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Rosie shares her secrets

Flourish 24 Sep 2016

A sense of humour, no whinging and being active are key to a fulfilling and long life.

 Rosie sitting in her garden
A sense of humour helps in old age, my word it does.

Rosie Bonwick still lives in her own home on Sydney's Northern Beaches, cooks her own meals, walks every day and exercises to keep supple. She's 104.

Rosie used to "do a bit of dancing", but stopped last century. "I still do exercises with my legs and I make myself walk every day," she says.

"I always did the garden, but now I've got a walking stick it's a bit difficult. A sense of humour helps in old age, my word it does. Don't whinge, just put up with it.

"Of course I've got aches and pains but nothing I can't handle," Rosie says.

Helping Rosie handle those aches and pains and her domestic chores are dedicated carers from Australian Unity's Home Care Service, who visit her every morning. Rosie was older than 100 before she sought support through home services. 

"I can still do a lot of the things they do for me - make the bed and do the washing up and p my floor - but they are here to see that I am still alive," she says.

She loves that knock on the door every morning and the familiar call of: "How are you today Rosie?"

Rosie started work, aged 15, as a retoucher and colourer in a photographic studio. She worked as a professional photographer until she was 80. 

"There were portraits in the studio but I'd go out and do stuff on my own. I liked taking scenery. I've got shots of Narrabeen Lakes, around there, ducks and lakes," she says.

Rosie has a daughter, Lindy, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She has lived alone since her husband left her, which she reckons was about 50 years ago.


"I'm not lonely. I get visitors. I potter about. I've got four or five friends and one brings me fruit and vegetables from the market, which keep me healthy."

words Maria Triaca pictures Rosie Bonwick

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