Kew Gardens

Lola Cochaud celebrates turning 100

4 February 2014

Lola Cochaud celebrates turning 100 years ‘young’ at Kew Gardens Aged Care

Australia Day weekend was an extra special one for Kew Gardens Aged Care this year with beloved resident, Lola Cochaud, celebrating her 100th birthday.

Mrs Cochaud began celebrations by going out with family on her official birth date, 27th January, but festivities continued the following day with a visit from Local MP, Josh Frydenberg, to Kew Gardens to present Mrs Cochaud with flowers and certificates.

Lola Cochaud (nee Martin) cheerily recognised the impressive milestone understatedly saying that she “has lived a very good life”.

Mrs Cochaud has been a resident at Kew Gardens Aged Care for three years and maintains an active lifestyle there by participating in most activities offered by the facility. Her particular favourites include detailed embroidery and hand-sewing, bowls, cooking, tai chi and yoga.

She also goes on daily walks in the beautiful surrounding Alexandra Gardens and enjoys coffees at the facility’s own Al Fresco café. Her proud family delights in Mrs Cochaud’s astounding trivia knowledge saying she remains intellectually stimulated by doing the daily crossword puzzle and is also an avid reader of non-fiction novels.

Born in Melbourne as the only child of Joseph and Bertha Martin, she attended St Catherine’s School in Toorak but left in 1928 after the death of her father. By sixteen, she had begun working as a book-keeper to help contribute to the family finances. Her second career, however, began in 1964 after she completed her matriculation to simultaneously work and study over several years to become a qualified librarian. Mrs Cochaud loved her profession and worked at Northcote Library until she retired at age sixty-five.

Aside from her professional achievements, Mrs Cochaud also embarked on many great adventures throughout her life. One of the greatest perhaps historically was her impressive claim to be one of the first female passengers to travel by flying boat to Darwin. Mrs Cochaud decided to take the trip to the top of Australia after her mother died in 1938, the entire voyage taking several days, as the itinerary hugged the coastline from Sydney to Darwin.  Although she had planned to continue her travelling worldwide, the war intervened and Mrs Cochaud’s adventures were prematurely thwarted. However, a new adventure began of a different kind when she married Maurie Cochaud on 18 November 1939 and brought their first son, Gordon, into the world shortly after. However, like many Darwin residents during wartime, the family had to evacuate in 1942 to safer parts.

Mrs Cochaud’s sixty-three years of married life included several years living at Katamite, east of Shepparton, where Maurie had a soldier settlement block. Three more children were to follow until the family returned to Melbourne to live in Thornbury and later in Northcote until Maurie passed away in July 2003. Mrs Cochaud remained in their family home until 2006, leaving to live with her daughter for four years to finally become a permanent resident at Kew Gardens Aged Care.

Looking back over the years, Mrs Cochaud says she is “more than contented” with what she’s achieved in a century. Surrounded now by her four children and their families, eleven grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren – they all delight in helping their ‘Nanna Lola’ celebrate turning 100 years ‘young’!

For more information relating to this media release, please contact Vicki Fraser – 0499 077 072 or
Olivia Romet – 0419 878 167.

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