Bronberg bids beloved Barbs farewell Print E-mail
News - Ons Mense
Saturday, 21 October 2017 17:55
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The sudden death on 1 October of one of the best-known and beloved residents of Bashewa and Tierpoort, Barbara Corrine Bennet, left her family, many friends and acquaintances in dumfounded shock. It is believed that she suffered a heart attack.

Since she moved to the area that she called ‘Plotville’ in 1986, Barbara, or Barbs as she was widely known, has touched many people’s lives with her warm, positive nature.

Hundreds of tributes were given on social media and on the memorial day that was held for her at a Bashewa smallholding on 7 October.

Barbara was born in 1954 and was raised on a farm in the district of Settlers.

Barbs and her son, Sven

We asked one of Barbara’s best friends over many years, Karin Saffy, to write something about her friend:

Karin van Helvert Saffy
“It was with absolute shock and disbelief that I heard of the passing of my oldest and dearest friend Barbara on Sunday 1 October. Looking at her facebook page now just makes me want to cry even harder. The outpouring of grief is amazing and stands testimony to how much she meant to so many people.

“She was known to all of us as Barbs or Baby and was one of the most colourful people I knew. I first met her at opening night of Pheasants Nest Restaurant in 1995 where she was immediately the bell of the ball with her wonderful laugh and amazing personality. You could never miss Barbs – always very colourfully dressed and always with her trademark huge earrings – usually feathers.

“She moved to Bashewa or Plotville as we liked to call it in July 1986 and she is definitely the quintessential of a real plot lady. She absolutely loved her garden and whenever I visited we had to tour the garden and look at all the new flowers, vegetables and trees. She was also known for all her pickling, jamming, making of potions and for her baking skills. If someone had a birthday, Barbs would always have the best homemade gifts – be it a jam or a pickle or a handmade face cream. 

“The love for her animals was legendary and her garden is filled with special spots where her beloved pets are buried – each remembered by a special little garden. She now leaves behind King Bulla and Princess Ziggy – two very beloved cats and her free ranging chickens. They will be well taken care of by friends and family. 

Friends enjoying the open spaces of ‘Plotville’. Karin van Helvert Saffy, left, and Barbara Corrine Bennet at Koster’s dam

“One of the amazing things she used to do every year was to organize her Golden Girls party. Usually around her birthday in March, it would be great excitement organizing food, gifts and of course champagne and we would go to a party for some of the older ladies of our community. Music was another of Barbs’ great passions and at these parties the ladies would dance the afternoon away – Barbs used to say – ‘Don’t care if you have a Zimmer frame or a wheelchair – it does not mean you cannot jive to the music . . .’

“Barbs had one son, Sven, who was her pride, her joy and her everything and she was very sad when he moved to Vietnam a few years ago and the best thing ever was when he would come and visit her. 

“She went through a hard time the last couple of years, a separation, Sven moving away and the theft of her car, but somehow she still managed to cheer us all up. 

“I will miss you, my friend – all our wonderful road trips we did through the Bronberg area, all the amazing new little restaurants, pubs and garden centres we discovered. Yes, and we showed them, ladies can braai on their own especially when Barbs is near. Whipping out your portable hairdryer and blowing that pesky fire back to life – only you, Baby.

“All your plotbokkie friends will miss you forever. Taken much too soon. Rest in peace, my friend.”
Excerpts from some of the messages on social media after the news of Barbara’s death include the following:

Candles and flowers with a picture of a younger Barbs – one of many shared memories at the memorial day held for her by friends and family

Sven Finkeldeh (son): Your spirit shone bright wherever you were and those near to you felt your glow. Words cannot begin to express how much I love you. Rest in Peace, Mom.

Milly Ferreira: Baie hartseer dag vir so baie van Barbara se vriende en familie. Ons gaan jou so baie mis! Jy was altyd so vol lewe en lag en pret. Jy het my altyd so laat lag en opgebeur met al jou sêgoed en ons so vermaak met jou pragtige tuin en ou Bulla se dinge. Rus nou in vrede, my liefste vriendin. Jou plekkie sal altyd in my hart wees. Jy was en is baie geliefd.

Nicky Upton: Barbara was a unique gift to this world. I am devastated and will miss her warmth, humour and the regular contact we had through Facebook, which has kept our friendship alive through all these years. Sending you all love and hugs from the UK.

Cheryl Hull: It is with a very sad heart that we have lost our dear Barbs. If you ever met Barbs you would know that she was the most awesome and loving person you would ever have the privilege of meeting. My friend, you always said, ‘if I am to go it must be quick. And then into the flames’. Barbs was a flame.

Amanda Smit: My heart is broken. Barbs, you were one of a kind. A rare and beautiful soul. You were a blessing to every life you touched. I will miss your crazy antics and that laugh that came from deep within. We have lost a precious friend. You will be missed by everyone who knew you. You sowed colour and beauty everywhere you went.

Dawn Austen: Barbs, you truly were a ray of delight and craziness, love and mad laughter. Your unique outlook on life was filled with honesty and straightforwardness. You loved your family and friends . . . no holds barred! Our energiser bunny is resting now. Love you, dear friend.

Tom Londen: I have just seen the news that she has passed and I am both sad to hear that and happy to have known her. I was touched by her magic.

Dianne Ivings: Your endless love, raucous laughter and kindest of hearts will be missed so much here on earth as you journey forwards.

Releasing balloons at the memorial day. Barbara’s son, Sven, is second from left.


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