From Benoni to… Belfast

Alison Armstrong (46) will return to South Africa to implement suicide prevention programmes.

She now lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in a village called Dunmurry.

BCT: You have four children and two grandchildren. Tell us about your time in South Africa.

AA: I was born in Northern Ireland and immigrated like a lot of people did in the 80s.

I always say to people I grew up in South Africa.

I attended Putfontein Primary School because my parents thought it would help me to learn Afrikaans – it didn’t, but I had a great time there.

I went onto Willowmoore High School which I loved.

High school was the best years of my life and I made lifelong friends which I still have to this day.

BCT: When did you leave and return to Ireland?

AA: I left Ireland for South Africa at the age of eight. I left Benoni for Ireland in 1992.

I was still young and I had twin girls; I was on my own and it was tough.

My mother was leaving South Africa for Ireland after a divorce and she asked me to go with her; it seemed like a good idea at the time.

BCT: What are your memories of Benoni?

AA: Oh so many memories: Homestead Dam on the weekends, canoeing with my dad, meeting my friends at the Wimpy Bar in the middle of town on a Saturday morning, going to the movies (I’ve seen Dirty Dancing more times than I care to admit), the Warehouse Disco (can I say Disco?), my first job at the spa in the centre of town and working part time with B&J Catering.

I also remember sneaking out at night and putting OMO washing powder into the fountain in Farrarmere.

I loved growing up there, it was honestly the best.

BCT: What do you do for a living?

AA: I am a regional manager for a drug, alcohol and suicide prevention service.

BCT: When will you return to sunny South Africa?

AA: I will be back in South Africa next year because I am working on a project to bring suicide prevention skills workshops to South Africa (well Benoni for starters).

I have already raised funds to fly two people from Benoni to Northern Ireland in January 2018 to train in the facilitation of the programme.

I will then come back to South Africa with them to help them implement it.

I am excited about it – it’s a full circle for me – Benoni – Belfast – and back again.

Follow us on these platforms:

Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

For news straight to your phone invite us:
WhatsApp: 079 431 1217

Instagram: benonicitytimes.co.za

 

find your
dream home

looking for an
affordable
apartment

List your Property

It's easy in only three
simple steps...

find professional
services in
your area

Locate a business
operating in
your area

List your Business

Want more customers? They're online right now, searching for businesses like yours. Place your ad now...

Latest News

COMMENTS

boksburgadvertiserbrakpanheraldspringsadvertiserafricanreportergetit Autodealer.co.za
Top

Thanx for your referral. We have no doubt your friends will love our newsletter as much as you!

Don't forget to verify your email.

SUBSCRIBE
to our free NEWSLETTER
!
SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter.




SELECT your titles:

African Reporter
Benoni City Times
Boksburg Advertiser
Brakpan Herald
Germiston City News
Springs Advertiser
Tembisan


Your details:


Your friends:

I didn't sign up for this
I'd like to see and read more... (Please indicate in comments section below)
I'm relocating (Please indicate where to)
Other