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No 914 Vol 22 ˇ Friday, April 14, 2006 - Page 2



A North Coast Courier file picture of Clare Kalkwarf doing what she loved best - caring for others.

Double loss rocks North Coast

BY HEIDI GIBSON

Two exceptional North Coast residents died this week. They both spent much of their lives giving care and comfort to the poor and those infected with the deadly Aids virus, the sick and dying, the mothers and the children without fathers.

Charles Southwood died of natural causes and Clare Kalkwarf died died after being shot in her Mandeni home. Both will be remembered by those near near and far for their endless work among the communities of Nkobongo and Sundumbili respectively.

Their dedication to helping others went beyond all reasonable expectations and s better described as a saint-like or a vocation.

...

Meanwhile founder member of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard Clare Kalkwarf died after being shot in the stomach by robbers who had broken into her Mandeni home on April 6.

Kalkwarf was a founder member of the organisation that started in 1992 and she was described as a pillar of strength.

"She worked 16 hours a day, six days a week. Sunday was always family day. She started an ran our "HAART" programme that stands for highly active anti-retroviral treatment programme," said Father Gérard.

"We run the largest hospice in the country, a children's home, a community development centre, HIV/AIDS education, pre-primary school, a feeding scheme and a number of other small projects. Clare was involved in all of this.

"She was an absolutely dedicated person, deeply faithful, driven by her faith and by her love for her family. When the children at the home were asked who their mother was, they used to say 'Aunty Clare'.

"She was a highly efficient, skilled worker, an exceptional person. She is irreplaceable.

"I am absolutely sad, speechless. There are no words to describe the loss," Father Gérard said.

Last Thursday, when Clare arrived at her home in Kudu Road, Mandeni, she found her husband Geoff tied up by four armed men.

When she tried to flee the men caught her, stabbed her twice and pushed her back into the house and then shot her.

Tributes to Clare were received from the Catholic mission hospital St Marys in Mariannhill that was closely connected to the work being done by the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard in Mandeni.

"Clare was a respected colleague and known for her enthusiasm and dedication to her work. Clare will be missed by her colleagues and friends and our prayers are with her husband and the family," a statement read.

Clare Kalkwarf was a Dame of Magistral Grace of the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta and bearer of the Silver Medal of the "Order pro merito melitensi" of the Order of Malta.

She was a founder member, the vice-president and manager of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard.

She was the manager of the organisation's hospice, a parishioner of St. Anthony's, a board member of the Catholic Health Care Association, a working group member of the Interdiocesan AIDS committee of the Catholic Church in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal and the secretary of the diocesan Aids committee of Eshowe.

She leaves behind her husband Geoff - who used to own a business in ISithebe before he retired - and two sons and a daughter who are believed to be living overseas.


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