In 1911, the Garuda was adopted as Thailand’s national emblem, scouting made its debut in the kingdom, and HM the King Vajiravudh, Rama VI, became the first King of Siam to fly in an airplane.
It was also the year Herta Rommel was born half a world away in Germany.
Now a Thailand resident, Rommel celebrated her 104th birthday April 24 with daughter Christel Pilz and a handful of good friends in her Pattaya home with dinner, not a big party.
Rommel still had her fair share of hustle and bustle, reading and answering all the many congratulations she received via e-mail and on Facebook. Among the well-wishers was Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy Peer Gebauer and Austrian honorary Consul-General Rudolf Hofer, who sent flowers, along with Swiss ambassador Christine Schraner-Burgener.
She still works on her computer, writes her own emails, chats with friends all over the world and keeps up-to date via the Internet. She first used a computer at the tender age of 94.
“Nobody is ever too old to learn new things. I am happy that the Internet exists so I have the possibility to write to my family and friends in Germany and Switzerland almost every day,” she said.
How can she stay so young in such an old age?
“One has to take life as it comes and never should think or be worried about age. One needs to eat healthy food – most of the time vegetarian – take a rest, stay mentally active by reading, and staying away from all kinds of stress,” Rommel said.
Her father, she noted, lived until age 105.
Herta gives thanks every evening and is happy when she wakes up the next day.
Stress is not unknown for Rommel, as she worked all her life. Together with her first husband, they started a blown-glass factory that later morphed into the famous electronic company Pilz GmbH & Co. KG, currently run by her daughter-in-law.
For more than 18 years, Herta has lived in Pattaya with her daughter and her dog Uschi.
Herta at the tender age of 104.
Herta and her daughter Christel Pilz.