Herald’s Anerley scribe Magda will be missed by many

Magda Benson.

HER natural cheerfulness and wonderful sense of humour never failed to lift our spirits every week when South Coast Herald neighbourhood scribe Magda Benson (76) bounced into the newsroom with her Anerley news.

Sadly, our larger than life friend and colleague, who had kept Anerley in the news for so many years, wrote her last column on Monday, February 27.

Not long after bringing it into the South Coast Herald office, she collapsed and died. It is not only the Herald team members who will miss her. Gregarious by nature and with many community interests, she was much loved by her many South Coast friends and her passing will leave a gap in their lives.

Anyone who knew Magda would not be surprised to learn that she’d lived an interesting and fulfilling life.

Born in Beaufort West in the Karoo, she grew up in East London where she attended an Afrikaans medium primary school.

She switched to English medium instruction when she went to high school, completing her matric at Butterworth High School in the former Transkei homeland. Her bilingual education would hold her in good stead in future years.

After completing her diploma at Teachers’ Training College in Bloemfontein in 1961 she embarked on a successful and varied career in the education field, teaching English and Afrikaans at a number of schools until 1989.

In 1990 she was appointed a lecturer at a training centre in Venda where she spent a year teaching language concepts and literature, in both English and Afrikaans.

At the end of that year, Magda changed career direction when she moved to the South Coast to take up a position as service manager with the Adventist Community Services of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

She often said her new career taught her valuable public relations skills.

Magda had many interests and was very involved in her community. She loved reading, acting and singing and was able to be involved in the performing arts through her membership of the Bendigo Troupers and the Golden Singers. Whenever she could she attended plays, musicals and choral recitals.

Perhaps her greatest talent, though, was her ability to empathise with people. Her sunny outlook on life and her unselfish nature made people want to be with her and she would give all her attention to anyone who wished to share a problem with her.

She leaves two children, her son, Wiebren and daughter, Liesel, and their families. Her memorial service was held at the Anerley Service Centre last week.

The Golden Singers were in attendance and sang the popular song ‘You Raise Me Up’ as a fitting farewell to a lovely person who had the knack of raising smiles wherever she went.


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Judi Davis

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