Archive: General

17 December 2017

The MHA family mourns the passing of one of its pioneers, David Garrett, who died on 17 December 2017, at the age of 84.

During his working career David was highly respected in the financial services industry, and in the business world generally. He was invited to join the MHA Board in 1993, and he brought with him a broad range of business skills and excellent leadership qualities. When Bob Zeiss retired as Chairman in 1996, David took his place, and continued to serve on the MHA Board in that capacity until he resigned in 2007.

Under his skilled leadership MHA witnessed increasing growth and expansion, even though during that time the organization went through unprecedented financial challenges. Together with staff and fellow Directors he kept the ship afloat, off the rocks, and eventually forward into new and calmer waters.

The MHA family will keep Pat, and the whole family, in their thoughts and prayers, at this sad and difficult time.


12 December 2017

Each year in December MHA hosts a gathering in celebration, in a church hall in Gqebera (Walmer) township. Present this year were many of the sixty beneficiaries of our Nikithemba outreach project, together with the five wonderful carers and their supervisor, our General Manager and three Board members. Each beneficiary or a representative (many arriving with a wheelbarrow, to act as a "delivery service"!) received a lovely hamper of food to take home, courtesy of our catering service providers, Eastern Province Catering, and a thoughtful gift package from residents of Cassia Gardens. In addition, the caring staff were handed a monetary gift donated by generous residents of Aldersgate.

The joy on the face of each recipient was a privilege to witness, and MHA is proud of the Nikithemba project, now in its thirteenth year. Nikithemba in isiXhosa means "To give hope", and MHA believes that this outreach project does just that. During the year many communities within MHA Villages reach out to the beneficiaries, by way of parcels containing consumables and clothing. When you love, generosity is everywhere!!

In the photograph are two beneficiaries, our five carers (in navy or white uniforms), their supervisor Simpiwe Given Mpaliso (standing at the rear), and Board members Thuthuka Songelwa and Odwa Mtati.

8 December 2017

 In recent weeks some of our Housekeeping ladies underwent training to become Careworkers, as they wanted to enhance their careers. Our recently retired Nursing Services Manager (pictured, together with General Manager Hein Barnard, with the graduates) conducted the training inhouse, and in late November the proud ladies completed their course, and were handed certificates.

Well done, ladies!! You took advantage of an opportunity, and we look forward to observing your future growth as you care for residents in our two frail care units.


8 December 2017

As a result of Matron Margie Kampman taking early retirement as at end-November 2017, MHA has appointed Matron Sanet Marx as her replacement. She commenced duties on 1 November.

Sanet comes from a Tarkastad farming family, and attended Cradock High. After Matric she went off to au pair in Italy for a year (adding Italian to her fluency in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa!). She then came to PE in 1994 and enrolled at the Sharley Cribb Nursing College in Park Drive where, after four years’ study, she obtained her Nursing diploma.

In 1998 Sanet started work in one of our Municipal clinics, focusing on community health nursing but specializing in HIV management and treatment. In 2011 she was approached to join the St.Francis Hospice team, where she was involved in palliative care, education and training (the latter including distance learning through North West University). She believes that everything happens for a reason; her choice of career, her move to Hospice, and now to MHA, is the fruit of that belief! Her mission is simple, yet profound: never allow a resident to feel invisible.

Sanet has been married to Riaan for 20 years, and they have two daughters, Esté and Sanri.

Welcome on board, Sanet!!

BOB ZEISS (19/02/1929—02/10/2017): GOD’S AMBASSADOR!

Bob Zeiss, one of the founding fathers of MHA in PE, its second Chairman, and latterly a resident at Cassia Gardens, has sadly passed away.

At the funeral service on 6 October, Rev. Dr Bruce Woolard referred to Bob as God’s Ambassador, and how fitting that title is. Bob was a devout Christian, a committed Rotarian, a loving family man, someone who threw himself into community roles in the service of others, and he was someone who touched the lives of so many, across generations.

Rev. Woolard expanded on Bob’s character, saying that he was an optimistic man who always had a positive influence, he loved people, he was a man of vision in heart and mind, he was both tenacious and resilient, and possessed a lovely sense of humour.

The MHA family mourns the loss of a great man, and we extend condolences to his wife Joyce, to his family, and to those he loved and served, and who loved him in return. Bob and Joyce were blessed to have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on 27 September.

RIP, Bob.


This porcupine was recently caught on the Irvine Villa security camera, trying to gain access through the front gate at 03h53!!

The Herald recently reported other sightings in the suburbs, and local wildlife experts are of the view that porcupines are probably moving in during the night from the Baakens Valley, looking for food.

27 December 2017

About 20 Aldersgate residents who were not going out to family or friends on Christmas Day got together for a celebratory “bring, braai and share” lunch in their hall. Tables were beautifully decorated, there were lots of chefs around the braai, and there was a wonderful buzz of fellowship and laughter.

This is just another fine example of living in community, which is evident across the MHA family in so many ways.

