Ricochet News

Bay’s Senior Citizens honoured at colourful ceremony

Bay’s Senior Citizens honoured at colourful ceremony

In its fifth year, the prestigious Nelson Mandela Bay Senior Citizen of the Year Award is an annual event aimed at promoting active-aging for senior members of the community and recognizing and honouring the efforts of those seniors, who have dedicated their efforts to bettering their communities.

This year’s awards ceremony took place on Saturday, to coincide with the International Day of the Elderly.

Attending this prestigious event was Tannie Nellie Williams, who has turned 102 years-old this year, and Oom Jan Steenberg, who will be turning 112 years-old in December.

The awards were split into two age categories; Age 70-79 and Age 80-89, with three finalists in each category. There was also a 90 years+ category, but no winners had been selected as the committee believed that being that age is a reward within itself, so all the nominees received prizes.

The three finalists in the 70-79 year-old category were Mary-Jane Bonga (73), Mogan Segadavan (71) and Sarel Broodryk (70), with Mogan Segadavan winning the award.

Mogan runs various marathons, has donated 99 units of blood and has been a teacher for more than 40 years. He has also been a negotiator and host at various soccer tournaments from 1975 till 2000. Mogan and his family sponsored two orphaned boys, who reside in a care facility in Shaudeville.

He also does work at the Malabar Home for the Aged, where he chairs a Board.

Together with his wife, they make food donations every month for over 20 of the lowest paid people at a manufacturing company. He is also the Vice President of SSILAM, a religious organisation, where he makes monthly cash contributions as well as donates food and collects clothing for the flood victims.

In the 80-89 years-old category, the 3 finalists were Joyce Miriam Nono Matyumza (83), Mbulelo Nzo (82) and Pauline van Zyl (80) - with van Zyl winning the award.

Pauline is the Chairperson of the Committee of Institutions for the Eastern Cape, which includes 21 Old Age Homes and three Children’s Homes. She had assisted local tourism when she motivated and helped the municipality plant 21 indigenous trees in their park in 2016.

She is the curator of two museums, which she has founded, and is the Chairperson of the SAWAS Health memorial, an organisation that promotes health in the town and the district.

Those honoured in the 90+ age category were, Annie Isaacs (92), Billy Osborne (92), Daphne Cooper (93), Denzil Levy (99) and Mavis Enerson (94).

Caption from left to right: Pauline van Zyl and Mogan Segadavan, winners if their respective age category