In 1977 when Noel and Yvonne Panton-Jones were respectively Mayor and Mayoress of Sandton they adopted as their Mayoral theme “Service to Senior Citizens” primarily to serve Sandton’s senior citizens and those of its surrounding areas. Accordingly, the Sandton Senior Citizens’ Society (SSCS) was then founded. At that time an extensive Sandton survey disclosed two major problems – loneliness and the lack of affordable accommodation for independent senior citizens with limited means.

The genesis of SSCS was an initial pilot project comprising the “Pop-in”, a social centre housed in prefabricated premises run and managed by local volunteers, open five days a week. This successfully achieved SSCS’s initial objective by being a haven of interest and companionship for senior citizens from 1977 until 1981. Cost of this project was originally met through public donations.

The second and more ambitious project which commenced on 3 August 1981 comprised a retirement village called “The Village, Bryanston” providing a dignified establishment for independent senior citizens of limited means over the age of sixty which officially opened its doors on 18 September, 1982 on the property known as 76 Homestead Avenue. This property was granted to the Village by Sandton Town Council for the express purpose of establishing the retirement village.


Liz Berdanis