Some events are organized by a Fellowship Committee or Group, others just happen spontaneously, but there is always a sense of enjoyment and appreciation. This particular event was started by Jeanne Speed, one of the original Aldersgate residents about 20 years ago, and it has become a tradition.  


A load of redundant or replaced Maranatha Frail Care equipment was recently donated by MHA to Gelvan Park Frail Aged Home.

The smile on the face of their Nursing Manager, Make Fadzanai (pictured), says it all!! He asked MHA’s GM Hein Barnard how it was possible to donate goods and then also pay for the transport. Hein’s easy answer was: “Because MHA wants to make a difference in the lives of the needy”!

MHA has a heart, and we are proud that we could make a difference.

Click here to read the thank-you letter from Deidre Burjins, Secretary of the Board of Galvan Park Frail Age Home.


Earlier this month a large group of children from St. George’s Preparatory School descended on Cassia Gardens, and distributed flowers to the residents.

This lovely gesture brought so much joy to the residents, and a burst of colour. Thank you, boys and girls of St. George’s Prep!


When Pat and Shirley Callaghan of Irvine Villa were touring England, they came across this road sign in the Cotswolds. It is heart-warming to know that some communities would go to this extent to help protect their elderly residents or visitors. Maybe our Municipality should follow their example? Hopefully the person taking up the rear is a spouse, friend or carer, and not a pick-pocket in a raincoat!!


Lynné and Mike Smidtsdorff recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, and renewed their marriage vows in their church. This was followed by a scrumptious tea party.

Among the many family members and guests was a contingent of MHA staff, including those who posed for a “photo opportunity”. Congratulations, Lynné and Mike; the MHA family wishes both of you many more happy years together.

Pictured above are Susan Bosch (Aldersgate Manager), Gillian le Roux (Professional Nurse/Counsellor), Noluthando Khunjuzwa (Financial Administrator), George Bezuidenhout (Maintenance Manager), LynnéSmidtsdorff (Wesley Gardens Manager, and the bride!), Jenny van Niekerk (Cassia Gardens Manager) and Sandra Cornwell (Admin Manager)


At the request of residents, and with their input on design and finishes, the existing hall has been extended, to incorporate a separate kitchen and a library, and the storeroom has been relocated. This has resulted in a significant increase in “entertainment space”, so much so that 72 Cassians and special guests were treated to a wonderful spitbraai supper on Friday 8 September.

Rev George Irvine, MHA’s Founder President, who officiated at the opening of Cassia Gardens in 1985, was invited to cut the ribbon. It was a lovely occasion, full of fun, fellowship and fabulous food!


MHA in Gauteng/Northern Province was recently hosted on SABC 3’s Expresso programme, and a video clip of their Prim Villa facility was included. We invite you to view the inspiring video, via this YouTube link:


Louise Galpin, who celebrated her 100th birthday on 2 September, has been part of the MHA family for twenty years, firstly at Epworth Close from 1997 to 2014, and for the past three years she has lived at Maranatha.

Louise was born in Cape Town, but at the age of nine she went to live in Dordrecht where she spent three happy years (where she visited many farms, experienced snow and learnt to speak Afrikaans), before returning to Cape Town. She left school before Matric, did a shorthand and typing course, and then she worked in the city (those were the days when it cost tuppence (2 pennies) to take the tram from Sea Point into the centre of Cape Town!)

Louise met Jack Galpin before WWII, and when war was declared he enlisted and was sent to North Africa, but was later stationed in Simonstown. In 1943 Louise married Jack, and they came to live in Port Elizabeth, where he practised law. He passed away in 1983. They had two children and now, spread between the USA and London, she has six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. 

“Life is not a rehearsal” sums up Louise’s attitude to a very active life. She was a very keen golfer, and her nickname was “Galloping Galpin” because of her brisk pace around the course.  She enjoyed golf up until her mid 90’s. Fortunate to have a very sharp mind, she was also able to play excellent bridge into her 90’s.  Following golf, tennis, cricket and rugby on TV was and still is a strong interest.  Swimming has been her passion all her life; when playing golf at Humewood, she often had a quick swim in the sea between ending her round of golf and the prize-giving!

Congratulations, Louise!! The MHA family acknowledges this wonderful milestone, and your positive attitude to life.


On 9 August 2017 there was no lazy public holiday at home for the wonderful, dedicated staff at our CP Bradfield Frail Care Home. They were on duty, doing what they always do so well, but they dressed up for the occasion. In this unique way they brought meaning and some fun to their day, but they also brought colour and joy into the lives of the residents there. It was a special day, and the staff made a difference, in every way!! Well done, and thank you....we are proud of you.


With some financial assistance from Head Office, an impressive new braai facility and extension to patio paving has been built, designed to residents' specifications. They recently held their first braai in their lovely new braai area. In the past they used a portable drum-type braai, so this is a giant leap into the 21st century! The monthly braais held in the MHA villages are well attended, and a keen sense of community and fun, and even some cooking skills near “ Ultimate Braai Master" standard, are evident whenever and wherever they meet!


