10 Oct 2019

On Sunday 29 September 2019 Holly Holloway celebrated her 100th birthday!! Holly was one of the first residents in our Bob Zeiss Bedsitter block; she moved there in March 1998. Happy birthday, and congratulations, Holly!!

PS: Sadly, Holly passed away on Sunday 13 October, just a fortnight after turning 100. She died peacefully in her sleep.

9 October 2019

A decision was taken in April 1988 to convert the old double-storeyed Maranatha homestead into a frail care facility. A lift was installed in October 1988, and the centre was officially opened in August 1991.

The space available to install a lift was very limited, but it served its purpose until recently, when it began to give problems. For safety reasons, it needed to be replaced, and it had served its purpose for 30 years.

The shiny new lift, which cost R800000, is now in place, and has made a significant difference to residents, staff and visitors needing to go between the ground floor and the first floor.


7 May 2019

We are blessed with having some really talented artists in our midst; Beryl Watkiss and Neil Frames, both now resident in CP Bradfield Frail Care, have produced wonderful work, and some examples adorn the walls at Cragg House (our Head Office) and in Maranatha’s community hall. There are others, too, who have shared their wonderful artistic talents.

We can now proudly add Jean Ender to our brag sheet! Jean moved to Cassia Gardens eight months’ ago, and she has recently held an exhibition (and not her first, either!) at Art-on-main in the Moffett On Main shopping centre.

Jean had artists among her relatives, but she only took up painting when she turned sixty. She concentrates on oils, and chooses the African bushveld as her favourite subject matter.

Congratulations, Jean; you produce beautiful pieces of art!

(with thanks to Tony Mannering of Cassia Gardens for this material)


9 May 2019

Every year residents at Cassia Gardens collect Easter eggs for the children attending the nearby Sunridge Pre-Primary School; this is a reciprocal gesture for the flowers lovingly received from the children when they visit the Village every Valentine's day. 

Easter eggs were also given to residents of CP Bradfield Frail Care and the Bob Zeiss Bedsitters. In addition, this year the big-hearted Cassians also handed Easter eggs to the children at Little Dolphin Play Centre, across the road from Sunridge Pre-Primary.

Chocolate, like Easter eggs, brings people together, spreads joy, and has many health benefits (a medical fact!). A wise person said this: "As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time for chocolate: any month whose name contains the letter A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate!" 

An equally wise person (also a woman, by the way!) said: "There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate"!!  Enjoy these lovely Autumn days, in the company of a new or old friend——and some chocolate!

(with thanks to Tony Mannering of Cassia Gardens for the photographs, and reporting of the event)


1 November 2018 

On the afternoon of the 14th September the residents of AG&S were invited to welcome Spring with a Tea Party and a Talent Show in which we Celebrated Creativity.

 The following photographs attempt to do justice to the truly amazing display of arts, crafts, hobbies and interests of our villagers. These ranged from needlework of all kinds through wood-art, model ships, trains and planes, home-made cakes and pickles, cuddly toys, jerseys, beanies and blankets, jewellery and paintings. Oh what paintings!! Big ones and small ones, seascapes, landscapes, still life and people.

Then came the tea and the chatter and a sense of admiration and pride for those who exhibited [after all these are OUR people]. Together with this perhaps a new resolve to have another go at long abandoned projects that were once going to shake the art world.

Of one thing we are certain; we are very proud of the organisers and the contributors to this event;  watch this space until next year!!  

 (Article by Rev Robin Wright; photographs via Robin Wright and Henk Havenga, with grateful thanks)


9 May 2019

A few Spotted Eagle Owls are regular visitors at Aldersgate in Greenshields Park, and some have even taken up semi residence in the Village. They roost during the day, and they hunt at night!

Colin and Lynette Urquhart, Aldersgate residents and seriously talented birders, hear the owls on the odd occasion late at night, calling to one another; they (the owls, not the Urquharts!) are hard to find unless they are standing out against the night sky.  The owls are to be seen on the ground, in a tree or on a roof.

Apparently the owls like to hunt in Aldersgate due to the street lighting and the constant supply of moles, pigeons, doves and maybe even rats. Some residents put out grain for the Feral and Speckled Pigeons and Laughing and Redeyed Doves; this in turn may lead to excess seed being available to birds and any other creatures from the adjacent Moffett on Main shopping centre or in the surrounding fields.

