Queen congratulates Howick centenarian

2010-04-29 00:00

HOWICK resident Dora Webb celebrated her 100th birthday on April 17.

The milestone birthday did not go unnoticed.

Both Queen Elizabeth and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize have sent her their best wishes.

In a birthday card with a photograph of herself on the front, Queen Elizabeth wrote: “I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your one hundredth birthday on the 18th of April, 2010. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on this special occasion.”

The queen personally signed the card with her first name.

Webb said the queen gave her birthday as April 18 because “I was born near midnight, but I say I was born on the 17th”.

“I felt quite thrilled when I got the card, but I don’t take these things too seriously. I have already put it away in my drawer,” said Webb.

Mary Carlisle, who knows Webb from the Midlands Forum, said: “I am quite sure Dora’s family got hold of the queen’s people and told them about her birthday.”

And even though a hand-signed card from the queen is a huge honour, Webb said she was just as surprised when she received a framed letter from Mkhize.

“I was really delighted. I think I will hang it on my wall because it already has a lovely gold frame,” she said.

Webb was born in Durban and has spent most of her life in KwaZulu-Natal, with an interval in Zimbabwe when her two children were growing up.

She was a teacher by profession, and music has been her first love.

“As a child I played duets with my father on Sundays. He was a cellist and I played piano. I also taught piano when I was younger,” she said.

Watching South Africa grow and develop over her lifetime, Webb said the country “has become more broad-minded. When I was younger, people of different races did not mingle, but now there is no difference among people, no matter their colour, and that is lovely.”

Webb is active for a centenarian, Carlisle said: “She is the oldest member of the Midlands Forum and she never misses a meeting.”

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