Gary and Pat Loftie-Eaton of Cassia Gardens are avid gardeners, and have a magnificent display of Cymbidium Orchids in pots and troughs on their back patio. The blooms, which are at their best between June and August, are much admired by residents and visitors.


Two recent arrivals at Aldersgate, Waldo Schumann and Guy Marshall, have quickly become biking buddies. These are their stories:

 Waldo Schumann: In 2008 a friend asked if I would like to join a ride in the Baviaans.  He lent me a mountain bike and it was a really great ride, and so I bought a second-hand bike without any shock absorbers, and that was the start.  I rode the Maitland and Cows Corner roads, and most other roads, with my friend.

 I then heard about a race near Bathhurst, the “Pineapple Enduro”, and decided to enter, to see what racing was about.  I found the saddle very hard, and so had foam rubber wrapped around it.  I arrived at the start of the Enduro in T-shirt and shorts , a bike with no shocks and foam rubber encased saddle. I was told that the race was “very technical (I had to ask what “technical” meant), but I finished the race in not a bad time, and things then got better because my son gave me his bike which he was not using.

 Thereafter I explored the Baakens Valley, riding along any path which looked rideable.  The bug had bitten, and long may it keep biting.  I have done the “Argus” twice, the “Addo Herald” several times and the “Karoo to Coast” once.  It has been nice meeting and riding with Guy, and being able to tell my wife, Loraine, that Guy and I are going to play in the valley!

 Guy Marshall: As a teenager I cycled from Linton Grange to Grey High School and back every day for four years, and to Church and Scouts every weekend, but not again until I was 54, when my daughter wanted to cycle as a sport.  I joined the Masters & Ladies Cycle Club in 1999 and entered my first “Argus” and “Herald” races in 2000.  0n my 7th  “Argus” I achieved my goal of finishing under 3hr 25min, but kept on with weekly local Masters & Ladies until December 2014.  I then bought a mountain bike to ride with the Hardcore ‘Time in the Saddle’ Group to ride mostly on gravel roads.  I cycle two road and two mountain bike rides each week.

On moving to Aldersgate I met Waldo who has introduced me to cycling in the Baakens Valley on single tracks, which is a much more technical and strenuous task.  The beauty of the valley can be seen best from the many cycle paths.  “Fat Tracks” have done sterling work upgrading the access to the paths and improving safety in the valley.

In the past 18 years I have cycled 122,500km on my road bike and 3,000km on the mountain bike.  That is the equivalent of three times around the circumference of our planet Earth, and it has helped keep me fitter, thinner and less stressed.  You see a lot more on a bike than in a car, and I have enjoyed every moment being aware of the beauty of God’s Creation.


“Just Love” is a nursery school situated quite close to Maranatha Frail Care in Newton Park. Occasionally the little ones walk to Maranatha, to pay a visit to the residents there.

On 3 October the kids arrived en masse, and brought with them a huge supply of cookies for the residents to enjoy (and which Matron Edna van Rooyen will ration!) . They sang to the residents, they read out poems, they said prayers, they mingled with the elderly folk, and they brought joy (Just Love!) to everyone. As a reward, Matron Edna gave the children some ice cream, before they made their way back to their aptly named school!


Every year MHA’s caterers (Eastern Province Catering) put together a most generous Christmas hamper of food and treats for the sixty beneficiaries of our social outreach in Gqebera (Walmer) township. The official handover took place on 5 December 2016. In the photo are the carers, the MHA Chairman, Odwa Mtati, and Nikithemba’s supervisor, Given Mpaliso.

Then, as a result of an Advent call to the congregation of Walmer Methodist Church to consider the elderly, Nikithemba was the recipient of most generous food parcels, which were distributed by the dedicated team of carers to the beneficiaries. The photo of a delighted recipient tells the story so well!

Nikithemba’s beneficiaries are elderly folk, most are in poor health, many spend their days alone while family go out to work or to seek work, and basic foodstuffs are hard to come by. This makes the gifts from EPC and the WMC congregation so meaningful; bless them for their generosity, and their concern for those who have so much less.


The Westbourne Road building was erected in the early 1930’s; the windows had become rusted and unsightly, the roof needed replacement, and a new coat of paint was overdue.

The beauty of the “old lady” has been restored! As the pictures clearly portray, the new windows have transformed the building, the new façade and signage have given the front a clean and professional look, and a scruffy piece of garden at the rear has been turned into a patio where staff and visitors can relax.

Thanks must go to our General Manager and Maintenance Manager for planning this make-over, and managing the project.




Aldersgate residents Lawrence and Sheila Rother have had caravaning in their blood for 42 years. Their last caravan was a Jurgens, with two double beds, onboard toilet, gas stove, fridge and microwave; it was virtually a second home on wheels. On 24 October 2016, at the entrance to Addo Elephant National Park, one of the caravan's wheels jammed, the axle broke, and the resultant damage caused by the wheel rendered the caravan beyond economical repair. The Rothers, who are now in their 80s, and who knew that they were gradually reaching a crossroads as far as their caravanning days were concerned, were understandably distraught that such a crucial part of their leisure and pleasure had been destroyed in the blink of an eye, and forced upon them. They had wanted to part company with their trusty caravan in their own time, but they are grateful that they were uninjured, and that no other damage was caused.

