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An incredible century of memories and experiences at MacCare in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga

An Incredible Century Of Memories And Experiences At MacCare In Nelspruit, Mpumalanga

An incredible century of memories and experiences at MacCare in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga


Living to be a 100-years old, deserves to be celebrated. This incredible milestone and how special our resident – Mrs Bets Hoogkamer, is to everyone she meets, are but a few reasons why we wanted to celebrate this special birthday with her.

A special thanks to the hard work and planning from the amazing Staff Nurse Petro, the staff of Macadamia Care, Feedem and all her friends.

Mrs Hoogkamer, here’s to 100 years of memories and 100 years of life!

The Lowvelder’s Ian Hugh Fleming wrote on 23 December 2022:

“You would never guess Tannie Elisabeth Hoogkamer (neé Van der Wijngaardt) is an entire century old, but that’s the incredible milestone this hugely loved and grand lady celebrated at Macadamia Care in Mbombela on Thursday, December 22.
Tannie Bets walked into her surprise, pre-birthday lunch party – her actual birthday is on December 27 – leaving her walking frame at the door. She was met by a room full of love and admiration.
The clarity in her eyes and her strong handshake show she is no ordinary Lowvelder and no ordinary human being. For one thing, she is still pretty much self-sufficient and remains healthy and in full control of her faculties, including having a sharp wit and delightful sense of humour.
As a teenager in her home town of Utrecht, Holland, the young Elisabeth Wijngaardt had to dodge the German army who occupied her homeland in 1940.
“It was a difficult time,” she said. “I had to fetch food on my bicycle and dodge all the enemy roadblocks to get supplies back to my family.”
Tannie Bets was still a teenager at the time and working as a maid, but the horrors and hardships of war also brought a very special treasure too – her beloved husband Tinus.
Amidst the rubble of war, the couple fell in love and married on December 20, 1945, with much of Europe in ruins, but at least in peace.
Having children was the next adventure and soon the couple were blessed with two daughters, Amelia and Diane.
Then the Hoogkamers decided to emigrate to South Africa and arrived in Cape Town by boat in 1957. They had a third child here, a boy whom they named Constant. The family settled in Vereeniging and lived there for the next 26 years, before making the move to Nelspruit in 1983.
For the next 23 years, the family lived and worked the growing and now famous enterprise of Macadamia farm.
It was with some resistance that Tannie Bets moved to Macadamia Apartments in 2006, as she loved her farm and farm life dearly. But in no time at all, she adapted to her new conditions, making great friends along the way.
“She is an indispensable part of life here,” said Audrey Browning, the nursing manager of MacCare which looks after the residents at Macadamia.
Before the lunch time celebration got underway, Browning praised the birthday girl, saying, “You are the best example of how to live life to the fullest.”
Tannie Bets’s secret for a long life?
“Swimming,” she says emphatically. “I did a lot of walking, but I also swam every summer day until I was 94. I started in August every year and would only stop my swimming excercises in May for the winter months.”
The only reason she stopped swimming is that she began to struggle to walk the steep slope to the Macadamia pool. This was a big disappointment, as was having to stop driving her car when she was already well into her nineties.
Her daughter, well-known local businesswoman Diane Ross, said, “She had an accident when a man drove through a robot and hit her car. After that, we decided it was no longer that safe for her to drive.”
Apart from her three children, Tannie Bets has been blessed with eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Tannie Bets Hoogkamer is a Lowveld legend. Happy birthday and many happy returns!”

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