THE LEE FAMILY IN SOUTH AFRICA
Mr. William Sydney Lee, "Uncle Syd" to his close friends, was born in East London in South Africa on 29th September 1908. There he lived as a small boy, and again from age 32 until murdered in his home when nearly 86.
His wife, Mrs. Alice Maud Lee (nee Smith), "Auntie Maud" to her friends, was born in England on 31st March 1908. There she married, moving with her family to her husband's land South Africa — where she died when almost 89.
Their only child, Francis Nigel — "General Lee" to his close friends — was born in Kendal, County Cumbria, in Britain, on 5th December 1934. When only seven he moved to South Africa with his parents. There he grew up. After becoming a Christian, he later became a Minister of the Word and a Doctor of Theology. After leading his father and his mother to the Lord, Dr. Lee emigrated to the United States in 1967; and thence to Australia in 1980.
Mr. and Mrs. Syd Lee lived in Barrydale (South Africa) for the last quarter-century of their lives. There they celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary in April 1994, as shown on the accompanying photograph.
Three months later, Mr. Syd Lee was murdered in their home, and then laid to rest in the family grave (see below). Mrs. Maud Lee was then hospitalized and later admitted to the Tomlinson Old Age Home. As his faithful wife, she too was finally laid to rest alongside her husband — after her son Dr. Lee preached at her funeral service on 14th October 1996.
PROF. LEE'S BURIAL MESSAGE FOR HIS FATHER
(read out at simultaneous worship services in South Africa and Australia)
It has pleased the Holy Triune God of life and death to take my father, William Sydney Lee, to Heaven. This occurred at about ten p.m., on the Lord's Day, 17th July 1994; in the age of 85 years, 9 months, and 18 days.
Uncle Syd, as his dear friends in Barrydale (South Africa) called him, was born at East London in South Africa on 29th September 1908. After his mother became widowed when he and his sister Doris were still tiny, the family went to his mother's country Britain, where the toddlers grew up. There he later married Alice Maud Smith (Auntie Maud, as the Barrydalers call her).
From the marriage, one child was born — Francis Nigel Lee, who later became the first Dutch Reformed Minister at Winterton in Natal (South Africa). Uncle Syd's sister Doris married Norman Levey, who is today here at the graveside. Norman, through a faithful team of dear fellow-believers in Barrydale, did many (and very appreciated) works of love — to enhance the lives of Uncle Syd and Auntie Maud in their later years.
Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, Uncle Syd — then in his thirties — was sent back by the British Navy to South Africa as the land of his birth. Based in Simonstown, as Chief Radar Officer he was responsible for the security of the South African coast, and sometimes even as far as Trinidad in the West and Sri Lanka in the East. During that War, his son seldom saw Uncle Syd. But every time he came home, the whole family used to clamber all over Table Mountain. Always fond of mountains, it is also no wonder that the couple later retired in the mountainous Barrydale.