Lawrence and Sheila have kept a meticulous log book of their journeys across South Africa and Namibia since 1974, and their road map showing all the routes taken looks like a spider's web! They have towed their caravan over 90000 kilometres and, as proud members of the Caravan Club of SA, they have attended over 200 rallies organized by CCSA's head office, and 187 organized regionally. Their "brag board" ( evident in both pictures), which was recovered from the damaged caravan's door, proudly shows off the circular and triangular badges, giving testimony to their attendance. In 2005 the Rothers were chosen as CCSA's national  "Caravaners of the Year", in 2010 they won the regional award, and in 2015 were bestowed with Honorary Life membership of the association. Lawrence admits, sadly, that "a book, not a chapter, has closed". They do, however, have wonderful memories from their caravanning days (a distance of more than twice around the Equator!); the sights and sounds, the shared interest, the camaraderie, and the freedom which they enjoyed for so long. On a positive note, the Rothers say that they will now be able to spend more time within the Aldersgate community, which has been so supportive during this traumatic time.



As a result of our request to MHA residents to contribute to our drive to provide warm clothing and blankets to our Nikithemba beneficiaries, we received an overwhelming response from residents across MHA, and even from outsiders.

Our Nikithemba outreach project in the Gqebera township has been truly blessed, and the generosity of MHA residents is portrayed on the faces of the beneficiaries.

May God bless all who contributed in one or other way to our winter drive.

Sr Lesley Lawson (Community Services Director)


International  Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on 12 May annually, the date of Florence Nightingale’s birth. The theme for 2016 is “A Force for Change: Improving health systems’ resilience”. Methodist Homes nursing staff celebrated this significant day by lighting candles, and saying the Nurses Pledge of Service. They made use of two symbols:

  • The Candle, as the light of comfort, hope, care and devotion towards residents
  • Their Hands, as a symbol of service, love, compassion and care.

All nursing staff recommitted to the nursing profession by the spreading of light, love and compassion. 
Throughout the celebration ceremony the nursing staff were all aware of the immense tasks and responsibility they have in working with the elderly at the end stage of their lives. All staff had an emotional connection and were very aware that the Nurses Pledge of Service binds them with accountability towards professional nursing care.

 After the ceremony the staff enjoyed a cup of tea with treats, and each received a candle as a reminder of the light, and hand lotion as a reminder of service and love.

I(Article submitted by MHA’s Nursing Services Manager, Matron Margie Kampman)


Energetic Aldersgate resident Basil Hawtrey, supported by his wife Joan and several other residents, held a most successful Soup Evening in the Aldersgate community hall on Friday 22 July 2016.

A great evening was attended by 84 residents, who enjoyed a tasty variety of seven soups, followed by pudding, all made and served by some residents.  This was followed by cabaret provided by some talented residents; the noisy and happy “Aldersgate Spirit” was so apparent, with everybody laughing and spontaneously singing along. Aldersgate residents certainly know how to party!!!


Our Cassia Gardens village in Sunridge Park is blessed with three sisters, all now living there.

 Margaret Roberts (88 years of age) moved into Cassia Gardens in June 2016. She met her late husband at a Company where they both worked. The rule there was that if two people worked for the Company and got married, one of them was forced to leave!

Val Gau (87) is married to Dennis, and they moved into Cassia Gardens in August 2014. She is a keen gardener and has created a gorgeous little garden at their cottage.

Shirley Prout (84) moved into Cassia Gardens in September 2015, shortly after her husband passed away. She loves the Arts, and used to be a dancer in her younger days.

 By all accounts the three sprightly sisters are very compatible, never really argue, but if they do get fed up with each other they just walk away….and retreat to their beautiful cottages! 

 From left to right: Margaret, Val and Shirley



On Friday 22 April 2016  residents of Bob Zeiss Bedsitters and CP Bradfield Frail Care, many residents of Cassia Gardens, and the members of their Caring & Fellowship group who arranged the event, as well as a few invited guests,  were treated to a fantastic tea party, and the highlight was a performance by the Lorraine Primary School band. Many of our treasured Nonagenarians, and our Centenarian, attended!

The Bedsitter lounge was filled with happy and noisy residents and helpful staff, the tables laden with scrumptious cupcakes and sandwiches provided by our wonderful friends at Sunridge Superspar, and lively music created by the talented young musicians, playing an array of brass, wind and percussion instruments. After their performance, the young musicians mingled with the residents and guests, bringing delight to the 120 folk attending…..a lovely touch to end off a lovely occasion.


Dave and Lin Jack of Irvine Villa have just installed a 5000 litre tank to capture the rain water off their cottage roof. Their intention is to keep their own gardens watered but also, in addition to the upkeep that they do, to look after the water needs of the beautiful gardens which adorn either side of the Village entrance gate.

