Ma Petersen celebrates her 100th birthday

Winnifred Petersen celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday January 23. With her are her children, from left, Allen Petersen, Meryl Mentor, Jeffrey Petersen and Darryl Petersen.
Winnifred Petersen is the oldest parishioner of the Athlone Baptist Church, at 100 years old. Here she is with Ursula and Pastor Greg Matthei.

Winnifred Charlotte Petersen celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends on Saturday January 29 at the Athlone Baptist Church hall.

Ma Petersen was born on January 23, 1922, in Observatory. She attributes her long life to “the amazing grace of God”, adding that she will forever be grateful for God’s goodness.

When Ma Petersen was nine years old, she moved to Belgravia Estate to live with her grandmother Cornelia Samuels. She attended the then Independent Primary School in Athlone, and at the age of 14, she started working at Ensign Clothing Factory and later Rex Trueform. At 19, she joined the St John’s Ambulance Society as a first aid volunteer.

In 1946 she married Joseph Petersen. The couple was involved with missionary work for the Mowbray and Bridgetown Presbyterian church, before they joined the Athlone Baptist Church in the early 1970s. Here they served as the Deacon couple for many years, and did outreach ministries in Garden Village. The couple was married for 53 years before Mr Petersen died in 1999.

Pastor Greg Matthei, Ma Petersen’s minister, described her as “an elegant lady that is clothed in dignity and has a very pleasant personality”.

Ma Petersen has four children, 10 grandchildren and 16 great-great grandchildren.