Farewell Nettie Symington

Nettie Symington
Nettie Symington

A Sad Good Bye. Nettie Symington (Heyns) was born in Gwelo (now Gweru) in Rhodesia (now Zimbawe), on 7 November 1947. She attended Chaplin High School and was a brilliant swimmer who received provincial colours.

Nettie and her late husband, Barry, got married on 13 July 1967. The family moved to South Africa in 1982. In 1986 Barry joined Savmore Colleries and the family relocated to Piet Retief where Nettie started working at ABSA bank, or Volkskas as it was known at the time. Barry and Nettie built a lifetime friendship with Savmore mine manager, Eugene Martens and his wife, Maryna.

Maryna and Nettie decided to embark on their own business venture with something they both loved very much – art and flowers. They opened a little florist / art shop, called Marionette. Together they pursued their love for the arts and crafts for a few years. After that Nettie applied her financial expertise as a bookkeeper at various businesses, working for different people in Piet Retief, some of which were: Piet Retief Boerevleis / KW Group (where she enjoyed many years of working for the company), Johnny and Nunu Fernandes, Steyn, Richter and Co. and also Stander & Weber for a little while and a bit for Penvaan Meats (Erwin Kuhn).

Barry and Nettie were both active members in the community and spent many years with Rotary (the Symingtons were part of a team that broke the world record for “building” the biggest Easter Egg).

Despite her numerical capabilities, Nettie was blessed with many God given talents and after the passing of Barry in 2003, she used these various talents to keep herself busy and started sharing her creations with family, friends and even strangers. Nettie was a very active member of the VLU (Vrouelandbou- unie).

If Nettie wasn’t making soaps or candles or doing beading, her precious hands would be knitting or sewing the next little, or even not so little, creation. When she started becoming less mobile, her house became her sanctuary and a little gathering place for all her friends to meet and enjoy her wonderful ideas on how to create / fix something.

As her little treasures were given as gifts or sold to fund her next project, her creations found their way into many a Piet Retief home. Many of you dine with a tablecloth or a serviette made by Nettie, you may have bathed with her soaps or other bath pleasures and used her candles.

Your couches might be adorned with cushion covers, or your hands protected by pretty oven gloves, handmade by Nettie. Maybe your daughter(s) looked beautiful at their matric farewell in a dress made or altered by Nettie. Not to mention all the concert costumes. You may have a handbag or shopping bag, or an ‘ice cream’ box container, a scarf, or gloves, doorstop or even curtains. You could have had all or some of these before she had touched your heart.

No matter how much she had on her plate, Nettie always had time to give and share in abundance. She is survived by her children whom she most dearly loved (she would walk through fire for them): JJ, Elize, Annie and Barry and her grandchildren who were her pride and joy: Jeandre, Rouvaun, Zanko and Zanthia. She sincerely loved her animals as well; they were also very special to her.

She had so many friends, that even when the children wanted her to move closer to them, it was not an option, because of her love for the companionship, friendship and love she enjoyed from her friends. She deeply missed them during the last couple of months in Pretoria and longed to go back home.

Nettie touched so many lives positively during her stay in Piet Retief. Her relatives can definitely be proud of her. May you all find condolences and cherish the fond memories you have of a great and very special woman. Nettie sadly passed away on Friday, 28 August. Her memorial service will take place at the Anglican Church, Piet Retief, on Saturday, 12 September, at 11:00.