2010’S first centenarian

January 29, 2010 by Katie Hoskins
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Susie Solomon has celebrated her 100th birthday at the Montefiore Home in Hunters Hill.

Susie gets a Mazeltov...and flowers, from acting Hunters Hill Mayor Richard Quinn

Susie was born in Whitechapel, London on 19 January 1910 to Russian parents. She and migrated to Sydney with her parents and older brother Monte when she was two years old.

Susie’s father, a very skilled cabinet-maker, was also the cantor at the Bankstown Synagogue for many years and the family was central to Jewish life in western Sydney. Her family members comment on the fond memories of wonderful family lunches at the house in Bankstown, with at least 20 family members, all enjoying the splendid food, especially cakes, which Susie made for us, playing cricket in the back yard, playing piano rolls on the pianola, and friendly card games.

As the only daughter in a family of 5 brothers, Susie was a great source of help and care-giving to all of her family, taking devoted care of her mother until she died and then her father. Four of her brothers were soldiers with the Australian Army during the Second World War, two of whom fought in New Guinea and one went in the post-war forces to Japan. During that time, Susie’s help at home was especially important in keeping the family strong. In later life, she also took care of her two brothers Monte and Lou in their older age when they were very ill. If ever there was a good and committed woman who must be called a devoted family carer, it is Susie, much of whose life was spent taking care of others in a selfless, loving way.

Susie did not have children of her own, but she had 7 nieces and nephews to whom she was and remains close and who all honour her life, and three of her nieces attended the celebrations at Montefiore Home – Bettina Cass, Eve Bank and Rosalind Solomon. Susie remained very important in the lives of her brothers, sisters-in-law, and now her nieces and nephews, always very keen to meet her grandnieces and nephews and to hear about their lives and school and sporting achievements. Eve’s children in particular have been determined that Susie should stay alive long enough to reach this day-her 100th birthday, and she has not disappointed them. She is a woman of great will and determination.

Susie was also an expert, highly regarded dress shop manager and she loved her career in that field. She had a very keen eye for fashion, always looked beautifully dressed and smart throughout her long life. And she maintains her sense of style at the Montefiore home, loving to go to concerts, and to enjoy the gardens, properly dressed. Susie has enjoyed cooking and was an expert cook; she loved playing cards over the years with family and friends; has loved reading and until her eyesight grew too impaired, she was reading at least 3 books a week; and she loves sport, especially tennis; and she likes music. Her musical interests are wide, especially the jazz and blues of her younger adulthood life. She has a talent for friendship and caring for and about her family. She also has a great sense of humour, and can regale her family and friends with good stories. Her mind remains as sharp as a tack, full of vigour and she retains a great interest in the wider world of social affairs.


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