Eastridge great-great-grandmother turns 90

Amy Elizabeth Gallant, from Eastridge celebrates her 90th birthday.

An Eastridge nonagenarian has outlived three of her grandchildren, one of whom died during the national Covid-19 lockdown.

Amy Elizabeth Gallant celebrated her 90th birthday yesterday, Tuesday May 24.

She thanked God for sparing her all of these years and said the secret to longevity was to look after oneself.

Ms Gallant said the youth should stop abusing drugs.

“Look after yourselves. Do not drink strong alcohol and thank God every morning for sparing you through the night. I am only here by the grace of God,” she said.

Ms Gallant said her mother was sickly and being the eldest child with three brothers, she had to leave school and go into “service” to clean house for a Jewish family at age 12.

“I had to work because we had no income,” she said.

She stopped working when she had her first son and returned about seven-years later to support her four children.

Ms Galant had seven grandchildren, three of whom died in the last 15 years, including her grandson, 24, who died in hospital after being stabbed and a granddaughter, 38, who had a fatal asthma attack.

She has six great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Ms Gallant was born in Bo-kaap and moved to Lansdowne when she got married, then to Athlone and settled in Eastridge about 40 years ago.

She stopped working after she slipped on a banana peel on Cape Town train station at age 51. She has had a knee replacement.

Her youngest daughter Gail Paulsen, 56, said her mother deserved to be honoured because Ms Gallant raised four children alone after their dad left about a week after her birth.

Ms Paulsen said the last two years have been particularly hard on her mother whose granddaughter, 24, and her daughter died in hospital in August 2020.

“We could not visit her and she was so young.

“My mother kept asking why her and not me. ‘I’ve lived my life,” she said.

Ms Gallant walks to Beacon Valley Baptist Church every Sunday and attends weekly Silverthreads Seniors’ club meetings at Town Centre library.

She toured the country with the seniors’ club and enjoyed her first flight about five years ago with the church.

She needs some help moving around and is a bit hard of hearing but enjoys good health and loves going out.

Ms Gallant enjoys knitting and beading.

She will be celebrating her birthday with family and friends at the weekend.