If you ask Isobel Peddie for the secret behind her longevity – she turned 92 on October 11, she’ll tell you it’s her evening whiskey and lunchtime beer!
Described by her daughter Lynda Paige as very positive and full of fun, Isobel – who still drives – has lived at Rand Aid’s Elphin Lodge village for over 20 years and is a much loved part of the community.
She has always been a happy participant in all village events and is admired for the work she does to ensure the premature babies at the Rahima Moosa Maternity Hospital in Johannesburg are warmly clothed. Although Isabel no longer knits herself, she has a crew of ladies who, over many years, has knitted hundreds of blankets, beanies, booties, vests and dolls. These tiny garments have played a big part in keeping the babies snug.
Retired chief paediatrician at the hospital, Professor Keith Bolton, met Isobel years ago through their church – Aldersgate Methodist in Glenhazel. One Sunday, he appealed to the church ladies to help knit clothing for the hospital’s prem babies and the rest, as they say, is history.
Isobel worked as a primary school secretary at Fairways Primary in Sandton. Her first husband died when she was 69, in 1997, and she remarried at age 74. Her second husband passed away in 2009.
“She’s always been a regular member of the Women’s Auxiliary at her church,” says Lynda. “She’s extremely sociable and loved going out for lunch with friends. Unfortunately, most of her friends have passed on but she still goes on trips with a pensioner group. Her favourite destination is Madikwe in the North West, near the Botswana border. She’s passionate about wildlife – especially fish eagles.”
Isobel has three children, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. “We’re a very close family and we meet every Saturday morning,” says Lynda.