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

56 minutes ago

A team of Hampstead schoolgirls have beaten 8,000 rivals to reach the final of a competition to find the best code breakers of the future.

The three boroughs, along with three other local authorities, each secured a share of £1.7 million from the government to support more residents affected by homelessness.

Yesterday, 13:45

On April 1 the resounding sounds of a “quiet drink” will echo around Hampstead as a group of rugby players return to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their club.

Yesterday, 13:44

Students at St Anthony’s School for Girls embraced new technology by building robots and rockets as part of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) week.

Yesterday, 09:49

A community desperately trying to protect a Highgate nature reserve from traffic has slammed the council for offering developers a temporary licence to drive lorries over Parkland Walk.

Wed, 16:53

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq has confirmed she is safe and well after a suspected terrorist attack near the Houses of Parliament.

Wed, 14:52

The Golders Green war memorial, designed without a crucifix because of the Jewish population in the area who had lost loved ones, could be knocked down and moved elsewhere.

Wed, 13:45

A group of fearless Coleridge Primary School students have taken a public speaking competition by storm.

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

Competitions

The Ham&High has teamed up with Weber® to celebrate the launch of its innovative Genesis® II collection at Weber® World at Sunshine Garden Centre in London.

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