Poinsettia Park resident Rina Collard recently joined the ‘naughty 90s’ club. Rina was spoilt with not one but three separate birthday celebrations over the month to celebrate her big day on 11 October. “My daughter-in-law Kay came down from Johannesburg and decorated the Poinsettia Hall and we had a party after our Wednesday painting session,” she said, with a sparkle in her eye.
“Then my son Derek and my grandsons, who own a pizza oven business, put on a pizza party for my friends and 23 family members at Poinsettia, and finally we had a tea party at my church on Sunday, 21 October. It was absolutely lovely. I was spoilt rotten. It was the best way to spend my birthday, seeing all my family.”
Rina was born to dairy farmers about 80 kilometres from Pietersburg in 1928. Her pregnant mother was transported to Pietersburg on a horse cart when it came time to give birth to a 3.5 pound (1.59kg) Rina. “They didn’t think I would make it, so I was quickly christened. But 90 years later, I’m still here,” she joked.
Rina is the last living family member of two brothers and a sister. She attended farm school and then boarding school at Hildeberg College in Somerset West, where she only went home every nine months.
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After school she was a secretary in Johannesburg where she met and married her first husband Hans Christian van Dyke in 1949. He died in 1956. She married Marcel Collard five years later and they had two children – Anita Howes (66), who lives in the UK, and Derek (64), who is in Johannesburg. She has four grandsons Dylan (39), Jonty (37), Byron (34) and Devon (30).
Rina retired in 1978, followed shortly by Marcel, which led to them moving to Toti in 1980. “I’ve been happy here ever since. I’ve lived at Poinsettia for 22 years and I love it here. When we moved in, there were only 11 of the new cottages built.”
The Collards did a lot of travelling all around the world before sadly, Marcel died nine years ago. Rina keeps herself busy and healthy with aerobics and walking, and is a brilliant artist who used to be a member of the Upper South Coast Art Association. Her works are displayed in Canada, America and the UK. “I try to eat properly and never drink or smoke. I can’t believe I’ve reached 90 – time has gone so fast.”
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