Alice Fernandez, celebrated her 100th birthday, arranged as a surprise by her family on 11 February at Isibaya Casino

Fernandez lives in her own flatlet on her daughter’s property in Newlands East. She still prepares all of her own meals and reads the newspaper daily without needing eye glasses. Fernandez attributes her excellent vision to heeding the advice of her father who told her to never use hair dye or nail polish as doing so would affect her eyesight.

“I am very grateful to have lived this long. There is no secret, I wake up every day, thank the Lord for keeping me another day, and I read the paper,” she said. Fernandez’s father came to live in South Africa from the United Kingdom. He met her mother, a beautiful lady from Durban, where Alice was later born. She and her late husband, who was of Portuguese descent, raised five children; three daughters and two sons in KwaZulu-Natal.

Fernandez is a proud grandmother to 19 grand children, 50 great-grand children and 10 great-great- grand children. Some of them were amongst the guests who joined her celebratory dinner.