A toast to faithful service

2012-04-28 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — Where are you likely ever to find a toaster that has kept working without a stutter or a hiccup for 37 years — all that with the original cord?

Answer: in the home of 85-year-old Gwen Williams, a resident at the Almaza retirement complex in Port Elizabeth.

“It is reliable, it works regularly, and it can do four slices at a time!” a very satisfied Williams says of her Pineware bread toaster.

And no one would be able to say she has her dates wrong, because she still recalls the time in 1975 when some Johannesburgers came to stay with her for a seaside holiday and gave her the toaster as a thank-you gift.

“This might sound mercenary, but remember, money was worth a lot more in those days.”

She was still employed in those years, says Williams, and the toaster kept rendering faithful service in her own hands, as well as in those of her domestic and two husbands.

“Yes, I was married four times. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve survived all my husbands.”

Now Williams says she will not exchange her toaster for anything — not even for a fifth husband.

“I have never used another toaster.”

The stuff you buy nowadays is made just to last temporarily, then you have to replace it, she says. “And just this morning I enjoyed my bacon and eggs with two slices of toast.”

But she has respect for old age, says Williams. “I am, after all, in the departure lounge of life and I have my toaster right here alongside me — we will walk the road to the end together.”

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