Joyce Swingburn was surrounded by her loved ones last Sunday as she celebrated her 100th birthday at Thistlewoods in Gonubie. Swingburn reached a century on November 26.
“I grew up on a farm and we didn’t have everything, that is why today we had umphoko for lunch, because it was one of my favourite meals growing up,” said Swingburn.
“We used to go fishing in the river and play tennis after school. The school was based on another farm which was a long distance away, but we enjoyed taking those long walks to school. We would also go up to the Drakensbeurg Mountains to camp,” Swingburn said, reminiscing on her fondest memories.
She said her hobbies include knitting, sewing, gardening and reading.
“I just knitted a big jersey for my grandson who’s from Australia. He’s quite a big man. I love reading – I read five books a week from the library.”
Swingburn said that her secret to living up to 100 was her positive attitude a healthy lifestyle.
“I’m not the one someone who that gets down in the dumps. I don’t let myself get depressed. I guess one has to have a bright outlook in life. I don’t overeat, I only have three meals a day. I also do my exercises which help me quite a lot.” she said.
Swingburn served in the British Royal Airforce in World War 2 as a Morse code operator. She has three children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
“Our mother is very patient and positive. She was the matriarch in the family. Our dad was strict, but she was the calm one, the voice of reason. She spoilt us rotten, especially our sister, as she is the only girl. We have been very privileged to still have her around and we are already talking about her 110th birthday,” said one of her sons, Derek Swingburn.