Cafda honours stalwart member

Dr Margaret Elsworth with her birthday cake.

The Cape Flats Development Association’s(CAFDA) Claremont bookshop honoured long-serving volunteer
Dr Margaret Elsworth, who turned 90 last Thursday.

Many volunteers who have worked with Dr Elsworth at the bookshop joined in the celebration, enjoying snacks, cakes and beverages.

Dr Elsworth, who worked as a full-time paediatrician at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, has been intermittently involved with the Cafda non-profit since 1946 and she has also volunteered at the bookshop for the past 20 years.

Dr Elsworth, from Claremont, is one of the founding members of the Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) in the 1940s.

The UCT-student run non-profit helps to improve the lives of those living in some of Cape Town’s poorest communities.

She also helped to found the African Scholars’ Fund, which supports promising school pupils and students.

Dr Elsworth said: “It is rewarding work because the Cafda bookshop is more than a repository, it’s a social centre where people come to buy second-hand books and where people come to work.”

Bradley Jones, trading manager at Cafda, said Cafda bookshops owed their success to volunteers like Dr Elsworth.

“They come with their expertise, do not ask for petrol money, they do it for the love of the work,” he said.

Dr Elsworth has five children, 10 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

She attributes her longevity to living an active life with her family and her dogs.

“It’s terribly funny turning 90, I don’t really feel this age,” she said.

Dr Elsworth had celebrated with her family last Saturday and is planning to visit her extended family in the UK during the festive season.