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Elardus Park granny celebrates 100th birthday

Berthe Augusta Josephine Groyne (100) has been blessed with two daughters, six grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

An Elardus Park granny celebrated her wonderful centenary birthday party on Saturday, April 20.

Pretoria east resident, Berthe Augusta Josephine Groyne (100), was born on April 17, 1924, in Seraing, Belgium, but moved to the Congo when she was five years old and later relocated to South Africa in 1980.

Groyne lived in Sunnyside from 1980 to 1990, then moved to Brooklyn till 1995 and later to Elardus Park in 1995, where she has been living ever since.

She married the love of her life in Kinshasa, Congo in 1946. They were married for 56 years before her husband died in 2002. She has been a widow for 22 years now.

She and her late husband were blessed with two daughters, six grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

During her 100th birthday celebration, Groyne was surrounded by her family, scores of friends and neighbours and was showered with gifts and love.

“Drink lots of milk and water, eat green apples and vegetables, this is a secret to a long healthy life,” she said.

She finished matric, but didn’t have the opportunity to further her studies.

“However, I worked for big apartments and clothing stores.

“I used to decorate shops’ front windows with mannequins and clothing.”

She also was a seamstress and made clothing for boutique stores as well as dresses for functions.

Groyne said reaching 100 years is a great milestone.

“I didn’t think much of it, I thought many people reach 100, but I realise with all the fuss around me that it is a real milestone to live up to this age.”

Berthe Groyne and her two daughters during her birthday party.

She said some of her fondest memories were the lessons her grandfather taught her.

“My grandfather taught me to care for and love trees and animals. I also made friends with a hadida in my garden, it comes to my window most days for the last 10 years. I have named him Babet,” she said.

Cathy Dollenberg, who resides in Wingate Park, said her grandmother is a loving and kind person.

“She has always been an extremely generous person, always caring and looking out for others before herself,” Dollenberg said.

She said Groyne is a person who believes in God, is compassionate and very patient.

Groyne loves to colour in and create mosaic trays for friends and family, and is still able to walk on her own using a walking ring.

“However due to her age, she can’t do what she loves most, which is sewing because her hands are fragile and don’t allow her to sew anymore.”

Dollenberg said her grandmother lives with her youngest daughter, Monique Coetzee.

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