The Complex Manager, Fred Marshall, contributed some of the fittings, and did the installation. All we need is a downpour to fill the tank! 


Saturday 1 October 2016 was another date for the record book of Aldersgate, with the opening of our new Braai - the rain certainly didn’t dampen the feeling which was evident right from the start, and continued until the 75/80 “odd” residents staggered home later in the evening. We can only say a huge “Thank You” to the three main builders – residents David van der Merwe and Basil Hawtrey, and Carel van Niekerk (David’s son-in-law), who worked so hard for about four months, not just for us, the current residents, but for the future residents of our little community. Of course, we must also say “thanks” to the others who assisted them in their project, and the many supervisors passing by who were always on hand to offer advice! 

The sun came out just in time for Rev George Irvine, in his inimitable way, to declare our new facility open, and cut the ribbon. Then the rain poured down again, and the cooks got to work (and, no, the roof didn’t leak!). 

We mustn’t forget the big contribution made by Joan Hawtrey, Joyce van der Merwe and her daughter, Deirdre (who made all the bread and noodle salad for the evening). These ladies sacrificed and supported their husbands in this project, and then put everything together for our very special evening – well, to give the men their due, they did arrange the liquid refreshments! Thank you too to all the others who contributed time and talents. 

Last, but not least, thanks to MHA for supporting us in this endeavour and helping us so much financially - we really appreciate it.

 Article submitted by Barbara Robertson/Aldersgate



On Monday 15 August 2016 the staff at CP Bradfield Frail Care and Bob Zeiss Bedsitters organized a wonderful party for the residents there. It was held in the Bedsitters dining room/lounge, and the entertainers from CCH Productions put on an energetic and noisy show for the residents and staff, singing a variety of hits from the 1970's.

In between all of the entertainment a delicious three-course meal was served, accompanied by orange juice and bubbly, just to get everyone in the party mood! An additional reason to celebrate was that new curtains had just been hung in the dining room/lounge/library (17 large windows, in all!!), adding new colour and beauty to those rooms.

Sincere thanks go to Eastern Province Caterers, who generously hosted the event, and to the staff who served with their customary smiles and courtesy, and who then joined the band in dancing to the music!


Residents of Wesley Gardens celebrated the advent of Spring on 22 September, by way of a lunch party. They had decided on an appropriate seasonal lunch of cold chicken and salads, followed by trifle, but hadn’t bargained on the downpour on that day! , Undeterred, the “Wesleyans” turned up, brollies and all, and enjoyed  the tasty  lunch prepared by fellow resident Merle Harmer.

Thank you, Lynné, for the photos from Shirley, and input. Well done to the organizers, especially Merle J.


All of the staff at CP Bradfield Frail Care reported for duty on the recent Public Holiday, dressed in their traditional clothing and painted faces. Staff celebrated National Women's Day by sharing their  rich Xhosa culture with all of our residents, who were entertained with song and dance. It was a celebration of the different  cultures in our country, and of women getting together with the same purpose in life, namely caring for and improving the lives of our elderly folk.  All of the residents and staff then enjoyed a cup of tea and cakes, while chatting about the roles women play in our country, and within the MHA community. Thank you CP Bradfield staff for this joyful and colourful expression of love and caring!


Spring brings with it beautiful blooms, as evident in Namaqualand in 2016, after good rain at the right times. So too the blooms in our village gardens herald the arrival of Spring. Eric Libala, who has tended the Maranatha gardens since 1998, was recently spotted at work, bring order and beauty to the gardens and lawns there. Thank you, Eric, for the work that you and others do, and for the joy that you bring!


Apart from the lovely gardens which residents and staff have created, and the beautiful trees, Aldersgate village has an abundance of birds. Residents Colin and Lynette Urquhart, recently settled in, are both avid and knowledgeable birders, and have already ticked off 22 bird species which visit or make Aldersgate their home, with more to come in the summer season.

Bird-wise, well established residents are a pair of Thick-knee(once known as Spotted Dikkop-Burhinus capensis-or Gewone Dikkop). A pair was first spotted (excuse the pun) nesting at the back of Jill McKenzie’s cottage some years back; they produced several offspring over time but few chicks, if any, appeared to survive, perhaps due to the presence of crows or cats in the area.

The latest pair have become permanent squatters in a secluded piece of garden alongside Pam Peddie’s cottage. It is a shaded and sheltered space, and ever since their arrival Pam has become the guardian over these terrestrial breeding birds, not even allowing the garden service to mow near the trees while the birds are sitting

Over the years Pam has watched many a chick being reared by the sitting (breeding) birds, but is not sure how many have reached adulthood. Fortunately the crows have moved away.

There must be many “bird” stories at the other villages; let’s hear from you!

(photographs courtesy of Colin Urquhart)


May celebrated her 100th birthday on 10 March 2016, and in the afternoon a large contingent of her old neighbours from Maranatha Village, as well as many residents from Bob Zeiss Bedsitters, CP Bradfield Frail Care and Cassia Gardens, together with staff, family and invited guests, attended a wonderful tea party in the Bedsitters’ lounge.

