It isn’t every day Queen Elizabeth herself personally wishes you a happy birthday. But that is exactly what MiCare resident Antonia ‘Anne’ Markus received in the lead up to her 100th birthday.
‘Mrs Markus I am pleased to hear that you are celebrating your one hundredth birthday. My sincere congratulations and best wishes on this very special day,’ read the white and gold card completed with a full body portrait photograph of the Queen and her signature 'ER' royal crest.
Celebrations for Anne’s impending milestone begun on the 3rd of August at Margriet Manor - one of two (the other being Overbeek Lodge) MiCare residential homes in Kilsyth.
Resident Elders worked together to cut out colour fabric flowers and glue them onto a ‘100’ wooden sign for Anne. A photo board was erected with help from Anne’s two daughters, Ingrid and Charlotte ‘Carla’. One of MiCare’s staff members, Janina, also made a custom ‘100’ pink birthday cake for the occasion.
The birthday event was high tea themed with tiered plates of quiches, scones with jam and cream, and cupcakes. Granddaughter, Tonya, presented a touching speech for her grandma.
Tonya described Anne’s extraordinary and colourful life. Anne was born in Oudeschild on the 4th of August 1918 on the island of Texel – the largest island off the coast of The Netherlands. She is the sixth oldest child of her eight siblings.
Shortly after marrying her husband, Hendrik ‘Henk’, the couple set up a house together in Santpoort under the Nazi occupation of Holland. Unbeknownst to the occupying Nazis at the time, they also sheltered a young Jewish boy, Eduard ‘Eddy’ Cohehn.
Many years later Eddy recommended to have Anne and Henk be officially recognised by the Israeli government for their bravery and goodwill.
Then in 1979 the couple were presented with a ‘Certificate of Honour’ and ‘Medal of the Just’ at the Israeli Consulate in Sydney. In Jerusalem a tree was planted in their honour on the ‘Avenue of the Righteous’.
After the war, in 1945, Anne and Hendrik had their first child, Ingrid. Two years later the young family decided to migrate to South Africa. The family started building a home soon after settling in Johannesburg, with Henk doing most of the work himself. Their second child, Carla, was born in October of 1950.
Early in 1964 the Markus family moved again, this time to Canberra, Australia. Now with both of their daughters married, Anne and Henk moved to Newcastle in 1977 where they bought and sold three times before making a final move to Yarra Junction in 2004.
Sadly, Henk past away a year later at the age 90. Soon after Anne moved to MiCare (previously known as DutchCare) to be in residential care.
At present, Anne has four grandchildren and six great grandchildren!
Again we wish you a very happy 100th birthday, Anne!