Beryl O’Donnell lists her 63-year marriage to Michael, her three daughters and her considerable sporting achievements as the highlights of her life.
The avid bridge player and teacher celebrated her 90th birthday on January 19, 2020, at an afternoon team in the company of loved ones and friends.
Beryl is a resident of Rand Aid’s Inyoni Creek retirement village and the tea took place in the village’s waterfront clubhouse.
Born in Johannesburg in 1930, she spent most of her adult life in the city. When Michael sold his business, they relocated to Knysna. However, Beryl returned to Gauteng after Michael passed away and took up residence in Inyoni Creek. “I am very fortunate to have all three of my daughters living in Johannesburg and I wanted to be closer to them,” she says.
Beryl worked as a conveyancer for a group of attorneys but when Jenny, Shaddon and Susan were born, she decided to stay at home to care for them.
Always sporty, Beryl played first league tennis, played golf in the silver division and was a champion bowler for Jeppe Quondam, becoming Southern Transvaal champion. “I am also a very keen bridge player and give bridge lessons to residents at Inyoni Creek.”
Community work also occupied Beryl’s time. “In my younger days I worked a lot with the elderly, going to various homes and getting involved where I could.”
She has five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.