Evelyn pictured with her daughter Shirley James and daughter and son-in-law, Janet and Barry Gunningham.

Evelyn celebrates her centenary in style

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Elphin Lodge retirement village resident Evelyn Anderson celebrated her 100th birthday with family on 4 May.

Born in Johannesburg in 1923 to Scottish parents, Evelyn was an accomplished highland dancer who attended Saint Rose Convent in Rosettenville.

Between 1939 and 1946, she volunteered her services to the war effort, helping soldiers who returned from duty to find accommodation and suitable healthcare, if needed. As a result, in 1948, she received the South African Medal for War Service.

She met and fell in love with Douglas at a social event, and they were married in Johannesburg on 20 January 1945. They were happily married until his death in 2011.

Evelyn and Douglas had three children – Kevin, Janet and Shirley – and Evelyn stayed home to raise them. She later returned to work as a bookkeeper for several banks and lawyers in Johannesburg.

The couple lived in various locations around Johannesburg, before settling in Dunvegan, where they raised their family.

In the early 1970s, they moved to Seattle in Washington in the United States of America for five years, when Douglas took up a post as the South African Airways’ representative overseeing the production of Boeing aircraft which were purchased by the airline to expand its commercial fleet.

They also travelled extensively, visiting family and friends in Scotland, England, Wales, France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

They retired in 1982 and soon afterwards moved to Rand Aid’s Elphin Lodge retirement village, where Douglas developed a strong love/hate relationship with the noisy frogs and Egyptian geese which make Elphin Lodge their home.

“Our beautiful mother is amazing and very well loved. She is an excellent cook and a skilled seamstress and even knits to this day. She has a keen sense of humour which makes us happy. In her younger days, she loved to dance and has fond memories of the beautiful frocks she wore. She was always smartly and attractively dressed for any and all occasions,” says Shirley.

Jenny Sella from Elphin Lodge’s Residents’ Committee congratulated Evelyn on reaching this significant milestone and presented her with flowers on behalf of the committee and Elphin’s admin office.