they spent with Ezrah was at the class party last year. He looked forward to it so much.
“May God strengthen your family and hold on to the beautiful memories you have of him. May his precious soul rest in eternal peace,” she said.
Teacher Linsey Samuels said Ezrah was a boy with big dreams. “This is one of the toughest things to experience. Keep trusting and believing in God, be encouraged to hold on.”
Principal Daphne Browne thanked the family for choosing this school for Ezrah.
“I will forever remember that smile and curly hair. Take time to grieve and talk about Ezrah, keep his memory alive. Maybe the hurt won’t go away but it will get better. May you find comfort in the love and memories of Ezrah,” she said.