Community leader to remember

Amanda Lopes,
New Horizon

The funeral of community leader Joy Gibbs, 87, was held on Sunday April 14.

I met Joy at Cafda Welfare in 2003. She got involved with communities on the Cape Flats in 1989 when she was a councillor. We were working together on the craft and tourism project.

She was good at what she did and she was always very professional.

Joy was a person who would motivate anyone as she always saw the good in others.

She had a soft personality but she was also very firm.

There were no short cuts in her life and she had touched many people’s lives.

Joy was originally from East London. She came to Cape Town when she was 16 years old. She met her husband at a church service. They became friends. He had to work in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) for a period of time. He became friendly with her. They got engaged and when she was18 years old they got married. They bought their first house in Rondebosch. The couple moved to Lakeside 52 years ago.

Joy and her husband were very fond of history. She was also a councillor in the Lakeside/Muizenberg area. She used to belong to various groups such as the Lakeside craft group, the Muizenberg historical society, Rhodes cottage, the Posthuys and the civic society. As a councillor, she was working in areas such as Vrygrond and Cafda and at Cafda Welfare.

She had driven the crafts project to raise funds and to empower women in our area. She was on the board of Cafda Welfare to create the craft centre.

At times she was very strict with me but I came to know her much better when we started the crafts centre at Cafda. She gave many people a chance to express their creativity. We used to have competitions at the welfare on Mother’s Day. We would compete to find out who makes the best doughnuts or milk tart.

For her old age she had a good memory. She was also very loving and would share her lunch with anyone.

I was helping her with her paperwork for the past four years. She taught me a lot about the history from Cape Town to Simon’s Town.

It was a great joy to be in her space. She made an impact on many people’s lives.

She leaves behind three sons and seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Joy used to tell people that I’m the daughter she never had. Love you always. May your soul rest in peace.