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Create ‘balance to live a long life’ - Daphne (100)

Hard work and get a good rest.

This balance is key to living a long and happy life, says Daphne Petersen.

And she should know, as she’s just turned 100 years old.

“The youth need to rest more. We needed to be at home at 21:00 and these days the fun starts for them at 21:00.”

Daphne, who lives in Glenhaven, was born on 15 February 1920 in Knysna – which she lovingly calls “the most beautiful place on earth”.

A total of 90 family members from all over the world celebrated “Aunty Daphne” or “Ma Petersen’s” birthday at Settlers High School in Bellville.

Daphne was born the second of 10 children, of which two died in infancy. Her sisters, Elize and Ilse, are still alive.

Her father, John Meyer, was a stonemason in Knysna and helped build the castle at Noetzie.

Daphne attended Zonnebloem College and in 1938 became a teacher in George. It was here that she fell in love with her future husband, the principal, Archibald “Archie” Petersen. They got married in 1940.

Archie was soon drafted to World War II and Daphne was left to look after her growing family until he returned. The couple had five children, Valerie Martin (78), Cheryl Davids (70) and Chris (66).

Two others, Llewellyn and Alice, died in infancy.

Upon his return, Archie started studying at the University of Cape Town and Daphne supported the family with her salary as a teacher.

She says this time was difficult as preference was given to unmarried teachers.

She would hold a job for a few months and would then need to find another one as an unmarried teacher applied to her school.

After Archie passed away in 1980, Daphne moved to Glenhaven where she still lives today.

She says she likes cooking and reading, but can’t concentrate for too long.

These days Daphne has five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, who are scattered over the world.

Her son, Chris, says Daphne is “loving and caring to the point of self-denial.

She works hard even when dead tired, is witty and never gets angry.”

Councillor Mercia Kleinsmith also paid a visit to Daphne, along with community activist Dha’kir Christians.

“I’m honoured to say we have our second resident who is 100 years young,” says Kleinsmith. In May 2019 a resident in Labiance also celebrated her 100th birthday.

“I wish (Daphne) a happy birthday and hope for many healthy years.”

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