03.04.1937 to 22.09.2017
On Friday 22nd September our beloved Auntie Betty passed away.
This is our tribute to her.

Makabongwe was started by a small group of women from Manning Road Methodist
Church who felt that no child should be illiterate. In September 2017 we
celebrated 22 wonderful years.

One of these women was ELIZABETH IRENE ROSS, affectionately known as Auntie
Betty to the committee, staff members and all the children at Makabongwe.
The other, ELIZABETH GAYNOR ROSS, or Auntie Liz.

It is remarkable and fitting that these ladies shared the same name –
Elizabeth Ross – as they shared the same vision and calling.  Liz heard the
call in a chorus   “Here I am Lord” and Betty from the bible verse “Feed my
lambs”.  Together they started feeding street children and progressed to
creating a preschool.  This grew from 15 children sitting on pieces of
cardboard on the pavement to 148 children in 6 classrooms with bright
posters and artwork covering the walls, a playground full of joy and a staff
equipped to give them an outstanding pre-school education.

Auntie Betty served the school with enthusiasm, commitment and much love.
She was always ambushed with hugs when she visited Makabongwe, which was
often. The staff particularly enjoyed seeing her when she distributed the
payslips. She often timed her Tuesday visits to coincide with music and was
very fond of the songs “Telephone to Jesus” and “Jesus You are my Lord.”

Betty always showed an active interest in ALL school projects from
maintenance to excursions to presentations and especially the Christmas
concert and Grade R graduation. She was so keen to see the new Makabongwe
motor track on her return from the UK but sadly never made this visit.  It
is our intention to remember her there with a Queen Elizabeth rose and
memorial plaque.

Our financials were always up to date because Betty managed these
professionally and accurately. She served on the Executive Committee for 22
years, 21 of these as Treasurer. She gave of her love, time, money and
talents selflessly and generously.

Her legacy lives on in the many children who have been educated and nurtured
at Makabongwe – past, present and future.

Betty loved Jesus and lived her life as a genuine disciple of Christ. She
was a true lady; gracious, kind, full of wisdom and compassion and will be
sadly missed.

There is a link that death
cannot sever, love and remembrance live forever.

Betty the grandmother – fooling around on her 80th birthday to entertain the teenage grandkids.

Betty – devoted mom and grandmother and strong, committed child of God.
We saw that twinkle in her eye and gentle smile often when she visited the school and saw the children.
Right at the beginning -both founder members Elizabeth Ross – Auntie Betty and Elizabeth Ross, Auntie Liz sharing cake and celebrating with the children.
Another happy celebration at Makabongwe.
Mom and Daughter – Betty and Melanie flying Johannesburg to Durban – their first flight together!


  1. Wonderful tribute to such a VERY special lady to so many, especially her beloved family! A remarkable lady, essentially the “Mother” role model! She adored children!


Leave a Comment