On October 16, 1923, The Walt Disney Company was started, and John Harwood applied for a patent for his self-winding watch. It was also the day that Joyce Lockhart (née Sheffield) was born in Sea Point, Cape Town.
One hundred years later, Disney movies are still going strong, smart watches track your fitness and allow you to make calls, and Joyce is celebrating her centenary.
Although she has a carer who works five-and-a-half days a week, Joyce still lives in her own cottage at Elphin Lodge retirement village in Lyndhurst. She remains active in the village church and does the odd chore when needed.
Elphin Lodge was started by Rand Aid Association 33 years ago and within a year, in 1991, Joyce and husband Kenneth Wilson Lockhart moved into the village. Although Kenneth passed away 17 years ago, Joyce still lives in the same home.
Her three daughters – Barbara, Pamela and Myrtle – held an open house on Sunday for Joyce’s many friends to come break bread and wish her a happy 100th birthday. Among the well wishers were her sons-in-law, four of her five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, plus their families.
Daughter Barbara says that her mom has mostly lived in housing estates – like Elphin Lodge – having grown up on Eskom residential developments. Her father and later her husband both worked for Eskom.
Living in such close-knit communities, with regular socials and sporting events, Joyce learnt the value of neighbours, kindness and consideration.
After finishing school in Vereeniging, she worked as a secretary for Stewarts and Lloyds in the town until 1945, when she married Kenneth, who was a mechanical engineer at Klip Power Station. Barbara laughingly shares that as a young wife, Joyce could not cook, and Kenneth had to teach her.
“She worked as a ‘full-time mom’, sewing, knitting, cooking and ferrying us around. When we got older, both our parents served on various school and community committees, which continued when they moved to Elphin, when the village was still establishing itself.”
Before retiring to Elphin, the couple settled in Kensington. They travelled locally and abroad and Joyce served as chairperson for the Anglican Women’s Fellowship and was active in the Mothers’ Union.
They celebrated many milestones in the village, including 70th, 80th, and 90th birthday and their 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries.
“Both my parents loved the security offered at Elphin, their cottage’s lovely location and the peace of mind of 24-hour care, should it be needed.”