A 100-year-old woman, Lilian Mallet, who has donated to the NSRI for decades, has won first prize in the national sea rescue institute’s 2022 Four Car Competition! She had been entering the car competition for years, in memory of her late husband who served in the Royal Navy and supported the NSRI.
The NSRI said the prize – of not one but TWO brand new Mitsubishi cars – could not have gone to a more deserving or dedicated NSRI supporter. Lilian’s prize was accepted by her daughter Wendy Nortje on her behalf.
Wendy said her mom’s reaction to winning “was a sight to behold”!
“It started off with a loud yell and her hands shot up to her face in disbelief, which soon gave way to total joy and amazement. We are still pinching ourselves to make sure it’s not a dream.”
Lilian is apparently fiercely independent and lives in a small flat – in a retirement village in Boksburg, Gauteng – where she prepares her own easy meals, and enjoys those her daughter brings around for her.
Lilian has kindly gifted both cars to her daughter, who told the NSRI she’s “absolutely thrilled to have been so lucky”. Wendy says:
“Mom has been a supporter of the NSRI for many, many years. It all started with her second husband Paul, who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He was the commander of the ship HMS Goodall.
“Later, General Smuts recalled the South African personnel on board the ship back to South Africa, and it later sunk during the war, near Russia. This meant Paul’s life was spared, and he lived for many years thereafter. Thanks to his love for the sea, years later he began supporting the NSRI. When he passed away in 2005, my mom continued their support, and in 2010 started taking part in the car competition each year, in memory of Paul.”
Wendy, who lives near to her mom in Boksburg, says her mom has a good sense of humour and a very happy disposition.
“Her family are the most important people to her. In her younger days she played bowls as a sport and participated in league games. She also served as chairlady in her bowling club.”
Lilian also has grandchildren and great grandchildren, with her son Dave living in North Carolina in the USA, with his family.
Wendy is herself a widow, having recently lost her husband to cancer.
“So I spend a lot of time assisting and supporting my mom so she can lead her ‘independent’ life, which is her choice. She insists she does not want to go into assisted living, where someone else will try to rule her life for her.”
Wendy praised the work done by the NSRI.
“The volunteers who put their own lives at risk while they rescue others is such a selfless gesture. The numerous rescues which are responded to, and now also being so involved in preventative measures like teaching children to swim and by doing so trying to prevent drownings, is remarkable. In fact, everyone at the NSRI, from admin to the rescuers, seem to be just one big family, conscious of the needs of others. They provide a selfless service to the public. They are knights in shining armour!”
The NSRI says: “A hearty congratulations to both Lilian and Wendy. Enjoy your prize!”
2023 entries are now open for the Win 4 Cars competition. Donations help save lives. Enter here: https://www.nsri.org.za/support-us/win-4-cars-in-our-2023-car-competition/