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Tafta celebrates its 65-year legacy

TAFAT celebrated their 65th anniversary on Valentine's Day, February 14 – with love and kindness for others in mind.

A MILESTONE was celebrated by The Association for the Aged (Tafta) this week – at their Cambridge Gardens block in Morningside. The celebration included a commemorative tree-planting ceremony and speeches, followed by a celebratory tea complete with a two-tier, custom cake.

Tafta CEO Femada Shamam said the tree-planting ceremony echoed the association’s commitment to going green.

“On Valentine’s Day, we felt it was so important for us to not only show love for each other, but love for our planet and for the generations to come. It’s about a legacy. What better way to celebrate our 65th birthday than by doing something for the future generations?”

Wicus Jacobs, chair of the Tafta board, cuts the celebratory cake. Photo: Danica Hansen.

By planting a lemon tree, the association also had its residents in mind.

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“We specifically wanted to plant a tree that bears fruit – something that can be shared in the building. Hopefully, when we have our first yield of lemons, we can share it among the people who live in the building. We wanted to do something useful that would add value to the lives of residents,” she said.

40 years with Tafta

Among the residents joining the celebration was Barbara Bannister (82) who has been a part of the Tafta family for 40 years. She has been a resident at Tafta for 15 years, and prior to this, Bannister was a home secretary for Tafta’s head office in central Durban for 25 years – a post she described as rewarding work.
“I worked a lot with social workers, interviewing people who needed accommodation – for the frail and the fit. It was a really rewarding job,” she said.

Christine Purchase, Daphne Bosman and Charnete Fouche gather around the newly planted lemon tree. Photo Danica Hansen.

Bannister took up the job after her husband passed away. “When I retired, I bought in here [at Tafta Cambridge Gardens]. I have been here for 15 years, and I’m very happy here. I feel blessed to live in such a lovely environment,” she added.

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For Bannister, Tafta is a lifeline to those in need. “I don’t know what people would do without Tafta. The community doesn’t know the amount of needy people there are,” she said.

Bannister was born in Durban in 1940 – she has seen the city change over the years. “Unfortunately, the CBD is really not what it used to be. It’s really sad to see what has happened to town, and yet, I walk on a Tuesday, and the beachfront is still lovely,” she said.

Commenting on the overall changes in Durban over the years, Bannister said, “‘Maintenance’ is not a word this generation seems to know.”

Bannister has two children – a son who lives locally with his two children and a daughter who lives in Australia.

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