OG Barbara Lightbody (Goldsmith) (Class of 1953) - Update on Life in South Africa

We are pleased to share with you an update from Old Girl Barbara Lightbody (Goldsmith) (Class of 1953) who is living in South Africa.

"I live in a retirement home in a little town called Richmond, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa.  Our home is called Evelyn House and is owned and run by the Federation of Women’s Institutes, which is similar to the Country Women’s Association in Australia.  I moved here 14 years ago having sold my home in St Winifreds on the south coast of Natal.  My life has been very ordinary compared to some of the ladies who have appeared in Connections.  I commenced work as a secretary and graduated into Human Resources finishing up handling Benefits such as Pensions, Medical Aid etc. which was very satisfactory work helping employees in this area.

My life since moving here to Evelyn House has also been busy, as I became involved in the Hobbies Club and latterly Chairman of the Residents Meeting.  At the moment we have about 47 residents having lost some to old age and two to the COVID pandemic.  In early March 2020 I flew to the UK for a two month holiday with my children and was caught in the lockdown, only managing to return to Evelyn House at the beginning of June of this year, having had a two month holiday which extended to 15 months.

Life in Richmond is normally very quiet but in the last week you have probably read of the protests and looting which has gone on in both Gauteng and Kwa Zulu Natal.  Richmond did not escape the problem and all shops were looted, one small mall having been burnt down but Evelyn House has been safe.  Food and milk became a problem but the local farmers rallied around and made sure we were supplied with milk, sugar and dry goods necessary.  Richmond is a very beautiful area being surrounded by hills.  We are approaching winter and our first frost appeared this morning with the temperature droping low.

I hope this gives you an idea of how living here in Richmond in South Africa is.  We love it here and the grounds of our home have beautiful gardens tended by some of the residents as well as three huge jacaranda trees which are well over 100 years old."


Very many thanks and kind regards,



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