A 70-year friendship still going strong

Yvette White, Brenda Boyce and Sandra Swanepoel have been friends for over 70 years.

In the early 1950s, three little girls living next to each other in 2nd Avenue, Kenilworth, became friends.

Now, 70 years on, the three friends came together to celebrate one of their birthdays and a friendship that has endured all these years.

Brenda Boyce, from Hout Bay; Yvette White, from Bellville; and Sandra Swanepoel, from Somerset West, reunited on Thursday February 17 to celebrate Ms Swanepoel’s 75th birthday.

“We had the most wonderful childhood, and we had so much fun growing up together. There was this big field behind our houses, where we had all these activities like bonfires, games and all,” said Ms Boyce, 77.

The three got their morning off to a good start at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, before hopping onto a sightseeing bus for a tour of the city.

They got off at the World of Birds, before enjoying a high tea at Riverside Estate. From there, they continued their trip, taking in Camps Bay, the Waterfront and Long Street.

“What a fabulous day, thoroughly enjoyed by three friends who grew up next door to each other since the age of 5,” said Ms Boyce. “All three of us have remained good friends being part of each other’s lives often along the way.”

Ms Boyce worked for many years with Ms Swanepoel at the Oude Molen Technical High School in Pinelands. Recalling those years, Ms Boyce laughed and said: “For many years, she drove to work and back from Kenilworth for 25c a week in her red Mini.”

Ms Swanepoel said: “From the age of 5, I have had the friendship of Brenda and Yvette to share thoughts, laughter, joy and sorrow. It’s all on a personal level as they have been like sisters to me for all these years. And at the age of 75, it has become priceless. I am truly blessed.”

Ms White said that being friends for more than 70 years was “quite an achievement”.

“We grew up together, playing on an open field behind our houses, swinging on swings that our ‘big’ brothers put up in the trees. Apart from us being friends, our parents were also friends,” she said, remembering how their families went camping together, all fitting in one car.

As teenagers, they would listen to LM Radio for all the latest music, and later on, they started working together. For a brief time, all three worked in the same office, and Ms White also remembers riding Ms Swanepoel’s little red Mini.

“Many mornings, the battery was flat, and Brenda would have to give a push to start it. Yes, there are wonderful memories which we share and which we talk about when we get together,” Ms White said and smiled.

“Lots of laughs about the silly things we did while growing up. Wonderful memories to share.”

The friends enjoying their high tea.
Yvette White, Brenda Boyce and Sandra Swanepoel taking in the beautiful scenes Cape Town has to offer.