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Rewind: Marianne Van Der Sluis hits birthday milestone

As a child growing up in Poland, Marianne Van Der Sluis believed that sitting outside her home and counting birds until she reached 100 was a sign she would live to be a centenarian.

Earlier this month, Marianne celebrated that very milestone, surrounded by her many friends at Baptistcare Gracehaven Residential Care in Rockingham.

For many years, Marianne was a familiar face at the Safety Bay Bakery, a business she and her late husband, John, bought a few years after they arrived in Fremantle in 1952 to start a new life in Australia.

But the couple’s life in Australia was a far cry from their early years together.

Marianne had been sent to Germany as a prisoner of war at the age of 19.

It was there, in the Cottbus POW Camp a few years later, that she met 22 year-old John, a baker from the Netherlands.

Amid the harrowing backdrop of World War II, the pair fell in love and their son, Hank, was born in 1945.

While Marianne is no longer running her own kitchen, Hank, who also went on to become a baker, says his mother was a superb cook.

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