104yr old has lifelong commitment to helping others around her

Martina Van Der Does with her daughter Nell Shaw.
Martina Van Der Does with her daughter Nell Shaw.

AT 104 years old, Martina Van Der Does has stories better suited to a movie screen than the life of a typical East Fremantle woman.

Born in Holland in 1911, Mrs Van Der Does survived a Nazi-occupation in World War II and a bomb that flattened every home on her street, but somehow left hers standing.

Despite being eight-and-a-half months pregnant, she jumped into a canal to save a young boy from drowning after he fell off his bike, and she would go on to save two others people in separate drowning incidents.

She married in 1931 and has four children, 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Mrs Van Der Does has also sponsored many children around the world, and continues to do so today with sponsor children in Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Her age has not slowed her down and she continues to help those in need, knitting beanies that are then donated to the Salvation Army.

She said she loved helping others and could not imagine doing anything else.

“I couldn’t sit around and do nothing; it’s nice to do something for other people. Work hard and do something for other people, because it comes back to you,” she said.