Mrs Thompson’s century of serving others
On 28 May, Mrs Joyce Thompson celebrates her 100th birthday in her home at Resthaven Malvern, as she reflects on a century of serving others.
Mrs Thompson says, ‘I was born in Melbourne, where I lived with my sister and brother.’
‘Both my sister and brother went on to join the forces themselves—my sister in the Royal Australian Air Force, and my brother in the Australian Army. Tragically, he passed away as a prisoner of war in Borneo.’
Mrs Thompson spent her schooling years at St John’s Girls School in Melbourne, where she excelled at sewing, cooking, and dance.
‘I quite enjoyed tap dancing and ballet, and went on to perform in various Pantomimes as a young adult.’
In her early 20s, Mrs Thompson met her future husband, Douglas ‘Noel’ Thompson.
‘I was a receptionist at Hills Hoist at the time. I attended the local party, and there he was. He asked me to dance with him, and we developed a romance.’
‘Noel was charming. I knew I had the winner.’
During their courtship, Mr Thompson served on a destroyer throughout the Second World War in the Royal Australian Navy. He continued writing to his sweetheart, to marry her upon his return.
In 1947, the couple wed at the former Methodist Church located on Little Collins Street, Melbourne.
‘We relocated to our family home in Adelaide, where Noel acquired his soldier settlement. He went on to study and become a builder, and we never left.’
The newlyweds soon welcomed two children, a boy, and a girl, into their family, before Noel was diagnosed with cancer.
‘His illness prompted me to volunteer at the Red Cross, to learn more on how to best support him.’
‘Noel recovered, and we had a beautiful and long marriage. After celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary, he passed away.’
Mrs Thompson went on to continue volunteering at the Red Cross for a total of 25 years, while also volunteering at the Repat Health Precinct, and the Colonel Light Gardens Returned and Services League of Australia, of which she is a life member.
‘Serving the community has given me purpose throughout my life, and I have never stopped trying to give back.’
Mrs Thompson continues to stay active in the Resthaven Malvern community, participating in knitting blankets and teddy bears for children at local hospitals, as well as knitting for the homeless, which the site team donate to Hutt Street each year (pictured above right with Mrs Shirley Kanally [middle], Mrs Ruth Osborn [right]).
At 100 years old, Mrs Thompson is the proud matriarch of two children, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Many happy returns, Mrs Thompson!