Meet some of the real people who would benefit from your kindness

Roger Berry

Roger was born in 1948 in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape.  Even though he lived under Apartheid rule, racial discrimination has never been a part of his life.

Roger’s unfortunate circumstances came about as a result of a severe motorbike accident in which he was seriously injured, leaving him in hospital in a coma for 27 days.

During a long period of slow recovery, he was unable to return to the business he ran in trading antiques and collectibles. And for two years he was cared for by his elderly mother who lived in accommodation for the aged.

When his beloved mother died, aged 83, Roger had to move on and he had nowhere to go.  Desperate, he found some temporary institutional accommodation. Then a friend introduced him to NOAH, and he was able to move into one of our houses in 2010.

Roger talks with great nostalgia about his old days in the collectibles trade when he communicated with buyers from Europe. Quality fountain pens were especially highly prized, and when bargains came his way, Roger was able to make a good profit in overseas currency. Since then, things have changed, especially as a result of the internet.

Since he was 17 years old, Roger has loved building 1 in 72 scale models, specialising in famous ships like The Cutty Sark, Victory, The Raven, The Alabama, and the slave ship, Meroe. These days, when he isn’t manning the NOAH reception desk or involved in some kind of handywork, he’ll still build to order, and is often asked by private owners to repair their damaged or broken models.

In Roger’s words: “Thank God for NOAH and thank God for all those wonderful people who so generously support NOAH. I can never say ‘thank you’ enough.”

Geraldine Levendahl

It was through a programme on TV in 2004 that Geraldine learnt about NOAH. Living with her son at the time, Geraldine had been through a period of poor health and hospitalisation for two hip replacements, and NOAH sounded like the answer to her prayers.

During her working life, Geraldine was a despatch clerk for Tupperware and AMC Classic, as well as holding a position in a fabric dyeing company. Leisure time passions were hiking, swimming and camping.

Geraldine was widowed at age 50 after 36 years of married life. She has two sons, two daughters, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A resident at NOAH for 15 years, Geraldine is happy, secure and content. She enjoys all the outings, socials and other activities, and has made many friends in the NOAH community. She’s still able to go camping with family and friends and continues to enjoy swimming.  Whilst hiking inclines have now become too challenging, Geraldine still enjoys walking on more even surfaces.

Always a contributor to life, Geraldine has been manning our Trestle Table every other day since 2007. What she loves about it is the opportunity to meet and talk with a wide variety of people, often being invited to tea at their homes. Fabric painting is a special love, and when the end of the year comes round, her Christmas themed tablecloths fly off the Trestle Table to happy buyers.

Geraldine is particularly grateful for the recent addition of a third bathroom at Pothier House, and would love to see the courtyard fully enclosed, should funding ever become available for that.

Lettie De Lesce´

Lettie was born in Zimbabwe, one of eight children, who says she learnt her work ethic from her parents who worked so hard every day. After the family moved to Pietermaritzburg where she graduated from high school at age 16, Lettie trained as a hairdresser, and then married in 1975, with a son and a daughter turning them from a couple into a family. A family that now includes seven grandchildren.

Because her husband worked in the airline industry, Lettie is well-travelled having journeyed to a number of places in America and the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and Mauritius.

In their older years, as happens to so many, Lettie’s husband lost his job, and the couple became dependant on their daughter. But with two small children in a tiny flat, life was difficult. Then they heard about NOAH. They applied and were given a place at the end of 2015.

Lettie’s work ethic continues to stand her in good stead. She’s always busy knitting and sewing, as well as producing a selection of jams, Easter eggs, and cheese spreads which she sells throughout the year for extra income.

Lettie also bakes NOAH loaves on three days each week, as well as responding to requests from the community for other types of bread, especially fruit loaves.

In Lettie’s words: “I love it here! NOAH gives me independence, freedom, and a safe place to live in a happy and friendly neighbourhood. I’m also very grateful to everyone who is caring and generous enough support NOAH.”

Vivian Johnson

Vivian was born in Athlone in 1944, where he grew up and went to school.

Careerwise, he’s always been in the retail industry and managed five different shops and lived in several different places. Of a sunny disposition, and still with a twinkle in his eye, Vivian is easy to talk to and gets on well with everyone.

It was a sad time was when his marriage broke up, and after the divorce, Vivian left everything to his ex-wife. Homeless, he was fortunate enough to be accepted at NOAH where he became our official driver for seven years.

Still close to his son, daughter and adopted daughter who visit him regularly, Vivian also includes everyone at NOAH as his extended ‘family’.

These days, in his 9th year at NOAH, it’s Vivian who’ll let you in and out of the main driveway gate to the Woodstock premises, where you can be sure of a cheerful greeting and farewell.  He’s also our ‘go to’ person when donated furniture or other items need some repairs or a little refurbishment.

Although in his younger years he only played a little soccer himself, Vivian is an avid sports fan, keeping track of all the cricket, rugby and soccer games.

Vivian is someone who doesn’t look back with regrets, and considers himself to have had a happy life.  NOAH is very special to him, and he says he would do anything to show his gratitude for the haven that he’s been given.