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.


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.

© Methodist Homes Port Elizabeth 2016, Photographic copyright © Colin Urquhart, Karl du Preez, FLIPmedia