‘Mama’ turns 106 years

2019-06-25 06:00
Dora Le Roux

Dora Le Roux

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Family and friends met at Erica Place Home for The Aged in Silvertown to celebrate the home’s eldest resident Dora le Roux’s birthday on Thursday 13 June.

She turned 106 years.

Fondly called “Mama”, Le Roux was a resident of Athlone before moving to the home six years ago. Her birthday was attended by locals including a family church minister, ward councillor Rashid Adams and mayor Dan Plato’s office organised a cake and flowers.

Though she is old and fragile, manager at the home, Matilda Farmer described Le Roux as a healthy and kind resident with a great sense of humour. She says Le Roux’s mind is stronger than her physical body, as she still has a good memory. “She can still tell stories about her life and knows those that are close to her. Everything else is just due to her age not health problems.”

Farmer says they are blessed to have such a “wise” elder among them. Her presence is felt, and she can still give advice about life as she strongly believes that respect is a foundation of a good relationship. Though Le Roux can still stand on her own she cannot walk anymore; she has a good hearing and uses spectacles.

Le Roux’s daughter, who is now an elder of the community herself, Joy Minaar says her family is one of the lucky ones.

“It’s not every family that gets to see their parent live this long, that is why we celebrate her every time. We acknowledge God’s blessings upon us,” Minaar says.

She says her mother lived by the Bible, ate well and cared for those around her. For many years she worked as a teacher in Oudtshoorn, Stellenbosch and few schools locally including Thornton Road and York Road Primary Schools. She retired at the age of 75 and started with community work at Meals on Wheels, and even had feeding initiatives at her home.

“She was always active, and we loved having her at home. It broke our hearts when she decided to go to the old age home in 2012 when she turned 99,” says Minaar.

She adds: “We are thankful for the care and love they have given her all these years. She is still at her happiest, even though age is now against her.”

Minaar says the biggest lesson they have learned from her mother is to always respect the elders and stay out of trouble.

“Her favourite Bible verse was Ephesians 6:2: ‘Honour your father and mother that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land’ and we tried as her children (to be good children and behave well) though we grew up and went our own ways in life, that was the basic she gave us. As a child I used to pray to the Lord to not take my mother,” Minaar remembers.

Le Roux is outlived by one child and has three surviving. They are all above the age of 60, along with 15 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

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