90 years old and still dancing

Daphne Sables, from Portland, celebrated her 90th birthday on Tuesday November 1

The spritely nonagenarian, who was born in District Six in 1926 and baptised at St Mark’s Church, said she has lived a full life and she is ready when God wants to fetch her.

Ms Sables is the second eldest of 11 children, of whom five are still alive. Her eldest sister is 92.

Ms Sables got married to Joseph Richard Sables at St Luke’s Church, in Salt River on February 26, 1949.

Mr Sables learned to ballroom dance in Goldsmith Road, which later became the couple’s home. Ms Sables learned to dance from her husband and today she still enjoys moving to the music.

The couple had eight children, one of whom – Gavin – was born with cerebral palsy and died at the age of 19.

In 1980, Mr Sables died of a heart attack at the age of 52.

The family moved to their single-storey Eastridge council house after they could no longer carry Gavin up and down the stairs of their Salt River maisonette, but shortly after Gavin died, Ms Sables moved to Rainbow Lane Pensioners cottage, in Silvertown, where she lived independently for 20 years.

She has been living in Portland with her daughter Maureen Sables for the past six years.

Ms Sables is a life member of the Mothers’ Union, an international Christian charity seeking to support families worldwide.

“We use to visit the sick, help the bereaved, feed the hungry and look after the elderly and children,” she said.

Ms Sables goes to St Luke’s church about twice a month and regularly attends social gatherings.

Every other Sunday she attends Christ the Mediator Anglican Church, in Portland.

She is also a member of Club 60 Seniors’ Club, with whom she has travelled to Durban, Johannesburg, Montague Springs, Goudini Springs and Robben Island; and participated in sports events.

While she no longer dances as frequently as she would like to because age is catching up with her and her body becoming frail, she is still young at heart, has an active mind and enjoys playing the computer game “Detectives”.

She also enjoys crocheting while watching television, and has crocheted blankets for each of her granddaughters.

She has 18 grandchildren in total.

Asked for a word of wisdom for the younger generation, she advised young people to respect their parents.

“They must live their lives. Honour their mother and their father, be obedient to their parents because that is why I have achieved what I have today,” she said.

Ms Sables reiterated what the pastor said when she went for her birthday blessing: “He said those who have aged must look at the future.

“I thank God for my health and strength. Wealth doesn’t mean anything. I love to have my children, my grandchildren and family around me,” she said.