ON work days, the late Sarah Glick was a stalwart business companion to her husband Mendel – who passed away in 2017 – and the two Holocaust survivors steadfastly developed their signature bakery business, but in her spare time, she led a modest life and was an unassuming person who shunned the trappings of success.
That’s the mother who Leslie Glick, one of her nine children, warmly recalled this week, after Sarah was laid to rest.
The great-great grandmother, whose immediate descendants number more than 180, rarely left the house, and refused to eat in restaurants out of respect for those who go hungry, he said.
Sarah was a World War II orphan, selected for work in a Nazi labour camp, where she spent five years, and the rest of her family were murdered. After the war, she was in an orphanage and was introduced to Mendel, and the pair were married soon afterwards, immigrating to Australia in 1949.
They arrived with their first two children, Avraham (now Rabbi Avraham Glick) and Susie (now Susie Kluwgant), who in time would gain seven more siblings.
From the time Mendel founded his bakery business in Kooyong Road, Caulfield in the mid-1960s, Sarah worked with him full time. Said Leslie, “She would arrive at 4am for the early morning shift, come home and make the children breakfast, they’d go to school, she’d go back to work till evening. It was total support.”
Leslie recalled an encounter about 15 years ago, when a stranger – Tariq Islam from Bangladesh – asked for work at Glick’s. “My mother heard his story – that he was poor and he had no work and needed a sponsor who was going to give him a job and support him, and my mother supported him, supported his wife to come over, and sponsored them. Today he’s a manager [at Glick’s].”
“She was buba … but she liked sport, liked to listen to sport, but she hardly went out of the house. People visited her all of the time. She never had a car, no fancy clothes, she lived very modestly,” said Leslie.
“Because she was in the labour camp, she had a profound sense that you don’t let anyone ever go hungry … every day she put out a plate of milk for stray cats to come.”
Sarah was believed to be around 93 and was in good health until the end. She was laid to rest at Melbourne Chevra Kadisha cemetery, in a funeral conducted by her son-in-law Rabbi Sholom Mendel Kluwgant.