(Betty) (Lock) Murray
in Andover, Hampshire, England, on the 21st January 1924. Born into a family of four
children, Janet (Jane), her elder sister by 13 years, George (Jock or Boy), her eldest
brother by 12 years, and William (Bill), her elder brother by 10 years. Her father, George
Henry, worked in the "Saw Mills" as a foreman and was also a
"lay-preacher", while her mother, Florence, was a "housewife".
Mom began to take piano and singing lesson at a early age and became very accomplished at
both. These two "gifts" allowed her to go out with her dad to various churches
where he preached. They would travel up to 12 miles away on a bicycle on
Sundays, and she provided the music and song.
When World War II broke out in 1939, mom relayed stories to us, of
how they would watch the German bombers, as they flew overhead on their journey to the
City of London only 60 miles away, and how they could see and hear the bombs as they
exploded in London. During this time, mom worked in a Dairy, and Janet as a
Housekeeper, while Bill went to the war and Jock worked for the Fire Department, all of
whom survived the war.
When the war
finished in late 1944, mom, who had just lost a boyfriend in the war, was lonely and sad,
so her brother Bill, advised her to write to a "John Murray" who lived in South
Africa. They had been in a "Concentration Camp" together during the last part of
the war. After a while, mother began to write to John, and eventually a long
distance "Love" developed. All they had of each other, was a photograph. They
eventually became engaged during this period, as John asked her to marry him. She said,
"yes" and not very long after that, was flying to South Africa and the unknown.
courageous and deep her love must have been, to leave behind a family that loved her
dearly and protected her, and set sights for a foreign land to be with the man she
loved, yet had never met).
left England on the 1st April 1948, and arrived in South Africa on the 2nd. Mom and Dad
(John), were married on the 5th April 1948 in Port Shepstone, Natal, barely 4 days after
meeting each other for the first time. Dad was in the lighthouse service, so moving about
from lighthouse to lighthouse became a part of their lives. From Cooper Light, Brighton
Beach, Durban, they moved to Great Fish Point, where dad was next stationed. This is where
my sister, Melody and my brothers, Boyd and Brin were born. All three were born in 1949,
with Boyd and Brin being twins. (Three
kids in one year ? How did she handle it ?).
Melody was born on the 6th January and the twins on the 27th December.
Brin developed brain damage when just 18 months old. (Read my dedication to him)
Great Fish Point, they moved to Bird Island in the Eastern Cape, some 35 miles north-east
of Port Elizabeth. In 1953 they moved to Kommetjie, a small fishing village on the
Atlantic ocean on the south western coast. In 1956 they moved to Robben Island,
which is situated in Table Bay, Cape Town. In 1959, mom fell pregnant, unexpectedly (So
I am told), and I was born on the 26th February 1960, just a bit over 10 years
after my sister and brothers. Once more they moved, to Dassen Island, a very lonely
island far away from anything. Finally, we all moved back to Kommerjie lighthouse,
where my dad retired in 1966.
Mom began to play a small organ for a small church
gathering in a friends home on Sunday evenings, which as kids we attended. After a
few years, she started to play the piano at St. Kiaran's Presbyterian Church in Fish Hoek.
As years passed by and the Church grew, she played the Church's new Pipe Organ. Mom
eventually became the Senior Choir Mistress and was the Church's Organist for 25 years,
and also sang in the Youth Group for a number of years. Her faith in the Almighty
God has never been in question and her devoted time spent at
Church has been out of love for God and her gift of music she has devoted to Him. At present, mom is still
very active in the Choir and also attends a weekly Choir.
In 1968, dad suffered a stroke, and I recall watching my mother helping him eat, drink and
even helped him smoke his pipe. Mom cared for dad, and helped him with his recovery from the stroke, making him
squeeze a rubber ball and various other object to make him strong. I watched her loving care as she persisted and helped him in the painstaking length it took.
Finally, on the 1st June 1974, my dad died from complications. Mom was now
thrust into the role as "Father/Mother and provider". Melody was married and
Boyd was in the airforce, while Brin and I were at home with her. The amount of grey hairs
I gave my mother during those rebellious years are formidable. Of the four children, I
must have given mom 90% of her grey hair. But she remained
caring and prayed for me constantly on the nights when I was
out, or away. The remarkable abilities of a mother to want to protect and care for her children, astounds me. Loving care seems to be a natural part of a
In 1979, Melody went through a divorce, and mom stood by her through it all, encouraging her
and just being a source of strength. In 1980, I had a car accident (Read my Testimony), and
her love for me was ceaseless and never disputable. She defended me, loved me, protected
me, and went out of her way for me. Nothing was too much trouble or unobtainable for her.
But this was mom's loving way.
In 1983, Brin died a tragic death, (Read my dedication to
Brin) and even through this time of total despair and
agony, as we waited for news, mom never lost her faith, but rather was the pillar of strength and comfort to us. In 1992, Boyd
died a tragic death, ( Read my dedication to Boyd) It happened in late February, and we flew to Durban to be
with him. When he eventually died, mom, although drained with grief and anguish, never
allowed her faith to droop or
fizzle out. On the contrary, her faith seemed stronger. Even though many times, questions are asked as to
why one family seems to suffer more than another, mom remains steadfast in God's divine love.
mom has lost a husband, two sons, had a daughter go through a divorce and had a son
crippled, she still remains the source of strength in our family.
many times have I taken my mother for granted and not said a plain, "Thank you" or told
her how much "I appreciate you" or "I Love you" ? The answer to this is unfortunately, "Not
enough". - and even to the extent of, "None". -
That is the main reason that I wrote this dedication to mother, as I believe God wants to
open my heart to utter these tiny simple, yet great in significance, words that every
mother ought to hear.