In the midst of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence campaign, parishioners at St George’s Cathedral in the Cape Town CBD are reeling after the murder of one of its elderly congregants.
Patricia Ellis was found murdered in her home in Station Road, Rondebosch in the early hours of Thursday.
Friends and acquaintances remember her as a selfless woman who “had a generosity of spirit”.
Dean of St George’s Cathedral, Reverend Michael Weeder, paid a fitting tribute to Ellis, who established and managed the church’s charity bookshop more than a decade ago.
“They came, these Advent promised thieves, plundering into your days busy with books to be collected and numbered and sold for whatever cause that fed and clothed, answering the prayers of the poor clustered along the meagre days of our city of abundance.
“To the cathedral’s music ministry, dear to your committed heart. They might have found you waiting and, fear blind as they would have been, could not have seen the feathered grace gathering about you when they bound you away from the comfort of your bed.”
The bookshop which Ellis had opened and run has since closed, but many parishioners fondly recall her going above and beyond the call of her volunteering duties.
One friend recalled that “Pat would organise and set up tables at the regular charity book drives in malls, including at Cavendish Square so many might remember her from those days.”
Tributes also flooded in on her Facebook page.
“A shocking and despicable act took this person who devoted her life to helping others. So very, very sad. R.I.P.,” one follower wrote.
Another remembered Ellis for her indomitable spirit: “Pat Ellis was a feisty lady who worked tirelessly to support the church. The shop in Cathedral House was an institution for many years. May she rest in peace And rise in glory.”
Police have not yet made any arrests and have called on anyone with information that could assist their investigation to contact their nearest police station or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.