Craythornes honoured for their civic service

This lane running behind the Sherwood Shopping Centre in Bergvliet is now known as Craythorne Lane. Photograph: supplied

After 30 years of service, Winnie Craythorne, former secretary of the Bergvliet/Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association (BMRA) has stepped down from her active role in civic duties.

This after the city council approved the naming of a lane in Bergvliet after her late husband, Dr Donald Craythorne, who was chairman of the BMRA for 17 years.

The gesture, earlier this year, was done at the request of the BMRA in recognition of the Craythornes’ lifetime of service to the civic association and the community.

The lane running behind the Sherwood Shopping Centre in Bergvliet is now known as Craythorne Lane.

When the couple first met in December 1955, Dr Craythorne was a city council clerk. He retired from the council after 40 years as a senior deputy city administrator. He then worked for three years as a director of constitutional affairs for the old Cape Provincial Administration and thereafter set up a consultancy to help municipalities with the transitional changes. He continued his civic work until his death in 2010.

“Throughout my late husband’s life, he was always involved in institutions, associations and organisations outside and above his normal working day,” said Ms Craythorne. “Before our marriage, he was secretary of the then Institute of Town Clerks.

“Shortly before his death, he was asked by the Cape Town city council to partake in a project regarding the work and duties of city councillors. I was in the process of setting up the first meeting at our house with City officials when his illness suddenly deteriorated and he passed away unexpectedly.”

According to the civic association, Ms Craythorne also deserves recognition, having worked tirelessly as the secretary of BMRA for over 25 years.

“Winnie could often be seen hand-delivering mail to members, knocking on doors to canvass new members and helping BMRA in many other ways. She has received three awards from the City of Cape Town commending her service in 2007, 2011 and 2012,” the association said in a newsletter.

Ms Craythorne said she was exposed to both provincial and local government work since the age of 15, when she was selected to attend the Cape Provincial Administration’s typing school in Wale Street. Thereafter she was assigned to work in the Education Department’s typing pool.

During her marriage, she worked as her husband’s typist when he authored two publications, Municipal Administration – a handbook and Local Government Law Digest.

“I always supported my late husband in all his work. When he retired from the Cape Town city council in October 1991, he made mention of my support and encouragement in his retirement function’s speech, which was noted in the council minutes of the council meeting held on 31 October 1991.

“In his consultancy business, I was also involved as its bookkeeper and typist whenever assistance was required,” Ms Craythorne said.

It was after his retirement from the city council that Dr Craythorne was elected chairman of the BMRA, and, shortly thereafter, Ms Craythorne was asked to consider being the association’s secretary.

Her last project for the ratepayers’ association will have the longest impact. Ms Craythorne collated and compiled 75 years of Bergvliet history from 1947 to April 2022 from the minutes books with the assistance of Neville Postings, for the period from 1987 to 1997.

Winnie and Donald Craythorne have had a lane in Bergvliet named after them in honour of their civic work. Photograph: Supplied