100 years and counting

There was frivolity and laughter at the St James Retirement Hotel on Friday 31 August when Johanna Theunissen, also known as “Bokkie” to her family, celebrated her 100th birthday with cake and bubbly.

She was born Johanna Auret in 1918 to a family very involved in fishing at the time. She grew up mainly with her grandparents who owned a hotel in Muizenberg and tells fascinating stories of the Deep South beaches and Kalk Bay Harbour, which were the stomping grounds of the happy band of children who frequented them together. The family relocated to Diep River where Johanna, or Joanie as her grandparents called her, attended school.

She married Pieter Theunissen, a bank manager from Stellenbosch. They made their home in Lakeside and had three children, two daughters and a son. In his later years, Pieter was the curator of the Military Museum.

Theunissen was a homemaker and an excellent seamstress. She volunteered at the West Lake TB Hospital and worked for Warner Lambert for many years after her children were grown.

She has nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

To echo her family “Cheers Bokkie” – you are truly a grande dame of the Deep South!