Enjoy every moment for what it is, says bubbly 90-year-old

Jenny Cook-Smith, Karin Cox and Iris Merritt having some fun at the photo booth.

HUMOROUS and sassy Aston Manor resident Iris Merritt, who turned 90 on Sunday, celebrated this milestone birthday at a local restaurant on Monument Road on Saturday.

Friends and family from as far as England, Cape Town, Durban and Nelspruit came together to party with her.

“It was a fantastic evening full of laughter and dancing. I love to dance and just enjoy myself,” says Iris, laughing.

She was born in Cape Town on April 9, 1927, and moved to Zimbabwe in her twenties where she was married and raised her two daughters and son.

IRIS with her grandson, Steven Cox, and his partner, Zeldy.

“I worked at a hardware shop in Zim for 21 years and after my husband died, I decided to relocate to my daughter, Karin, in Kempton Park, in 1978. I have been living here since. We do everything together, we are like best friends, only related,” says Iris.

Some of her favourite hobbies, aside from being a grandmother, are to watch rugby, cricket and tennis. The 90-year-old is still very healthy and only has problems with her eyesight.

She has six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

IRIS and some of her guests dance the night away.

“Thirty-eight years ago I was blessed with one of the biggest birthday presents, my grandson, Ryan Cox. He was a well known cyclist but, unfortunately, died ten years ago. I was and still am very proud of him and all of my children.”

Iris spends most of her time with her family and travelled to Italy, France, Germany, England and Switzerland with Karin in the past 10 years.

Her secret to growing old is to always look after yourself and stay young as long as possible.

“I have seen many things change in my lifetime and enjoyed every moment, and have so many memories to look back on. My advice is just be yourself and enjoy every moment for what it is.”

Karin describes her mom as the salt of the earth and the rock of their family.

Alicia Loots

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