Mercy Place Warrnambool aged care resident Molly Richards has led what she describes as a rich and rewarding life and now a State Government initiative has enabled her to add even another accolade to her lapel.
She has been nominated to tell her life story on audio as part of a programme, which recognises senior Victorians living in aged care.
Molly first thought about nursing as a career as a little girl. Not so many years later, as a young woman, with her training and some experience on the wards under her belt, she boarded a ship and sailed to London.
“My sister was in London and I felt I needed another scene. For a time I thought I would have a rest from nursing but then a role came up at a Jesuits’ prep. school in the North of England and I jumped at the opportunity.
“I received instruction in the Faith and it was there that I took my first steps towards becoming a Catholic which caused a few issues with my parents when I arrived home,” she said.
“After 18 months at the school under an agreement with her parents, I came home but I found it difficult to settle and subsequently I sailed yet again back to England where I spent the next 18 years.”
It was by this stage the 1960s and she recalls wonderful trips to Europe, the theatre and even on one occasion seeing the Beatles walking through the streets of London.
Molly eventually returned to her prep. school role, which was located just a few kilometres from Windsor.
“I was blessed – it was a middle-class school and area, and the parents were committed to their children’s education and they usually had the capacity to insist their children were serious about their studies. They were also nice people and the school and families were a strong community,” she said.
The school was only a short distance from Windsor Castle and it led to some privileges such as free tickets to the polo.
“We had some access to the Royals and once I almost knocked Prince Phillip over in my car. They are all good memories,” Molly laughed.
Unfortunately working in hospital wards and standing on her feet took its toll and back pain was a reason she decided to return to Australia.
“On return, I even had a brief stint working in a Mercy hospital which I enjoyed,” she said.
“I now do a lot of praying and I enjoy meditation,” she says.
Molly is one of 50 ‘notable’ Victorians living in aged care, whose lives will be celebrated during an upcoming Victorians Seniors’ Festival.
Click below to hear the interview with Molly Richards
Last reviewed May 13, 2021.