“It’s always important to have your hair done and your lipstick on.” That is the advice of centenarian Rosa Bock, 101, a resident of Bolton Clarke’s Cazna Gardens residential aged care community in Sunnybank Hills.
Rosa celebrated her 101st Birthday on 31 October with a morning tea hosted in her honour by the Cazna Gardens community, and attended by fellow residents, friends and family.
She was born in Hackney, London on 31 October, 1916, and moved to Australia with her family when she was six-years-old, settling in to Woolloongabba. She can clearly remember the Story Bridge being built.
Rosa was a nurse in World War II and served in Brisbane, moving around South-East Queensland wherever she was needed.
“I was up in Caloundra when the Centaur ship was torpedoed by the Japanese,” she said.
“I can still remember that day very clearly and I tried to return there for the anniversary as long as I could.”
She was a member of the Australian Army Nursing Service and a Chorister at St Mary’s Anglican Church at Kangaroo Point, Brisbane.
One of her most memorable life experiences while working as a nurse was meeting pioneering Australian doctor and journalist Lady Phyllis Cilento, after whom the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane is now named.
“It was an honour to meet her,” Rosa said. “She helped out wherever she could.”
Today, Rosa is actively involved in the Cazna Gardens community in Sunnybank Hills and especially enjoys concerts and sing-a-longs. Fellow community members say she has a beautiful opera voice.
Bolton Clarke supports more than 150 Centenarians across Australia through at-home support services, retirement living and residential aged care. Rosa is a member of the organisation’s recently launched Centenarian Club, which aims to create new opportunities to honour and record the lives of residents, build relationships and reinforce their sense of identity and continuation of their story.