It’s good to know these graceful owls still manage to survive in such a built-up area crawling with so many cars and humanity. 

(with grateful thanks to the Urquharts for their contribution)


 15 August 2018

It had been a dream for a long time to have a short-stay facility, outside of our Frail Care offering, to accommodate residents who need a safe place to recover from illness, injury or surgery.

We are now blessed to have a dedicated Recovery Room, situated on the ground floor of Epworth Close in Central. It is appropriate that MHA has acknowledged the sterling and unselfish work done by Hilton and Val Carr, by naming the room after them. Hilton was involved in MHA virtually from the outset, and more so when he retired from business in 1986. Ably supported by Val, Hilton saw many MHA projects through to fruition, one being the conversion of the Esslingen Residential Hotel into Epworth Close in 1988, thirty years ago. Hilton also served as MHA’s first salaried Manager (while Val remained his unpaid assistant!).

Naming the facility in honour of Hilton and Val is a small but significant way in which we remember their wonderful service, and their commitment to the growth of MHA in the early days.

The photographs show Hilton and Val at the door of the Recovery Room, and of their experiencing the new chair lift which carries residents, needing the device, between the ground and first floors of Epworth Close.


Wesley Gardens residents, with Di Gibson being the driving force, knitted over 130 beanies which will be distributed to needy folk via some charities. What a lovely gesture, to help some of those less fortunate to fight off the winter chill.  

 Some lucky Cassia Gardens residents were given a manicure treat by trainee staff from Total Concept. This was a gesture on the part of the aspirant beauticians, as part of their commitment to do good on Madiba’s birthday.


11 June 2018

The team, which gathered for a meeting on 8 June 2018, paused for a photo opportunity.

Seen in the photo are:

Back: Gavin Parker (Annesley Gardens/Sheariton), George Bezuidenhout (Maintenance Manager), Jannie Bosch (Aldersgate), Susan Bosch (Aldersgate), Jacques McLeod (Maintenance), Nelmari Windell (Maranatha Frail Care), Sanet Marx (Nursing Services Manager/CP Bradfield) 

Front: Gillian le Roux (Professional Nurse/Counsellor), Noluthando Khunjuzwa (Head Office), Henry Thysse (Maranatha Village), Sandra Cornwell (Head Office), Jenny van Niekerk (Cassia Gardens), Lynné Smitsdorff (Wesley Gardens), Fred Marshall (Irvine Villa)

Absent: Hein Barnard (taking the photo!), Bukelwa Gongxeka (Head Office), Roslyn Rose (Bob Zeiss Bedsitters) and Charmaine Swart (Epworth Close)

 MHA, and the residents, are blessed to have such a wonderful, talented and caring team!


11 June 2018

In terms of its impact on the citizens of our Metro, during a past period of turmoil and change, the story of Urban Villages is a fascinating one, and is comprehensively recorded in the "Driving Change" chapter in MHA's history book. As a consequence of Urban Villages’ decision to wind up their business, our organization was richly blessed as being identified as the beneficiary of their assets. It has taken thirteen years to finally wind up the business (the reasons could fill this whole Newsletter, so you will be spared the detail!), but it has finally happened, and so we can now write the "final chapter" of this wonderful story of generosity and good fortune. The final value of the gift from Urban Villages to MHA is around R3.9 million--significant by any standards--and can be summarized as follows:

 Earlier developments

  •  A piece of land in Charlo, upon which Irvine Villa was built in 2011
  •  A small erf in Charlo, not suitable for our needs, was sold
  •  36 residential erven in Bethelsdorp were sold to a developer
  •  One large erf in Bethelsdorp was invaded by squatters, and MHA donated that land to a Community Trust, rather than attempt to reclaim it
  •  Two large erven in Sherwood, not suitable for development of another MHA village, were sold to a developer

The Final Chapter

  • A piece of land in KwaDwesi had a pre-school built on the site, without the knowledge of Urban Villages or MHA. Rather than reclaim the land (which would have led to the school being demolished), MHA decided to donate the land to the school, which is now registered as a NPO. This necessitated a long and costly legal process, paid for by MHA, but is now finalized
  • After all winding-up costs were paid, a considerable amount of cash formed the balance of the assets received.


Now that the final chapter has been reached, the MHA Board and Management team are in the process of deciding how best to use the funds received from Urban Villages. While this can be considered as work in progress, one thing is certain; the gifts received will be used in such a way that MHA will create a lasting legacy to acknowledge and salute the huge generosity bestowed upon our organization by those who were left to close Urban Villages.