“I have had a good life” May says. Her focus has been to always be considerate of others, putting others first. She has always been careful about her diet, and knitting and crocheting have been her lifelong hobbies.

May has a wonderful sense of humour, and has maintained this throughout her life, in good times and bad. She has been blessed with two daughters, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; in that alone, May has been richly blessed!

The Board, Management, Staff and fellow residents of MHA wish May a truly wonderful 100th birthday. She an inspiration to family, friends and fellow residents, and enriches the lives of everyone around her.


Saturday 14th May saw 25 residents of Annesley Gardens/Sheariton travel to Cassia Gardens for a return croquet match for the one played at Annesley in August of last year. No actual scores were kept in the games played at Cassia, so we think that the result can be called a draw.

Everyone enjoyed the trip, and the reception by the residents of Cassia was fantastic. A special word of thanks must go to those involved in organising the playing arrangements at Cassia and for setting out two special pitches for the games. Also a very special bouquet of thanks to the ladies who did the catering for the refreshments after the games. They were amazing, and all the visitors passed compliments on the array of food. Once again thanks to all who took part in the trip and thanks to the residents of Cassia Gardens for the warm reception.

(article submitted by Maurice Watson and photographs by Tony Mannering: with thanks)


In the photos are Blossom and Mavis at CPB, and Bob/Olga on the patio of their cottage. In keeping with the “blossom” theme, the Stewarts have brought along lovely, colourful flower pots to the front and rear of their cottage!

Blossom Ntamo,  who was a careworker at Annesley Gardens/Sheariton, has recently been given an opportunity to take a step up the ladder of success, by being transferred to the CP Bradfield Frail Care team. The village residents were sad to see her go, but pleased to know that her hard work and dedication have been recognized. This is what appeared in the May edition of the Annesley Gardens/Sheariton Newsletter:

 Hambe kakuhle…… It is with very mixed feelings that we say Good-Bye to our MHA careworker, Blossom Ntamo. We are pleased for her that she has the opportunity to advance her career and to work in Frail Care under the guidance of Matron Margie Kampman. But we are going to miss her.

We will miss the rapid beat of her steps along the pathways.
We will miss her cheerful Good Morning.
We will miss her warm sense of humour.
We will miss her uninhibited and raucous laugh.
We will miss her amazing variety of hats (shared with Albert, the village groundsman!).
We will miss her thoughtfulness in her caring.
We will miss the world’s fastest bed maker.*
We will miss this little lady who fills such a large role.

(*If Bed Making ever becomes an Olympic sport, we will enter Blossom to make beds for South Africa!)

We wish her God’s richest blessings in her new position, and thank her for all she has meant to all of us.

 The second reason to celebrate has to do with Mavis Stewart who, with her late husband Charles, were pioneer residents at Annesley Gardens, moving into cottage 30 as soon as it had been built in 1990. Mavis moved to Bedsitters in 2006, and to CPB in 2015. Mavis recently celebrated her 97th birthday!

Now, in what may well be a “first” within MHA, Mavis’ son Robert and his wife Olga have recently moved into a cottage at Annesley Gardens….two generations within the MHA “family” at the same time!!


In probability theory, the Law of Large Numbers (LLN) is a theorem that describes the result of performing the same experiment a large number of times. According to the law, the average of the results obtained from a large number of trials should be close to the expected value, and will tend to become closer as more trials are performed. It looks like this (and if residents understand this, you’re probably too young to be in the MHA family!!!):

converges to the expected value


 The LLN is important because it "guarantees" stable long-term results for the averages of some random events. For example, while a casino may lose money in a single spin of the roulette wheel, its earnings will tend towards a predictable percentage over a large number of spins, so that the casino comes out on top. LLN is also critically important to the insurance industry, in understanding frequency of events such as mortality, fires, motor accidents and the like.

 While all of the above is fact, we present it here tongue-in-cheek. More important to MHA, and to all the residents and staff, is that the Law of Large Numbers (related to age, that is) applies all over our villages, apartments and frail care rooms; currently 13% of total residents have reached the “large number” age of 90 or more; 68 are Nonagenarians, and we have one Centenarian. What an example they are to everyone!

The collage (with thanks to our roving village photographers), created by our obliging printing/layout expert Michele from CopyShop, depicts many of our Nonagenarians, as well as our Centenarian, and two members of staff.

Bay 90-something-year-olds share their secret to longevity

(this article appeared in The Herald on 18 April 2016, and reproduced with permission)

If you can rely on the advice of Nel-son Mandela Bay’s “older” re s i d e n t s , a glass of wine or two is the way to longevity. It is at least working for the oldest male resident at a retirement village in Sunridge Park, who enjoys a glass of wine twice a day. Having a glass of wine or two can indeed slow down aging, a study done as long ago as 2003 at Harvard Uni-versity proved. According to the study, a molecule that is an active ingredient in red wine can slow the aging of human cells.

