In memory of Stacey Lee Philander
A Pelican Park woman has taken her family’s pain to spread awareness about gender-based violence during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign.
Lindsay Kim Philander, 35, started a collection drive for toiletries for girls at Stephen Road Primary School in Lotus River – the school her young cousin attended when she was viciously killed in August 2001.
Stacey Lee Philander, 13, was in Grade 7 when she was attacked with a panga opposite her school by a man who lived in her Ottery neighbourhood.
Lindsay was 15 years old when her cousin was killed and said the tragic event had shaken their family.
To honour Stacey Lee’s memory, Lindsay started a drive where shoppers could buy and drop toiletries in a trolley at Spar in Grassy Park to fill bags containing sanitary items for 150 young girls. The bags include sanitary towels, toothpaste, a toothbrush, roll-on, a face cloth and other items.
The initiative was part of a birthday drive for Lindsay and an initiative to coincide with the 16 Days of Activism to highlight the plight and to stop violence against women and children.
Nineteen years on, an emotional Lindsay remembers her cousin as soft-spoken, loveable and passionate about her school and all her school activities.
“She was loved by everyone, funny, caring and an awesome person. She loved to dance and was into music and instruments at church. She was a perfect girl who was ripped away from her family.
“With her death, my family were broken and we’re still broken. We’re still holding on to Stacey’s memory and this was one of the ways I wanted to do it,” she said.
She highlighted the need for awareness around gender-based violence and the struggles women and girls face every day.
Ms Philander said Stacey’s killer was arrested previously for harassing her and threatening her with a knife. He was later released after a psychiatric evaluation. Later, in that same year, he attacked and killed Stacey Lee on her way to school.
Ms Philander thanked Spar Grassy Park, the staff at Stephen Road Primary, Frank Steyn, Sam Grass, Gail Knight, Gwen Abels and all those who contributed to the drive.