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DEATH OF MILLICENT BROOMBERG (article first published : 2003-02-12)

On February 6, 2003, Millie - widow of the late Dr Archie Broomberg - passed away peacefully at Beth Shalom in Durban at the age of 96.

This tribute comes through the kind services of Councillor John Green.

Born on June 14, 1906, she spent her early childhood years in Piet Retief. Coming from a home full of love, music, religion and Zionism, she obtained her matric at St Dominic's Academy in Newcastle, KZN. While still at school, she obtained her Licentiate, Music Diploma for teaching and performance - quite a feat for a young school girl!

During the 2nd World War, Millie was a commandant in the SA Red Cross Society and in 1972 was chosen as "Woman of the Year" by the Union of Jewish Women for her "outstanding services in the field of public relations between Jewish and non-Jewish women".

One of the founder members of the Durban Women's Zionist League, Millie was made Honorary Life Chairman for her tireless 53 years of devoted work, Honorary Life Member of the Sherwood Women's Choir where she was their accompanist for 32 years and Honorary Life Member of the Sherwood Tennis and Bowling Clubs for her involvement of 44 years!

Ironically her death coincided with the start of the World Cup, hosted by South Africa, as Millie had an absolute passion for cricket and was responsible for teaching many a young boy all about the intricacies of the game. She was also a familiar sight at Kingsmead's famous "Castle Corner".

She was also every keen bridge player, gardener and Bible teacher. One of her greatest loves was Durban's Botanic Garden where she spent many an hour in simple meditation. Her Bible Instruction classes were legendary amongst the ladies in the community.

However, Millie’s greatest love and passion was for music and the arts. She supported all the art forms presented in Durban with particular emphasis on orchestral music. She was definitely the oldest and most loyal supporter of all the orchestras in Durban, the latest being her support for the KZNPO. She never missed a season until ill-health made attendances impossible.

In her lifetime she attended the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, 13 times!

Millie is well-remembered for having loved people, given regular dinner parties, and always accepted invitations to speak to any organisation on Music and the Bible. She is survived by her two daughters, Joy Hossy and Avis Blumberg and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.




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