Broadacres’ Henri Postema turns 100
12 Dec 2017Village News
Evergreen Broadacres resident Henri Postema celebrated his 100th birthday at the Evergreen Lifestyle Estate recently. Find out more about the party and one man’s exceptional life.
In November 1917 Russia was taken over by communist rule, World War I was about to enter its final, bloody 12 months, and one very special Broadacres resident was born into the world.
Henri Postema, who lives in the Evergreen Lifestyle Estate in Broadacres, celebrated his 100th birthday at the estate’s lifestyle centre on 29 November. Postema’s friends, neighbours and community organised the special event in his honour and took the opportunity to enjoy Henri’s favourite food, speeches in his tribute and a fun night out.
Born in the Netherlands on 30 November 1917, Postema worked in the Dutch East Indies [a former Dutch colony, now the Republic of Indonesia] until World War II broke out in 1939. He lived in Britain for a few years but then decided to travel back to his home country in 1949.
“It was on the boat ride home that Henri met his wife Riet Holman, who he married in April 1950,” explained fellow Evergreen resident Kiloran Townsend. “Henri and Riet came out to South Africa on the SS Zuiderkruis in 1951.”
After arriving in the country, the Postema family lived in Braamfontein for a short while before moving to Craighall Park, which they called home for about 40 years. Henri and Riet had three children together: a son named Pieter and twin daughters named Maryke and Madeleine. They ran a factory in Doornfontein which made welding aprons, caps and other protective clothing for companies like Afrox.
Henri moved to Evergreen in 2014 after his wife passed on.
“There were about 144 people at his birthday party, and about 20 of those were his family members,” explained Chris Edwards, also of the estate.
“He’s well-liked and an icon here at Evergreen, and was also one of the first people I met when I moved here!”
“Henri also asked that for his party, guests get to eat nasi goreng, a spicy Indonesian dish popular in Holland. The caterers used Henri’s own recipe and spices in preparing the dish,” Edwards concluded.