My mum dressed us in identical clothes from the time my sister could walk. This was because my mum, an ardent admirer of the Queen Mum dressed Princess Elizabeth, now Queen of England and the late Princess Margaret, the same. I became a boarder in 1966, and my sister followed a year later. Every afternoon after school, we’d liaise about our choice of clothing and we’d dress the same!
We grew up in the sixties, which to us, were idyllic times. We were like any regular teenage girls who loved fashionable clothes, make-up, music and boys! We wore sole-less shoes (which my father couldn’t believe we’d paid good money for) and flowers in our hair. My sister and I both played the piano and she played the guitar. When I was sixteen and Rose - as I call her - was a little over fourteen, we attended a Christian camp at the sea. On 9th January, 1969 (which was forty years ago last week) we both committed our lives to the Lord.
As young married women and later, mums, we lived close to each other and our two first sons, John and Mark, born six months apart, became the best of friends. She and her husband had a daughter, Naomi, and a second son, Matthew. My husband and I moved from the Natal Midlands to the Zululand coast where I my second son, Angus was born. Notwithstanding the 400km/250m distance between us, my sister and I still saw each other quite regularly throughout the year. When Angus was four years old, Rose had her youngest son, Luke. We did everything together. Here, in our thirties, we modelled clothes (with a group of young localbeauty queens!) for a charitable evening at church
In 1988 my husband and I moved back to the Midlands and Rose and I enjoyed two years of close proximity. Apart from attending school activities together, because our children were all at the same school, we also attended the newly-opened beauty salon and joined a weight loss club together. We worked together for community projects and even modelled clothes for a boutique at a church fashion show one evening. I still look back on this period as one of the best times of my young life.
In 2000, Rose, her husband and family immigrated to the United Kingdom. From the moment she touched down on English soil, Rose found employment. Among other she worked in the Frail Care of an Old Age home. When she told me what her job description was and how challenging the work was, but that she loved it, I could only marvel at the tenacious spirit of my sister.
In February 2002, she applied for and was successful in securing a position with a large company South of London. Now she schedules reviews for large deals, opens calls for conferences calls and takes the minutes. She works with the Quality Assurance Work Business team and liaises with companies across the globe to schedule reviews. She edits and processes the company data base and compiles the monthly spreadsheet of all deals that have been passed.
Not only is my sister a hardworking employee in a large British company, she is also a grandmother of eight. These precious grandkids are all under four and comprise of a set of twin boys, and triplet girls; the other three are beautiful little girls. It is no trouble for Rose to work all day, fly to Germany for meeting, fly home, collect three birthday cakes and next day attend to her triplet granddaughters’ first birthday.