Pensioner uses oven to raise funds

Marlene Santillan will be baking up a storm for House Uitsig's fundraiser.
House Uitsig in Parow North will host a fund-raising drivehold a cake sale today, Wednesday June 5, to raise money for the old-age home.

The home was started in June 2017 and used to be a youth centre that was adapted to accommodate the elderly. 

“We are part of the Badisa group and the home is managed by a governing body, consisting of volunteers from the broader community,” said receptionist Leoni Prinsloo.

House Uitsig cares for about 250 pensioners. 

“This building is over 40 years old and we need money so that we can fix the windows, give a new coat of paint and fix the ageing roof,” Ms Prinsloo said.

The home’s star baker is Marlene Santillan, 75. She started baking as a hobby in her 20s, and it became her life’s passion.

“When I was 21 my late husband, James, signed me up for baking lessons with a woman called Marie Mcdonald. At that time, we were still staying in Johannesburg. I attended her classes for six months and branched out on my own after that.”

Ms Santillan will be baking for three days using her three-year-old Univa stove to prepare for the cake sale. 

“I will be making Swiss rolls, chocolate ganache cakes, cheesecake tartlets and some doughnuts.”

Her two sons, now aged 50 and 44, hated the smell of fruit cake when they were boys – much to her despair.  years old and that when they were growing up they disliked the smell of fruit cake. 

“I really enjoy making fruit cake, and with fruit cake, you can do whatever you want with it. When my one son was younger, he once ate all the frangipani flowers off my cake, and I had to start from scratch.”

Ms Santillan regularly bakes cakes for raffles at the home. 

“I have made three tiered cakes, birthday cakes and once I even made a cake in the shape of a Coco Chanel bag.”

She has worked for most of her life as a baker, including a 20-year stint at Snuffel en Snuif in Durbanville.

She is pleased that her “passion became her career”, and says that when she is baking she is at peace with the world.
To support the baking sale, call 021 939 0116 or email