Former mayor ‘will be missed’

2015-06-02 06:00
Right: Jessie Yeld passed away at the age of 98.

Right: Jessie Yeld passed away at the age of 98.

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Three-time mayor of Fish Hoek Jessie Yeld will be laid to rest this week.

The 98-year-old grandmother and her husband Alleyne, who also served as mayor, lived in and served Fish Hoek for decades.

In these public roles, the Yelds often visited churches of all denominations, accepting as many of the invitations to meetings of all associations and clubs, concerts and sporting events as they could, says granddaughter Eleanor Yeld-Hutchings.

They were on the first committee that planned the new old-age home to be called Nerina Gardens, where Jessie spent her last years. She helped choose the original kitchen equipment and furnishings.

In time, at the age of 90, she was serving on its garden committee, doing the weeding and pruning and regularly attending the hobbies club.

When the couple first came to Fish Hoek during the Second World War, it was still just a village – they stayed at the Outspan Hotel and went to the Green Parrot tea room. She loved the sea and the beach and the friendliness of the people who lived there and knew each other so well, says Yeld-Hutchings.

When Alleyne was transferred to the Cape from Pretoria in 1951, they decided to live near the sea, in Fish Hoek.

“By that time it had grown – the streets were tarred as far as 10th Avenue and Upper Recreation Road, about where Nerina Gardens now stands. Beyond that was Cron’s Dairy, with its cows, on the left, and bush on the right.

“She loved the arums that bloomed there in spring, the birds and the occasional buck that one could sometimes see. She saw Fish Hoek grow until there is scarcely any gap between Clovelly and Sunny Cove, False Bay and Long Beach.”

Jessie served the community in many ways. She helped at the primary school, Sunnydale Clinic and the blood bank, she was a founder member of the WAA, she was a Guider for a time and then served as commissioner, she was a member of the Music Society, she played badminton, and later bowls, she helped at the church bazaar each year and was forever baking for cake sales for various charities.

She spent the last 22 years of her life in Fish Hoek, until Thursday 25 May.

“She never lost her interest in people. At the age of 98 she attended her grandson’s wedding. She knew what was happening to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren on four continents.

“When her own world had shrunk to a room in frail care, she was still making new friends, getting to know every new member of staff and hearing about their families.

“As her eight-year-old great-granddaughter said when asked what was most special about her Nanny: ‘She always liked us to be by her side.’

“She outlived her own generation, but she was much loved and will be sorely missed by three succeeding ones,” her granddaughter says.


A memorial service will be held at Nerina Gardens, Upper Recreation Road, Fish Hoek, on Thursday at 10:00 after a private cremation tomorrow

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