Tears cascaded last Friday evening, February 10, as the sad news of the passing of Noorjehan Cassim, fondly known as Aunty Noorjehan, was announced, leaving her family in grief and friends far & wide and the community in shock.

Aunty Noorjehan was not only the very essence of beauty and grace, but of selfless humanity and compassion, and her broad appeal was evident by the large numbers in attendance at her funeral. Aunty Noorjehan worked tirelessly to promote a wide range of causes and was actively involved in many community- based organizations, including the ‘Sunrise School’ (of which she was a founding member) and ‘Laudium Cancer Care,’ which she served for decades, in an exemplary manner, volunteering her time and resources to this organization. Her passion for helping others and her deep commitment to serving her community will leave a lasting impact on the lives of many, but beyond her legacy of dedication and philanthropy, Aunty Noorjehan will be remembered for her warm smile, her kindness and extremely generous spirit; and her positive influence on the lives of so many cannot be overstated. Her extraordinary ability to connect with people of all ages and make them feel heard and valued, will be remembered by so many whom she touched with unwavering support. Although Aunty Noorjehan’s passing leaves a void that can never be filled, her memory will live on in the hearts of all who knew her.

The Laudium Sun joins our readers in extending deepest condolences to Aunty Noorjehan’s family and friends, during this very difficult time. ‘Let us not remember what we lost, but what we had.’

Laudium Cancer Care grieves one of their pioneers

Philanthropist and Cancer Care volunteer, Noorjehan Cassim’s love of life didn’t come to an end with her death. Noorjehan passed away on 10 February 2023 at the age of 83 after a most fulfilling life, surrounded by loved ones who will continue to honour her legacy by living their lives to the fullest. The simplest pleasures in life brought great joy to Noorjehan. She was extremely sociable and was very current regarding the ongoings around her. She had an uncanny ability to find happiness in her daily activities. Her pleasant personality was contagious to everyone she met. Noorjehan’s pride was in her community, and she shared her passion through her commitment in effective community work. In 1986 Noorjehan, together with a bunch of eager and tenacious female volunteers initiated the Laudium Cancer Care, with Mariam Bhika, Dhaya Pillay, Juby Dockrat, the late Mariam Ismail and Fazila Majam as the Executive Committee.

This committee started from humble beginnings at a flat in Juma Mansions, very kindly sponsored to them by the Juma family. In 1986 when sponsors were not so readily available, Noorjehan and the volunteers organized and executed all their duties to patients from grass root levels…. Going to shopping centres to purchase groceries for hampers, driving patients to and from hospitals for treatment and liaising with pharmacies for medication on a credit basis. Funds were raised by selling pancakes at the soccer grounds, door to door collections and also the extremely famous qawali evenings. Due to the slog and labour of these ladies that started out with a mere 25 patients, Laudium Cancer Care has evolved into a significant organisation that is operational for almost 38 years currently attending to over 200 patients.

Noorjehan was loved and revered by both her colleagues and patients for her grace, sophistication and kindness.

On behalf of Laudium Cancer Care, we will always be grateful for her role and enthusiasm towards our organisation. Her outstanding personality and reputation will be admired for years to come and she will be dearly missed by the patients, nurses and the volunteers.

Tribute to Mrs Noorjehan Cassim

-Sunrise School Foundation

We all join together in prayer to the Almighty that Mrs Noorjehan Cassim is showered with choicest blessings and grant her the highest status in her abode.

Aunty Noorjehan, as she was affectionately known to the community, was a natural psychologist, social worker, friend, surrogate mother, advisor – the list goes on… Mrs Cassim was an instrument, a worthy instrument, of the Almighty and took blessings of many whom she so unconditionally gave service to. Her enthusiasm was highly inspirational, her passion for charity work, forever matchless. Her friendly disposition, compassionate nurturing nature to care, uplift and empower the differently abled and down- trodden was truly an ACT OF LOVE.

Mrs Cassim was seminal in the founding of the Laudium Training Centre in 1978, presently known as the Sunrise School. Together with Mrs Amy Choonara they gathered a group of women to propose a school for children with special needs. The school opened its doors in March 1978 with 3 children. Mrs Cassim gave generously of her time every week and her involvement continued in different capacities over the years.

Decades of service to the community didn’t dim her enthusiasm and passion, instead she mentored the youth to sustain the worthy cause. May her legacy continue.

To the Cassim and Sakoor Families, “Do not grieve that she is gone, be glad that she ever was”

-Sunrise School Foundation Management

Other tributes…

The Laudium Sun received numerous tributes in remembrance of the late Aunty Noorjehan Cassim (wife of the late Dr Anver AC Cassim) and also messages of condolence for the family, especially her children; Rischard, Ayeshama and Shamila and her siblings; Uncle Ambha (Canada), Mayroon and Akbar.

Unfortunately, due to space constraints, the Laudium Sun could not publish these messages. In summary, most of the messages related to her down to earth approach when interacting with people from different walks of life. Aunty Noorjehan was also remembered for dedicating much of her time selflessly to those in need, especially giving moral support to special needs children and those suffering from cancer. Her remarkable approach and interaction with family members of the cancer patients and special needs children was regarded by many as one of her outstanding abilities.

File photo: The late Aunty Noorjehan Cassim.