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Cecile celebrates turning 100

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Cecile Raphaely celebrated her 100th birthday in Sandton on 31 July with family from around the world, and a special message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Aug 08, 2019

The message from the monarch read: “I’m so pleased to know that you are celebrating your 100th birthday on 31 July 2019. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion.”

Such birthday messages were rare at Willowbrook Retirement Village in Sandton, where Cecile lives. She was however born in England and she married Dick Raphaely there in June 1939 before she was 20.

They settled in Johannesburg just before the outbreak of World War II. Dick was part of the South African Defence Force Permanent Force, and they spent most of the war years stationed in George in the Eastern Cape. After the war, they returned to Johannesburg, where she has lived ever since. Dick passed away in 1985.

Cecile has two children, Peter, who lives in Johannesburg, and Sue, who lives in Sydney. She has five grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.

Although Cecile can’t see owing to macular degeneration, she is sharp witted, and keeps up to date with current news as best she can. She exercises regularly, has her hair done every week, and has regular facials.

She used to be a keen bridge player and an avid reader, but because of her sight impairment, she now spends her days listening to audio books, and socialising with friends at the home.

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