 Thabong Pre-school (exterior and interior)

Celebrating the transfer of assets (L to R) Malcolm Stewart (MHA Director), Rod Philip (Urban Villages representative) and Hein Barnard (MHA General Manager)


11 Jun 2018

 Every year, 20 million tons of garbage is added to our oceans, 80% of it from mainland waste. That’s like dumping over 710,000 Boeing 737 airplanes into the ocean…..each year! Within a South African context, we generated approximately 108 million tons of waste in 2011 (the latest available figures), of which 98 million tons was disposed of at landfill sites. In the order of 59 million

tons was general waste, 48 million tons was currently unclassified waste, and the remaining 1 million tons hazardous waste. Approximately 10% of all waste generated in South Africa was recycled in 2011. In the past 7 years these 2011 figures will have grown exponentially.

 The war on waste is picking up momentum globally, but there is still a huge amount of work to be done (education, discipline, penalties), if we are to avoid an ecological tragedy. Scientists predict that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. When will the world’s population start taking this seriously? Is anyone really paying attention?

 For many years now, MHA’s Aldersgate village in Greenshields Park has been taking waste management and recycling seriously. According to John Wilmot (pictured), an Aldersgate resident who drives their recycling initiative: “Last year we avoided 6.4 tons of landfill, by recycling roughly 2.8 tons of paper and 2.1 tons of glass bottles. The primary function of the  project at Aldersgate is recycling to avoid pollution, as the R723 which we received from commercial recyclers last year is handy for our village’s ‘social kitty’, but does not make economic sense labour-wise”.

 MHA applauds the efforts of John and his fellow residents, as well as those in other MHA villages who take recycling seriously. Every bit helps the planet, helps manage our local landfill sites, helps with educating others about this vital habit, and the R723 will help put a lot of free beers and snacks on the table at the next Aldersgate party!


29 May 2018

On 25 May 2018 a wonderful tea party was held in the Bob Zeiss Besditters lounge, to celebrate life with many of our nonagenarians from CP Bradfield frail care, the Bedsitters and adjacent Cassia Gardens. A string quartet from Alexander Road High School entertained with beautiful sounds, after which everyone present tucked into scrumptious snacks (generously provided by our friends at Sunridge Superspar) and tea.

To qualify for “nonagenarian” status one has to have lived for at least 32850 days----what a long life, and what an achievement. MHA is blessed to have so many nonagenarians in our midst (and there are many more, in our other villages!).

Our nonagenarians from Cassia Gardens

Our nonagenarians from CP Bradfield Frail Care

Our nonagenarians from Bob Zeiss Bedsitters


11 May 2018

Neil Frames, a former resident at Maranatha Village and now a resident at CP Bradfield Frail Care, was spotted on Wednesday 9 May waiting to be picked up by an old school friend, to go to one of their 70th anniversary Old Grey Reunion functions.

Neil matriculated at Grey in 1948, and he is proud to be old, grey and an "Old Grey”! Among Neil's any creative talents are his musical and artistic skills; he loves playing the piano in the Bob Zeiss Bedsitter lounge, and some of his artworks adorn the walls of the community hall at Maranatha Village. The ever cheerful Neil adds brightness to everyone's day.


5 May 2018

On  5 May 2018 Beulah Kruger of Aldersgate village celebrated her 90th birthday. Congratulations, Beulah! On her special day she had an "open house", for residents and friends to pop in to wish her happy birthday. Many residents had not seen her outstanding display of teaspoons, collected over many years, and each one has a special memory.

Two of Beulah's four daughters, Evelyn and Colleen, were able to be with her to celebrate her birthday.

(with thanks to John Wilmot/Aldersgate for the article and photograph)


The ‘Flying Fox of Aldersgate’ has taken to the skies again - and although very nervous he was happy to pay the ‘bill’ once his paws were firmly back on the ground.

In yet another foxy move by Billy Wilson Fox, 80, a long-time resident of the village, he trotted off to Mossel Bay with his daughter Carla, this time to sky-dive while his daughter rode horses.

This was not Bill’s first flight of fancy. In recent years Bill has gone hot air ballooning (in Australia), zip-lined in the Tsitsikamma, taken a trip in a glider and more recently (in March last year) para-glided, in tandem, off a high hill near the Wilderness.