Sunridge Park resident, 94-year-old Sydney Boult, who was born in Eng-land, maintains that although he has no particular secret to aging well, besides luck, having a glass or two of wine also did not hurt. The nonagenarian, who will be cel-ebrating his 95th birthday next month said: “I have not done anything spe-cial to live this long. “What possibly could have helped was when I quit smoking [55 years ago] and started going to the gym,” Boult said. Boult often skips having lunch in the communal hall so that he can enjoy a glass of wine with his meal.

Another resident whose room is known as “The Penthouse”, and who also enjoys a glass of wine “every now and then”, is Marjorie Mills, 96. She can often be found in the “Pent-house”, reading a thick book in the morning sun. Admitting that she had “no secret” to living this long, she disclosed that she had smoked in her earlier years. “I smoked many times and gave it up many times,” she said. Not hiding the child in her, Mills playfully added: “I love chocolates, I have no favourite really – I just like them all,” Mills said.

 While both nonagenarians were actively involved with sports during their younger years, Boult still played golf until the age of 90. Due to having gone partially blind, Boult now enjoys the sitting down” exercise classes that Matron Margie Kampman organises for the residents. Resident Sophia Holloway, 97, attri-buted her good health to simply being blessed throughout the years. “I have no secret [to aging this gracefully], I am just blessed. “I have not been sick in my life, no measles, no mumps, and I have not had chicken pox,” she said.

 Holloway, who has the skin of some-one at least 20 years her junior, was an avid tennis and basketball player du-ring her schooling days, and as a child, being one of nine, enjoyed play-ing outside and climbing trees. The former nurse, who was a social smoker and social drinker in her hey-day, said: “I wasn’t particular about my food [choices], we ate what we were given.

“And now it doesn’t worry me to have a drink anymore.” So, going on what these nonagenar-ians say, it is clear that keeping fit and healthy by exercising or playing sport does pay off in the long run. As does having that glass of wine or two.


When the old Esslingen Hotel became our Epworth Close residential home in 1988, accommodating 20 folk on a “full board” basis, MHA received the wonderful donation of a motorized chair lift from a benefactor who no longer had use for it. The equipment was quite old, but serviceable, and has been used at the front stairway ever since.

However, it gradually became unreliable and so, before it became a safety hazard, MHA has replaced it with a brand-new chair lift (complete with a safety belt!), for residents to use and enjoy, when needed.



On 13 April 2016 the Eastern Cape Junior Children’s Choir paid a visit to the Bob Zeiss Bedsitters lounge, to entertain residents of Bedsitters, CP Bradfield Frail Care, and even some from the adjacent Cassia Gardens Village. Family members of some of the entertainers also came along to lend support and enjoy the entertainment.

Those who attended this special occasion were treated to a flute duet, a saxophone rendition, songs performed by the choir, and even a bit of ballet. The visit was over all too soon, but not before the beautifully dressed young entertainers mingled with the oumas and oupas, and even provided “cuddle time” with some teddy bears which they brought with them!


4 April 2016

A beloved resident of Maranatha Frail Care passed away just after Christmas, and her family have subsequently made a generous donation to MHA, in her memory. With the family’s agreement, MHAhave used some of the gift to purchase four smart new wheelchairs, to be used and enjoyed by Maranatha residents.  As the photos show, the new wheelchairs are modern, sturdy, colourful, and bring a smile to the faces of four lucky residents!!


The Fellowship/Caring Group at Cassia Gardens thought that it would be an excellent idea to bring residents of their Village together with residents of  the adjacent Bob Zeiss Bedsitters and CP Bradfield Frail Care, to enjoy companionship and lunch together. This took place on Friday 18 March 2016, in the Bedsitters’ dining room, in the form of a “braai”, and it was a resounding success. The boerewors rolls, salads and pudding were excellent, and there was certainly no shortage of conversation and happy noise amongst over 100 residents who attended.

The communal lunch really reinforced that we need to “be happy, and live for the moment”; getting together with others in a spirit of community  generates happiness, togetherness and gratitude. In this context, this event organized by the wonderful Fellowship/Caring Group at Cassia Gardens was so important and appreciated. Bless you all for your wonderful gesture, and to staff and others for doing “waitress” duty. J


The Fellowship and Caring group at Cassia Gardens organized a wonderful afternoon tea party on Saturday 7 May 2016, to acknowledge all mothers within that village community.

Entertainment was provided by Celeste van der Walt, a well-known local Laughter Therapist, who emphasized the importance and benefits of laughter in our lives.


MHA’s social responsibility initiative, NIKITHEMBA, provides a daily meal and primary care to 60 indigent aged men and women in Gqebera township, adjacent to Walmer, Port Elizabeth. In December 2015 MHA’s caterers, Eastern Province Caterers, generously provided each of the 60 beneficiaries with two large bags containing fruit, vegetables and other useful consumables. 

