CHeBA's Sydney Centenarian Study participant, Mrs Joan Philips, decided to write her memoirs entitled While her children swung from the chandelier at age 95 in response to her granddaughter's question "What was it like in the olden days?"
Born towards the end of World War I in South Africa, she gained entry to the University of the Witwatersrand at the tender age of 14 before going on to study at the London School of Economics (LSE).
She returned on the eve of World War II to work in Johannesburg promoting pyschotherapy, marriage guidance and sex education and to marry the love of her life. With verve and humour she recounts how she raised four children and actively engaged with her extensive (and sometimes eccentric) family while working to establish nursery schools, build a professional practice and associated organisations, and confront the prevailing conservatism of South Africa.
Mrs Philips has been part of CHeBA's Sydney Centenarian Study since June 2013. According to Research Assistant, Mamta Sidhu, Mrs Philips "is a gracious and lovely lady who is very articulate and aware of who she is, has an amazing spirit and is always busy doing something or meeting someone. It's always a pleasure visiting Joan!"
Mrs Philips' hope is that she will inspire others to write their own memoirs to showcase the many changes in way of life to future generations.
While her children swung from the chandelier is available for purchase at the shop of the Sydney Jewish Museum, or ordered by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the full video of the book launch please click here.