Seeking yet another exhilarating experience he nervously booked a sky dive for July but had to cancel it when he was grounded with a bad bout of flu. Upon recovery he rebooked for November but again was grounded at short notice when he had to undergo a four-way heart bypass. His doctor promised him he would have him back playing his favourite game, tennis, by February 2018.

Bill was not going to let an op stop him in his tracks and soon thereafter every morning and evening he was sighted trotting around Aldersgate, getting his exercise.

He rebooked for March, knowing that his daughter Carla would be arriving from Australia. Shortly after her arrival Bill, wife Pam and Carla drove to Mossel Bay and booked B&B on a horse farm.

After a thorough briefing from his instructor, ‘Mr G’, Bill took to the bright blue skies in a very small, light, high-winged single prop plane on a near perfect day to jump.

He said they were the only passengers in a rather cramped cockpit; in fact so cramped, he said, he had to sit strapped to his instructor, on his legs.

When the plane was two miles (about three kilometres) up he, as instructed, hung his legs out the open door. Bill admits ‘I was very nervous and the tension was running high’. Down far below he could see the distant land mass.

Then came the order to jump. Immediately they left the plane he found himself turned upside-down due to the severe turbulence, with a great G force distorting his cheeks. ‘We remained that way until the drone parachute was deployed to stabilize us. I will admit that was one of the scariest moments of my life’.

Bill said they free-fell for about half the distance, reaching a speed, according to his instructor, of 220km per hour. Once the main chute deployed they began to drift gently to the ground, all the while, in the silence of the moment, surveying the 360° view while Mr G occasionally pointed out a few local features.

Coming in to land at ‘quite a pace’, he followed the instruction to pull hard on his leg straps to rise. They hit the ground softer than he had imagined they would, and walked away unhurt but feeling hugely exhilarated.

In fact so exhilarated he now wants to try a sky-dive somewhere in the Drakensberg.

But the Flying Fox’s vixen Pam, greatly relieved once he was safely back on terra firma, now wants him to keep his paws firmly on the ground!

(article submitted by fellow resident Colin Urquhart)


On 9 June a tea party was held in the Aldersgate hall, to honour the ten nonagenarians who live there. There were lovely tasty treats, tea and coffee to enjoy, and a pianist provided happy background music, and she also got a few "sing-alongs" going!

From left to right:  Back row:  Maureen Rothman, Betty Gibson, Joan Meek, Vera Stones.

Front row:  Beulah Kruger, Jock Noades, Wendy McCleland, Kay Bekker (Laura Arnold left before the photo was taken, and Noreen Currie was absent)


At the end of May 2018 our long time MHA care worker Queeneth Njongi was transferred from Aldersgate to work at C P Bradfield frail care.

Queeneth, who began her career at Epworth Close way back in August 1995, was transferred to the new village of Aldersgate a year later, and she became a most valuable member of that community.

Although she will be sorely missed by many of her ‘patients’ who she has assisted at Aldersgate, she will be a very welcome addition to the CPB frail care team.

Queeneth told residents gathered at her farewell that she will always remember their kindness and generosity when her house burnt down in November 2014. They collected not only money but many household items to help her overcome her loss.

According to those helped by Queeneth, who is a mother of one and a grandmother of one, she always arrived and left with a smile and will certainly be missed.

Complex Manager Susan Bosch, at the farewell, described Queenneth as a ‘very stong woman’ and a very compassionate person who takes great pride in her calling.

The MHA family salutes you, Queeneth, and wishes you well as you take up your new roles and challenges at CPB.

Queeneth with some of the residents she helped in their time of need.


MHA continues to focus on the upliftment of all of our staff, and two of the key drivers are education and training. It is most encouraging when an employee takes the initiative in this regard.

Theodora Bawo, a care worker at our CP Bradfield frail care,  attended a Basic Life Support and First Aid Procedure course in April, offered by Relay Emergency Services.  She paid for this herself, and attended in her off days. Theodora enjoyed the course, and found the dressing and wound care training most valuable. She wishes that all care workers could attend this course. 

Here is more good news: MHA is reimbursing Theodora with the cost of the course, and is considering exposing other staff to the course, as part of our commitment to provide staff training and skills development.

(Pictured is the instructor, Sulayman Luyt,  handing over her certificate to Theodora at CP Bradfield)