On Tuesday 30 April, the manager, staff and control body of Aalwynhof Home for the Aged in Aberdeen all gathered in the main lounge for a surprise ceremony to hand over a long service certificate to one of the staff, Sophia Minnaar. She has been in the service of Aalwynhof for 30 years. As well as being a milestone for Sophia, it is also the first time that an employee has been at Aalwynhof for this length of time, and the first time that a certificate was issued to an employee for long service.
Everybody was excited while they waited for Sophie to arrive. She eventually arrived, flustered from having literally run from the Clinic where she was waiting in a long queue for her medicine, and of course totally unsuspecting of what was to come.
Great was her surprise when she realised that it was all about HER! She was thanked by the chairperson for her service to Aalwynhof, whereafter she told the audience a few short anecdotes about her working life there. She told about Tannie Mathilda van der Merwe, who was known as the heart and soul of Aalwynhof. She was always full of fun and used to play pranks on people. Once she dressed herself as a baby, wearing a huge nappy with a large safety pin and a gigantic dummy hanging down her front. Another time she organised and was involved in a mock wedding. The cook was assigned the task of bringing in the ring. Once again, people enjoyed this so much and could not stop talking about this, even till today.
After the ceremony Sophie posed for pictures together with various members of the staff.