EPC’sTracy Shaw, together with family members, spent the previous night filling the bags and loading them into a panel van…way beyond the call of duty. Thank you, Tracy and family, thank you Eastern Province caterers!!

The photo shows one of the dedicated carers, Kungeka Mjuza, handing over bags to one of the NIKITHEMBA beneficiaries. Also in the photo are MHA Board members Rev George Irvine and Malcolm Stewart.

The Xhosa word Nikithemba can be translated as “To give hope". EPC’s Christmas gesture certainly delivered on that, and gave 60 old folk lots of joy too!


On Sunday 29 November 2015 the annual MHA Thanksgiving Service took place, this time at the Newton Park Methodist Church. The service was, as always, very well attended by residents, staff and Board members, and was followed by a tea party, which combined as a celebration of Maranatha Village’s 30th anniversary. There were so many blessings to acknowledge and celebrate, and the MHA family did that appropriately, and in grand style!


A wonderful group of learners from Collegiate Girls’ High School pays occasional visits to residents in Maranatha Frail Care home. Dulcie Goby, who lives in one of Maranatha’s step-down studio apartments, is seen here receiving a free manicure!


After having to cope with a small hall for nearly 25 years (it was all that MHA could afford to provide in the early days), the Les Lodge Memorial Hall underwent a major extension and refurbishment. The official opening of the "new" hall took place on 29 January 2015. At the celebratory tea party, Barbara Coleman, the “ enior citizen" of the Village, cut the ribbon to officially open the lovely new facility, complete with new library fittings.


On 6 June 2015, Aldersgate village held a wonderful tea party to honour its nonagenarians (those who have reached their 90s!). Twelve of the fourteen were able to attend, and it was a wonderful time of celebration.

Throughout MHA, we have 74 nonagenarians, and this comprises 14% of total residents. What an advertisement for what MHA has to offer, and for PE’s lovely climate and pace of life!!


In the four years since the latest MHA village was opened, Irvine Villa residents have turned a rather barren development into one of great beauty, full of trees, flowers and shrubs, not only around their own units but at the entrance, on common property, and around the community hall. MHA’s resident gardener at Irvine Villa, Abner, together with residents like the Jacks, Shaws, Callaghans and other green-fingered folk, ensure that Irvine Villa looks wonderful, for all to enjoy!


Thanks to residents Dave and Lin Jack, MHA gardener Abner Montana and others, a beautiful garden has been created at the entrance gate of our newest Village.


On 17 September 2015 Cassians were treated to a grand celebratory lunch at the Buzz Factory restaurant at the nearby Sunridge Village shopping centre. The Centre Management generously sponsored the lunch, and many tenants contributed gifts and prizes. It was a great party!

Cassia Gardens residents Winnie and Lin Sing Min, with General Manager Hein Barnard and Complex Manager Jenny van Niekerk


On 29 August 2015, a croquet team from Cassia Gardens visited Annesley Gardens/Sheariton, for a morning of croquet, followed by tea and eats, and some good old-fashioned fellowship and fun, enjoyed by players and supporters alike! Pictured are Rita Pike and Malcolm Dickerson of Annesley Gardens/Sheariton (in maroon jerseys), with Delene Bouwer and Isobel Williams of Cassia Gardens.

A return match, to be hosted by the Cassians, is scheduled for early 2016.

Norma Saunders(the only original resident still living at Cassia Gardens) with Bob Zeiss.


Otto and Natalie Kiessig joined in the fun at the Spring tea at Maranatha. The colourful wall decorations were made for the occasion by the Frail Care residents.


MHA’s inhouse caterers organize monthly fun at Epworth Close by providing cupcakes which residents then decorate themselves, with confectionery provided. It’s great fun, and the residents then have the bonus of eating their creations!


Gary and Pat Loftie-Eaton of Cassia Gardens are prolific growers of orchids at their cottage. The beautiful blooms give pleasure to many, and the Loftie-Eatons modestly say that the success is in their patio facing just the right way, to get maximum sunlight!

2 September 2015: A Birthday to celebrate! Louise Galpin, who recently moved from Epworth Close to Maranatha Frail Care home, celebrated her 98th birthday in grand style on 2 September 2015

1 September 2015:  Three Wesley Gardens residents turning 90 in 2015 (Nina Campbell, Nick Braithwaite and Jean Tippitt); their "nonagenarian" status was celebrated with a birthday party. 

20 August 2015: Our Village residents embrace the need to conserve water, a costly and often scarce commodity in our Metro.

At Irvine Villa in Charlo, 36% of the residents have already installed water tanks, to provide water for their gardens. Residents Pat and Shirley Callaghan have generously provided a 5000 litre tank, and an electric pump, to provide water for the beautiful gardens which surround the Community Hall there. In addition, the Complex Manager, Fred Marshall, has over 11000 litres of rainwater stored in tanks, to cater for the gardens at the Village’s entrance.

23 October 2014: The History of Methodist Homes book has just been completed!  It is a wonderful publication which covers the history of the organization but also tells the stories of its people. Copies are available to purchase from Head Office.