What is RSL Life Care? Find out
Doris-at-her-party | RSL LifeCare - provide care and service to war veterans, retirement villages and accommodation, aged care services and assisted living
August 21, 2019

Doris Takes 100th Birthday In Her Stride

It may well be that Australians are living longer, but it’s still an incredible achievement to reach the milestone of 100 years old. Today Doris Feist, resident of RSL LifeCare’s Cherrybrook Gardens for the past 18 years, did just that.

Surrounded by family and friends she celebrated her 100th birthday with a Morning Tea Party in the sunny lounge room at Cherrybrook Gardens. “I haven’t given today a thought, it’s just something that’s happened!”

Born just one year after the end of the First World War, Doris grew up in North London with “a very strict upbringing; a very good upbringing.” She was a young married woman when the world went to war a second time, surviving the fear and devastation of the London bombings.

There’s no secret to a long and happy life. I just accept everything as it comes. I’m lucky that I’ve been healthy. I’ve got lots of friends to help me and a very wonderful family. If everybody had a family like mine, they’d be very fortunate.”

“I remember the bombing of London. It was tough, real tough. One day my husband and I, we had a big bay window where we lived and we were sitting there and out of the blue a Doodlebug came over.” (A German flying bomb with a high explosive war head, its engine caused a buzzing sound. It’s final descent to its target, however, was silent. The Doddlebug bombs were feared right across South East England in 1944.)

“You’d hear it and then, all of a sudden, it’d stop and you’d wonder where it was going to drop. But we didn’t know anything about this at the beginning. On this particular day we saw something out of the window with a flame at the back of it. It dropped on the house over the road and it blew the glass straight out of our window and into the chair where we had been sitting. Well that night we went into the other room and slept under the table because it was strong and we wanted to feel as safe as possible. It’s something you just don’t want to remember. They would drop and you’d wonder.”

In 1954 Doris, husband Gordon and their young daughter Pauline joined the throngs of Ten Pounds Poms and headed to Australia. “Australia badly needed immigrants and my husband badly wanted to live near the water.”

“We came over with my very good friend, her husband and their two children. It was hard to settle in, I hated it when I first came here. It was homesickness more than anything. We bought a block of land in Cabramatta near our friends, who were living in a hostel there. Gordon was never without work; he was a very good bricklayer and had plenty of work once we got here. After four years, however, I was so homesick that we went back to England, only to find that England wasn’t the same as I’d remembered. We gave it a go for two years but ultimately decided to come back to Australia. So, in 1960 we came back for good. We bought a block of land next to our friends who were now living in Canley Vale and built a house and a home for ourselves there.”

“When Gordon and I retired we moved to the South Coast and I got involved in the local Bowls Club, which I really enjoyed. We travelled everywhere too; it was beautiful.”

Doris isn’t the only resident of RSL LifeCare turning 100 this year. With over 20 residents reaching this significant milestone there will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate across our Villages and Care Homes.

Says Doris, “There’s no secret to a long and happy life. I just accept everything as it comes. I’m lucky that I’ve been healthy. I’ve got lots of friends to help me and a very wonderful family. If everybody had a family like mine, they’d be very fortunate.”

Story by Helen Johnston

Blog Posts

Help for Vets in Need

Veterans’ Services

Find out more

Latest News

array(2) { [0]=> int(175) [1]=> int(41) }
Joan Herringe

Joan’s Creative Pursuits: Knitting, Puzzles, and Cherished Moments at RSL LifeCare​

Many residents at RSL LifeCare love to participate in a variety of hobbies that keep their minds and hearts engaged. One such resident is Joan Herringe from RSL LifeCare Connie Fall. One...

Read more

Positive impact of Intergenerational Relationships

The power of intergenerational relationships has been demonstrated on ABC's Old People's Home for Teenagers, featuring residents from RSL LifeCare's Le Hamel Retirement Village and students...

Read more
Veteran Wellbeing Centre community event

RSL LifeCare secures $1.7 million funding to establish Central Coast Veteran and Family Hub and $243,000 for a centre at Bardia Barracks

RSL LifeCare has received $1.7 million in funding from the Albanese Government’s Veteran Wellbeing Grants One-Off Program to establish a veteran and family hub-like experience...

Read more

RSL LifeCare awarded $520,341 in government funding to enhance Veteran wellbeing services in Riverina

RSL LifeCare has secured $520,341 in funding from the Albanese Government’s Veterans Wellbeing Grants One-Off program that will be used to expand its services and...

Read more

George Carpenter’s Inspiring Dedication to Preserving Military History

George Carpenter, an 87 year old resident of RSL ANZAC Village in Narrabeen, has been volunteering at the RSL LifeCare War Museum for three years...

Read more

RSL LifeCare Nowra Community Unveils Visionary Expansion, Elevating Retirement Living to New Heights

RSL LifeCare has today announced Stage 2 release of its Dumaresq Retirement Village at RSL LifeCare Nowra Community. The expansion brings an array of new...

Read more

From Stables to Retirement Living: Tim Cooke’s Life Journey

"My journey kicked off when I was just 14 years old. The year was 1963. I waved goodbye to school and hello to an apprenticeship...

Read more

Journey Through 102 Years: The Life of Helen Lea

"My name is Helen Lea, and I've been lucky enough to reach the grand age of 102. I've always felt pretty good for my age....

Read more

Honouring Malaya & Borneo Veterans: A Story of Sidney Peter Bryant

Today, on August 31, we commemorate Malaya & Borneo Veterans Day and take a moment to pay tribute to those who served in the Malayan...

Read more

Federal Government grant awarded to RSL LifeCare

RSL LifeCare has been awarded a $50,000 grant by the Australian Government to support the development of a business case to establish a Veterans’ and...

Read more

RSL LifeCare a finalist in Best Graduate Development Program – Australian HR Awards 2023

August 2023 – RSL LifeCare’s Graduate Registered Nurse Program has been announced as a finalist in the Australian HR Awards 2023, Best Graduate Development Program...

Read more

RSL LifeCare successfully moves to the second stage in becoming the provider for a Veterans’ and Families’ Hub in both the Tweed-North Coast region and Queanbeyan.

RSL LifeCare has welcomed the opportunity by the Federal Government to submit a business case to deliver a Veterans’ and Families’ Hub in these critical...

Read more

Download a brochure

We'll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time, we promise

Career Application Single

  • Accepted file types: docx, doc, pdf, Max. file size: 50 MB.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Contact Veteran Services

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Are you ready to explore a new operations role with extra benefits?

Take your career in a new direction RSL LifeCare.

Search for an operations role at an RSL LifeCare Residential Aged Care facility in the Southern NSW region. Take a look at all our current positions here.

1. 100% funding on participating certifications

Undertake a participating certification through the RSL LifeCare Earn and Learn Incentive Program1 and you could be eligible to have your learning fully funded.

2. Cash bonus of up to $1000 (less income tax).

Through the RSL LifeCare Sign-on Bonus, you could be eligible for two split payments of $500 (less income tax), when you start a new role with us.

Contact Homes for Heroes today