Olive Pike 100th birthday celebration – one hundred not out

HAPPY 100: Former teacher and well-known personality in the area, Olive Pike celebrated her 100th birthday with her family and friends at her home on August 19. Here, her two sons flank her, Neill on the left and Alan on the right

Olive Pike (nee Dugmore) recently celebrated her 100th birthday with family and a few friends.

The originally planned celebration, like many other important events including the 1820 Settler bi-centennial reunion this year, had to be cancelled due to the current covid pandemic.  Pike celebrated her birthday with local family and some close friends who were asked to visit at specific times during the day to enable acceptable social distancing and limited numbers at any one time. Many of these friends were past pupils from Pike’s teaching days. It was a very happy day and reunion for her with many of her nieces, who themselves were over the age of 80 years.

Pike, a direct descendant of the Dugmore 1820 British Settlers, was born and bred in the Bathurst District and more specifically the Clumber area. She went to Clumber School until Standard 5 and then on to Victoria Girls High School, Grahamstown, for senior school and then to the Teachers Training College, Grahamstown. She excelled in academic, sporting and social activities at both institutions and, after qualifying as a teacher taught at VGHS for a number of years.

Towards the end of the Second World War during 1945, she married Percy Pike and returned to her roots in Clumber as a farmer’s wife. Percy also a direct descendant of the British 1820 Settlers was farming on one of the original allocations to the Pike Settlers of 1820. In fact, as a school kid Pike would walk to school down the public road which, back in those days, traversed the Pike farms. She and Percy had three children and lived in Clumber for almost 60 years until Percy’s passing in 2003. A tragic motor car accident claimed the life of their daughter at the tender age of 20, but their faith and strength of character carried them through those dark times.

Pike became very involved in and contributed much to the local community during those 60 years. She spent 21 years teaching at the Clumber School where for many years she was the only teacher of all standards from Sub A to Standard 5 and all housed in one classroom. It is hard to imagine what incredible talent, dedication and patience this must have required. Her success and popularity are borne out by the many scholars during her 21-year career who went on to senior schools in Grahamstown and further afield and excelled in academics. Most of these former pupils still communicate with her and openly share there admiration and love for her.

Pike also became very involved in the Women’s Auxiliary (acting as president for many years) and the Clumber Church where she played the organ for 35 years until fairly recently, when she was well into her 90’s. She has set a fine example of how life should be lived

Pike lived at Settlers Park Retirement Village from 2005 till 2018, when she fell and broke her hip. She then returned to living on the farm, where she shares time between her 2 sons and daughter in laws. She has 4 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren with an eleventh on the way. She has been blessed with happiness, good health and a loving family, who in turn have had a caring kind and loving mom, gran and great-gran. She still reads stories to her great-grandchildren.  She still knits, is an avid reader and until recently was still baking and making her famous marmalade.

We wish her a very happy birthday and good health and happiness in her centenary year.

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