Bay couple celebrates two milestone birthdays

2019-01-30 06:00
Allen Barnardo and Dawn Holder.    Photo:    SUPPLIED

Allen Barnardo and Dawn Holder. Photo: SUPPLIED

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THEY’VE been together for more than 15 years, having one adventure after another and keeping each other young.

This past festive season was one that gave Allen Barnardo and his partner, Dawn Holder, two very big reasons to celebrate: his 90th birthday in October and her 80th birthday earlier this month.

Barnardo, who was born in Knysna on October 19, 1928, is a sports fanatic and has dabbled in a number of different sporting codes over the years.

He ran his first Comrades Marathon at the age of 58 and now has more than 400 medals and trophies to his name for running. He has also represented the Eastern Province in cycling and boxing and was still cycling competitively at 80, as well as white water rafting and cliff jumping.

As little as a year ago, at 89, Barnardo also tried his hand at paintball one weekend, and enjoys watching cricket and rugby.

“Allen is very talented and artistic. He loves building model galleons, sailing ships and aeroplanes. He also makes metal sculptures out of recycled cold drink cans,” said Holder’s daughter, Ann.

“He is a very enthusiastic gardener and is very proud of his garden.

“Allen also has an amazing memory and loves sharing stories about his past. He still keeps himself very active and loves to tease people,” said Ann.

Barnardo was married in Port Elizabeth at age 29 and lived in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bela-Bela before settling in Port Elizabeth. He worked at Edgars until his retirement some 23 years ago.

His complete opposite, in almost every way, Holder spends her free time cooking, sewing and entertaining friends and family.

According to Ann, Holder, who was born in Durban on January 5, 1939, is a very talented seamstress and worked from home making bridal wear.

She married at the age of 18 and later moved to East London where she also started working for Edgars before being transferred to Port Elizabeth.

Her last stop in her career was in Durban where she stayed until her retirement when she moved back to Port Elizabeth.

Over the years, she kept herself busy running a takeaway in Deal Party, working at Microfile and keeping busy with her various interests.

“She has always been very passionate about her appearance and takes great care to look her best at all times,” Ann said.

At 64, Holder moved to Bushmans where she met Barnardo. They were both widowed at the time. This was the start of a new adventure for both of them.

After a few years together, they moved to Fairhaven in Port Elizabeth where they have spent the last 10 years together.

Holder has a son and a daughter, three grandsons and three great-grandsons. Barnardo has a daughter, two grandsons, a granddaughter, a great-granddaughter and a great-grandson who keep them on their toes.

To celebrate their milestone birthdays, they had a joint party for 80 guests at the Fairhaven Hall in December 2018.

“Our greatest blessings are our families and they mean everything to us. Our wish for the year ahead is to be happy, mobile and peaceful,” said Holder and Barnardo.

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