Domi Soglanich achieved the seemingly impossible milestone of her 106th birthday on Friday November 29.
Domi celebrated part of her birthday at Carlisle Lodge surrounded by close friends, family who had flown in from all over the world and her son, Christopher.
Carlisle Lodge manager Brenda Mathews spoke fondly of the “very tough lady who is often seen enjoying a meal or snack” before serving up a cake donated by Pick ‘n Pay Longbeach.
“My mom’s life is – and has been – a benchmark for any perfectionist in as much as she has been a role model daughter to her father on their farm in Pretoria, a devoted wife to her husband, Tony, for 54 years, a caring, totally dedicated mentor and mother to two sons,” Christopher said.
He said Domi had given generously of her time, friendship and support to extended family and all those whom she had met over the years.
He said she had an advanced piano qualification yet could not play a note today; she was a financial boffin yet had no financial training, and she was a “mother extraordinaire” yet had never really had a mother of her own.
Domi’s mother died in childbirth of malaria when Domi was three, and when she was five, she was then sent off to boarding school 600km from her father.
“How does one explain that with her extremely difficult start to life she has turned out to be a selfless, peaceful, generous, God-fearing person with no resentments or grudges against the many that have taken advantage of her trusting nature?” Christopher said.
He said Domi still had a great sense of humour and always kept an eye on the family’s bank balance. When her grandson had sent her a video of the medal he had won for coming 28th in the Sydney Marathon, last month, her response had been: “Did you get a cheque?”
Domi has two sons, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren.
Christopher laughed and said there was a 106-year age difference between his mother and her latest great-grandchild, Liam, in America.
Christopher noted that his mother had lived through two World Wars; the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression,the discovery of penicillin in 1928, the arrival of television in 1927 (and 1975 in South Africa), the first jet plane in 1939, Pearl Harbour in 1941, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, the advent of computers, both the building in 1961 and destruction in 1989 of the Berlin Wall, the 1969 Moon Landing, Nelson Mandela’s release in 1990 and 9-11. And not to forget the three South African World Cup Rugby victories.
“Not bad, for anyone to have covered and been exposed to such mind-boggling technological developments and significant events,” Christopher said. “She is a mother in a million. God bless her.”