Oldest Robben Islander dies

2013-07-02 17:15

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Cape Town - The oldest person to be born on Robben Island in Cape Town, Dr Lindsay Melt van der Spuy, has died, the Robben Island International Historical Society (RIIHS) said on Tuesday.

Van der Spuy died at the age of 99 on Friday, society chair Sebastian Pistor said.

"The RIIHS wishes to express its sympathy with the beloved ones and friends of this remarkable man who was born on Robben Island on 29 May 1914 - barely two months before the start of the First World War."

Van der Spuy's parents met on the island while working there - his father in the deeds office and his mother as a theatre sister.

The family left the island in 1918.

Van der Spuy worked as a medical specialist in Cape Town until his retirement in 1979.

Pistor said the retired doctor was hospitalised with pneumonia in June and never recovered.

"To him the highlight of his last years was a visit as special guest of the RIIHS and Robben Island Museum to the island on 4 April 2011.

That was his first, and last, visit to the island of his birth since his childhood."

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