The who’s who of Edenvale’s Khanyisa Trust recently came together to pay a fitting tribute to outgoing manager Mrs Shirley Kelly.
Mrs Kelly retired in December last year after being with the organisation for 20 years.
On behalf of the the centre’s volunteers, Ms Celeste de Lange thanked Mrs Kelly for her service.
“We also thank you, Shirley, for allowing us to serve. Thank you for leading with a quiet authority. You served in practical ways and we thank you for that. Thank you for always showing concern for the dignity of the people you serve,” said Ms De Lange.
The trust’s chairperson, Mr John Povey, said that without Mrs Kelly Khanyisa would not have survived.
She has a heart of gold, he said, and no donation received by the trust was ever wasted.
“What could not go into the soup would end up with Child Welfare, the Care Centre, a retirement home or even at a shelter for destitute women and children. Sometimes even at a crÃ¨che,” said Mr Povey.
He thanked Mrs Kelly’s husband, Mr Brian Kelly, for allowing his wife to serve at the trust.
“Every Sunday, the couple would come to the centre to receive food donations from local supermarkets, to sort and store it. Such selfless service for the love of her fellow people,” said Mr Povey.
Mrs Kelly was also praised for her ability to impart skills and train people to become better versions of themselves.
“She took Ms Paulina Mijyako under her wing and developed her as the centre assistant. Today Ms Mijyako runs her own business. She has done the same with Ms Dipuo Tekana, whom she developed and empowered to take over as centre manager. As a result, the transition has been smooth,” said Mr Povey.
Mrs Kelly received recognition from the Edenvale Rotary Club for her service to the community.
“This recognition was well and truly deserved,” said Mr Povey.
Also speaking at the farewell, her husband said he was the luckiest man to have watched his wife serving people with a pure heart.
Mr Povey said Khanyisa would not be same after Mrs Kelly’s departure.
“I know that you have prepared Ms Tekana to take over and that her success is due to your grooming, but Khanyisa will never be same without you. It will be successful and it will do God’s will in our community, but it will be different,” said Mr Povey.