Search

Free spirit turns 100 amid crowds of friends and supporters in Golders Green

PUBLISHED: 17:19 30 March 2012

Lily Osrin celebrates her 100th birthday with family & dogs at Magnolia Court

Lily Osrin celebrates her 100th birthday with family & dogs at Magnolia Court

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

More than 60 friends and family, some from America, gathered to celebrate a woman’s 100th birthday in Golders Green.

South African-born Lily Osrin has lived in Magnolia Court Care Home in Granville Road for eight years, after 13 years living in West Hampstead.

She was a dedicated member of West Hampstead Synagogue, an avid theatre-goer and swam in Swiss Cottage pool until she was 92.

Born in Oudshoorn in the Garden Route of South Africa, Lily’s brothers farmed ostriches and she became a nature lover and free spirit.

She was ahead of her time in many respects.

She was one of the first women to study psychology at Cape Town University, and then opened a children’s nursery in Johannesburg with two friends.

She later ran the first ever self-service grocery store in Stellenbosch with her husband.

Nahum Osrin, known as Sherry, was the love of Lily’s life and they married and moved back to his home town in South Africa’s wine region where they enjoyed a happy outdoor life, bringing up their three children.

“She was loved by all and was quite an iconic character in our small town,” said her daughter, Vivien Osrin, 59, who now lives in Finchley.

“She didn’t mind a good argument and would defend anyone she thought was being badly treated or scapegoated. She loved animals and we always had an assortment of dogs and cats, who made our home their own.”

Her husband died at the age of 56, which left Lily devastated, but she remained “incredibly strong” and continued to be a fantastic mother and a host to her children and grandchildren.

Lily remained in South Africa after the younger generation left in 1979 but moved to London after the death of her sister 10 years later, and immediately made West Hampstead her home.

“She loved walking and concerts and theatre, and really was incredibly resilient and adaptable,” said her daughter.

In recent years Lily, whose parents fled anti-Jewish pogroms in Lithuania to settle in South Africa, has had health problems including bowel cancer, a broken hip and the onset of dementia.

On Saturday more than 60 friends and family, including two cousins from America and four generations of nephews and nieces, visited her care home to celebrate her amazing milestone.

Among those toasting Lily’s 100th year were her two sons: Ivan Osrin, 74, a doctor who practices in West Hampstead, and Neville Osrin, 67, a consultant psychologist who lives in Pinner.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:02

Police have thanked the press and public for their help after finding a 39-year-old woman who was missing from Marylebone and last seen at the Golders Green Parish Church on February 12.

Yesterday, 15:19

The husband of West Hampstead mum Nazanin has urged our government to publicly deny that she is a spy and proclaim her innocence, after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against her five-year sentence.

Yesterday, 06:30

Candidates hit the streets over the weekend as the general election campaign kicked off.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A mural to commemorate Prince on the anniversary of his death has been unveiled outside the Electric Ballroom, in Camden.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It will be a relief to many that a watering hole in St John’s Wood dating back more than 200 years will stand to serve another pint on May 2.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has dismissed Liberal Democrats’ claims that they are the only opposition to the Tories and that voting for them could halt Brexit.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A group of teachers from a Muswell Hill school paid a visit to Singapore over the Easter break in a bid to expand their outlook on the teaching of maths.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The woman, aged 24, is still being treated in hospital for “life-changing injuries” five days after the crash in Elgin Avenue.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now