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Former Benonian Pauline Labuschagne dies

She was a big The Beatles fan.

Pauline Edna Labuschagne (née Raw) died on March 18 at Life the Glynnwood Hospital after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

The 64-year-old was born on February 20, 1954, in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal to Ann and Allan Raw.

She had two siblings, Bruce and Rosemary.


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Daughter Nadine said the family relocated to Benoni around 1957 where her grandfather took up a new role as an electrical engineer.

He devoted his spare time as a councillor and later went on to become mayor of Benoni.

Pauline started her schooling at Benoni Convent (St Dunstan’s) and matriculated at Boksburg Convent (St Dominic’s).

Nadine said her mother’s proudest moment during her career was preparing art displays, backdrops and window dressing for John Orr’s department store in Benoni and headquarters in Johannesburg.

The Brakpan resident married Evan John Labuschagne on October 26, 1974.

“The council voted that they could use the mayoral vehicle as a wedding car, which was a great honour,” said Nadine.

They raised two children, Nadine and Neil.

The family moved from Northmead to Barberton in the Lowveld in 1982.

Pauline went on to become a hotel manager at The Bougainvillea Hotel and homemaker to her family.

In 1990 new ventures brought the family to Brakpan.

During the remaining 25 years of her life, she witnessed her children further their education and move into bright careers.

“In her spare time she thoroughly enjoyed cooking, camping, sketching and gardening,” said Nadine.

Pauline was a devoted Beatles fan from her early teens.

She was fortunate enough to enjoy several trips to Liverpool in the United Kingdom where she visited their childhood homes, the Magical Mystery Bus Tour, as well as The Cavern where The Beatles performed at the beginning of their career.

“One of her favourite tales was that she saw Ringo Starr in Benoni in the ’60s,” Nadine added.

“He saw her reaction and they both smiled at each other.

“She tried to convince her friend that he was a Beatle, but it fell on deaf ears.

“Several weeks later, a story was published in the Benoni City Times about how Ringo Starr had visited a little autistic girl in Benoni who reacted to Beatles music.

“Mom relished in telling everyone: ‘You see, I told you it was Ringo Starr’.”

She is survived by her husband, children and grandchildren Liam (9) and Evaline (3).

A memorial service was held on April 7, in Brakpan.

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