She’ll be 100 soon: Birthday girl Mabel gets up and Dances

Mabel Simpson turns 100 on 16 December. Photos:

Mabel Simpson turns 100 on 16 December.

What do you do when you’re turning 100 in a few days’ time? That’s a no-brainer if you’re Mabel Simpson of Melkbosstrand. You keep on trucking. That’s all. And so Mabel, who is still turned out as smartly as when she was a young woman with a penchant for stilettos and tailored dresses continues to dress up, read the newspaper without glasses, watch telly, and dance.

She danced at this morning’s meeting of the church group where she was the guest of honour. It was a musical event with a boereorkes and the singers Wynand and Cheree Strydom performing.

While the accordion played Mabel took to the floor with her 78-year-old son Niel. The tall man held a protective arm around her, and she held on to his waist tightly while she followed the beat and twirled.

Mabel dances with her son Niel. Her daughter Emmerencia is on the right.

Mabel dances with her son Niel. Her daughter Emmerencia is on the right.

Mabel’s life has been linked closely with that of the local NG church. The latter got off to a rocky start 34 years ago. The congregation wanted to build a church but the amount of R1.5-R2 million that the builders quoted was simply too steep. It was at this point that Mabel’s husband Willa urged the congregation to take ownership of the project “and become builder-owners.” The congregation ended up involving itself with the practical details and the church was eventually built for only R400 000!

Mabel threw her weight behind the project. She not only baked rusks to raise funds; over weekends she would swop her smart dresses for an overall and help Willa paint the church.

Reverend de Villiers paid homage to Mabel and other centenarians. “You teach me that there’s no need to be afraid of getting old.”

mabel-dances-4To punctuate his comment he told a story about a new preacher who visited a woman on her 100th birthday. Blundering along he stated that he hoped that they would be able to celebrate her birthday the following year – upon which she asked him with concern: “Dominee, do you have a premonition that you are going to die?!”

Mabel Simpson turns 100 on 16 December. She lives with her daughter Emmerencia and her son-in-law Hennie in the heart of the village.



Do you want to get the latest news from Enter your email address and click subscribe.