Zion Aged Care in Nundah Celebrates Resident’s 107th Birthday

Zion Aged Care
Photo credit: Vlady Peters/Google Maps

Mavis Radcliffe, one of Lutheran Services’ Zion Aged Care residents in Nundah, has recently celebrated her 107th birthday.

Read: Pioneering Wood Therapist Brings Ancient Art of Healing to Nundah


Mrs Radcliffe, whose maiden name was Wolfgramm, was born in 1917 in Brisbane. Whilst her birth certificate lists May 18 as her birthday, she grew up believing it was May 16 and has celebrated on that date her entire life. Born during the tumult of World War I, Mrs Radcliffe’s childhood was shaped by the hardships of the Great Depression era.

Her daughter Beverley O’Malley recounts how Mrs Radcliffe faced poverty and lack of luxuries like many others during that time period. As one of seven children, the family resided in the inner-city Petrie Terrace neighbourhood and kept a horse in their backyard. 

Mavis Radcliffe during her birthday in 2021 with daughter Beverley (Photo credit: Lutheran Services/Facebook)

Tower Ad

Mrs Radcliffe formed close friendships with peers at Petrie Terrace School and through her local Lutheran church. Though an excellent student, the need to financially support her widowed mother and siblings forced her to leave school at age 14 in the midst of the Depression, according to Mrs O’Malley.

Mrs Radcliffe in 2018 (Photo credit: Lutheran Services/Facebook)

Whilst employed at a fish shop in Brisbane’s CBD, Mrs Radcliffe met the man who would become her husband, a plumber named Walter Radcliffe. The couple wed in 1941 and purchased a home in Fairfield, where they raised their two daughters Beverley and Gloria. 

A significant portion of her life revolved around her unpaid duties as the receptionist for the family’s plumbing company, which was operated out of their residence.

In her 50s, Mrs Radcliffe gained a newfound sense of independence after obtaining her driver’s licence, a freedom she maintained well into her 90s, continuing to drive herself during that stage of life. She attributes her longevity to her robust German ancestry, noting that one of her uncles lived to be 102 years old whilst her elder sister reached the age of 97.

Read: How Project SEARCH Helped Young Man from Nundah Gain Valuable Work Experience

Mrs Radcliffe remained independent well into her 90s, only moving to Zion Aged Care after a fall on her 97th birthday. Though over a century old, staff remark she maintains a keen sense of humour and has formed many friendships among residents.

Published 17-May-2024