“I want to make Hout Bay a better place for everyone.”
These were the last words Pastor Phillip Frans shared with the Sentinel News before hosting his famous annual Christmas party for children from Hangberg last year.
Mr Frans succumbed to Covid-19 last week and was laid to rest on Sunday January 10 in Hout Bay.
His passing sent shock waves through the community.
Hangberg resident, Nazley Sadan, said the Christmas party he hosted last year was his last wish – and one that nearly did not come true.
“For the first time since 2006, he feared cancelling it (party) for the kids. His life was threatened just before the party,” she said.
But he went ahead and hosted nearly 300 children at the Hangberg Sports and Recreation Hall and little did everybody know, it would be his last Christmas party.
“My heart is broken,” said Ms Sadan, who also runs soup feeding and food parcel handouts in Hout Bay.
Samantha Thompson from Hangberg said Mr Frans was always willing to help and especially the children from the community.
“He was a man with a golden heart. He worked so hard on the last event for the kids, it was as if he knew he was not going to be around for much longer,” the mother of four said.
He fondest memory of him was his famous Christmas parties.
“Children would get really excited and Pastor made sure this event was special for our children. May his soul rest in peace,” Ms Thompson said.
Ward councillor Roberto Quintas said Hout Bay had lost a man who spent his life assisting and trying to “protect and uplift others”.
“He was an integral part of the Hangberg and Hout Bay people-scape, and his ongoing and committed contribution to the elderly, the youth and neighbourhood watch will be deeply missed and deeply felt by us all,” he said.
“It saddens me to think of how we have lost another decent, upright man who had so much to offer in terms of sharing his values.”
Mr Frans was an early supporter of the Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch, where he took on a role of Hangberg Area Leader and dedicated a large part of his life to fighting crime. He became a regular patroller, often alerting Watchcon to suspicious activity in the area.
HBNW posted: “He supported his community in many ways, with his passion for youth and community development, trying to steer them in positive directions and trying to create jobs for his community.”
Mr Frans was involved in a number of initiatives including Youth Day Celebrations, feeding projects and his annual children’s Christmas party.
The Hout Bay Community Policing Forum said: “Pastor Frans was one of the most dedicated residents around the fighting of crime and his presence will be sorely missed. Our most sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Pastor Phillip Frans.”
Hout Bay United said: “We are in complete shock of the sudden passing of Pastor Phillip Frans. Over the past couple of days, Hout Bay has lost many precious lives. We would like to keep all the families who has lost a loved one during these very difficult times in our prayers.”