Memories live on

Dennis George, Johannesburg

The two articles in last week’s Plainsman, “Hamba kahle comrade Anthony” and, in the sports section, “Tributes pour in for wheelchair warrior” refer.

It is a tall order for me to reflect on the precious life of our brother Anthony.

Anthony was born in Ravensmead to the late Isabella Petronella and James John George, he was the eighth sibling in the George family.

He was never married nor had children, but is survived by siblings Irene, Sally, Dennis, Graham, Marilyn, Ian, Alfred, Elsabe, Kennith, Leon, their children, grandchildren and many friends.

Our younger brother Anthony departed peacefully in the still of Sunday January 15 morning, less than a week after his 46th birthday, on Tuesday January 10.

Trevor Manuel, the former member of parliament deployed to Mitchell’s Plain constituency described Anthony as a great and determined leader, who campaigned for access and opportunities for the physically disabled people and the youth.

Many years ago Anthony lived through a tragedy, a devastating time in his young life being seriously injured in a car accident and was left a T-paraplegic at the prime of his life.

As a result, 26 years later, he had succumbed to organ failure.

Our family visited Anthony at Conradie Hospital, we prayed and trusted God for a miracle that he would walk again. However, the doctors told us that Anthony would never walk again. God used Anthony to be the voice of the physically disabled people and the youth.

Today I think of my brother Anthony as a man, who lived his life by the grace of God.

Being wheelchair-bound did not stop Anthony from being conscious in his thoughts for people, his willingness to help and to encourage the youth.

Misqau Rix, the facility manager at Mitchell’s Plain family youth centre, where Anthony worked, said: “The compassion you showed to the community we serve is an inspiration to us all. We know how stressful it can be for the community who find themselves in an awkward situation to deal with group needs, your actions on the way you deal with them, helping them to keep their dignity intact, is also amazing. I just want you to know that your work has not gone unnoticed.”

It is an honour for my sisters, brothers and family to reflect on the life of Anthony as it was an honour for him to serve you.

May those lives that have been touched by Anthony take comfort in the knowledge that God Almighty has welcomed him home with open and fatherly arms.

May your soul rest in eternal peace my dear brother Anthony and may the Lord make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you.

This letter has been shortened.