Neighbours care for 90-year-old

Orpah Hartzenberg celebrated her 90th birthday with family and friends on Friday March 2. Pictured with her are, from left, her nephew Eben Hartzenberg, niece Evangeline Hartzenberg, and Ebens wife, Bridgette Hartzenberg.

Orpah Hartzenberg’s 90th birthday was more than just a family affair – thanks to her kind-hearted neighbours, this was a day that will be etched in her memory.

On Friday March 2, Ms Hartzenberg’s neighbours in Carrington Road, Athlone, arranged a birthday party for her.

Sisters Mary Harris and Caroline Buys, who are friends of the Hartzenberg family, also work on a shift basis to care for her.

Ms Hartzenberg is originally from McGregor, and moved with her parents and five siblings to Athlone when she was just 12 years old. She is the last surviving member of her immediate family. Her twin sister, Deborah Moodley, died two years ago from complications relating to breast cancer.

Both Ms Hartzenberg and her twin sister worked at a shoe factory until their retirement, she said.

And although she walks with an aid, Ms Hartzenberg said her health could not be better.

“God is truly good to me. My health has been good so far. It is only by God’s grace that I could live to see 90 years. I’ve got very good friends. I cannot complain. My relatives also make me feel special. I was never married and never had children. I am very happy living here,” Ms Hartzenberg said.

Ms Buys said she enjoys caring for Ms Hartzenberg.

“I was a nurse for 30 years. I love old people. I didn’t have the opportunity to do this for my mother, and I feel happy to be here for her.”

According to neighbour, Neville Harris, Ms Hartzenberg is the oldest resident in their road.