Long-time Sea Point resident celebrates her 100th birthday

Sea Point resident, Lily Singer celebrates her 100th birthday in August. Bobba Lily is deeply loved and cherished by her family, including four children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. 

Daughter of Charles and Sara-Leah Berger (who were immigrants from Lithuania and Russia) Lily was born on 16 August 1922 in the former Transvaal. Her early years were spent in rural Coligny where she was the only Jewish girl in the primary school. She tells of the selflessness of her parents, who ran a general store in the town during the height of the Great Depression, and often gave away stock to those in need. The family eventually moved to the East Rand, but Lily tragically lost her mother when she was 19, and her father returned to Coligny. She spoke Afrikaans growing up and showed great promise as a pianist, but her career was redirected to raising and supporting her family. 

After matriculating at Jeppe Girls High in Johannesburg in 1939, and serving  in the Jewish chapter of the Red Cross, and the Magen David Adom, Lily married Harry Singer in 1946, and moved to Sea Point where she has lived for nearly eighty years within a few blocks of the Marais Road Shul. Harry and Lily raised four children and ran Harry Singer’s General Store on Caledon Street, situated on the site of the Cape Town Community Court on the corner of Buitenkant Street, until retiring in the early 1980s. They lived in a brown brick-walled house on Bellevue Road lined with Frangipani trees, some of which still remain on what is now the parking lot of the Sea Point car wash. 

Harry passed away in December 1997 at the age of 91, and not long after, Lily moved to a flat in nearby Marais Road, where she still lives. Lily is a voracious reader, retains a strong Jewish faith and keeps her indoor plants blooming. Until recently, she was a member of the Union of Jewish Women and the Cape Jewish Seniors. She was also a founding member of Kosher Consumers of South Africa (KOCOSA).

• Published in the August 2022 Digital Edition – Click here to read it.

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