Rosalie has 111 reasons to smile
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BIRTHDAY MILESTONE

Rosalie has 111 reasons to smile

Only one person has ever officially fulfilled the traditional Jewish birthday blessing of living “until 120,” but Rosalie Wolpe from South Africa is well on her way.

Rosalie Wolpe speaks to a relative on the phone on her 111th birthday at a retirement home in Cape Town, South Africa on August 25, 2020.
Rosalie Wolpe speaks to a relative on the phone on her 111th birthday at a retirement home in Cape Town, South Africa on August 25, 2020.

SYDNEY’S Janet Dickman has described her mum Rosalie Wolpe’s 111th birthday celebration late last month in Cape Town as a “marvellous milestone”, adding, “She must now be one of the oldest Jews in South Africa.”

Dickman normally visits her mum each year at the Highlands House Jewish Aged Care centre.

But with international travel currently not an option – and the aged care sector in Cape Town in lockdown – staff there arranged an afternoon tea birthday celebration for Rosalie on August 25, and invited relatives and friends around the world to “virtually” attend to wish her mazel tov.

“I had all her family that now live in Australia at my place for a Skype call with Rosalie to wish her a happy 111th birthday,” Dickman said, “and she clearly enjoyed the celebration”.

“I moved to Australia 16 years ago and have three children and five grandchildren, and all my grandchildren are absolutely fascinated by her.

“Everybody I talk to is amazed at her longevity, and she is in pretty good shape for her age – just a bit slower to respond to things than a few years ago.”

Wolpe polished off “a rather large slice of cake” at her party, and said on the day the secret to her long life is never having a car, resulting in “lots of walking” for most of her life.

“Mum used to run a grocery shop in Cape Town and worked very hard,” Dickman, whose brother David still lives in Cape Town, said.

“She is a very undemanding woman – she never makes complaints or a fuss – and everyone at Highlands House has a high opinion of her.

“I must say the staff there have provided outstanding care to all residents, especially during the current COVID-19 crisis.

“I hope international flights resume so I am able to visit mum in person next year.”

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