100-year-old from Ewell celebrates milestone birthday
A 100-year-old who left South Africa for a better life in Britain celebrated reaching her milestone birthday on Monday, July 9.
Friends and family threw a party for Beatrice Ernstzen on Sunday at St John’s Church in Stoneleigh, which she attends every week.
Beatrice, who was born in Cape Town, has lived with her daughter, Elaine Knight, in Ewell since 1981, having moved to Britain in 1961 for a new life.
The grandmother of four and great grandmother of seven, spent her first 10 years in the country working as a cook in the staff dining room at a small Sainsbury’s in Streatham.
She married her late husband James Ernstzen in July 1941 and had their children, Elaine, Brenda Kitchingham and Joy Lowther in South Africa, where she lived as a housewife with a maid.
The pair had met when Beatrice visited James, who owned a tailoring business, to get a suit made for the girls’ brigade.
Mrs Knight said: "She is very lively and has all her marbles - too many if you ask me. She’s got a great sense of humour and is always happy.
"She says she’s had a fantastic life. She has always been looked after - my dad looked after her and she has been with me and my husband for 40 years now. She’s not had anything to worry about.
"Mum’s mentally active - she loves sport and watches it on TV and she reads the newspaper from beginning to end every day.
"She has found a better life here."