Ros’s two great passions in life are music and sport, and the Bert Sutcliffe Retirement Village resident is never happier than when she is indulging in one of the two.
“They’re things that make you happy when you do them. If I feel a bit down I will jump on the keyboard and when I’m finished I’m as happy as a sandboy!” she smiles.
"The other day we held a Bert Sutcliffe's Got Talent competition so I played in that, and that was great fun."
When she is not twinkling the ivories in her serviced apartment, Ros can be found exercising or singing, also known as Triple A and Triple S.
“We have a singing group, we used to call it our Glee Club, but we have just changed the name to Triple S - Singing Stops Stress! Twelve of us meet once a week around the grand piano.
“I enjoy that very much, I love singing. I used to sing opera back home."
Ros’s interests in singing and sport date back to her childhood growing up in South Africa where she and her twin sister excelled in a number of sports, representing some of them for her country.
“I played women’s hockey and cricket for South Africa and squash and tennis for Natal, which is provincial level.”
Swimming was also a favourite pastime. Ros would rush off after her administration job at their local school to coach swimming in the afternoon and would enjoy daily swims in their own pool in the back yard.
“I was a great swimmer. But now I’ve had a few ops, a knee and ankle replacement so I’m a little bit scared of slipping,” she says.
"I like to attend the Triple A exercises twice a week," she says, referring to Ryman's in-house exercise programme, which stands for Ageless, Active and Aware.
Between classes Ros likes to go for a walk around the village.
And then there's the camaraderie from watching sports with the other residents. In the village there is often a rugby game or something on the screen in the lounge.
“Watching something like the Americas Cup with everyone creates such a nice buzz.
"But if South Africa is playing I prefer to watch the match in my apartment - I like to immerse myself fully in the game and not get distracted!" she laughs.
While sport and music are her favourite pastimes, Ros says family has always been at the heart of the big decisions in her life, such as moving to New Zealand.
When her son Donovan met future wife Ange and settled in Auckland, Ros and her late husband Ray and their other son Greg quickly made plans to join him. They arrived in 2001 and bought a house in Torbay.
“Ray fell in love with New Zealand and was so happy to be here. We were going to travel all over but he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and I’ve been on my own since 2005.”
Ros kept busy with her beloved singing – she would perform with the Camerata Choir at Probus and 60s Up evenings and found it a great way to meet people.
But in later years she started to find the house and garden maintenance ‘quite a bit of work’ and was keen to follow up on her son’s recommendation of attending an information presentation at the newly-built Bert Sutcliffe Village.
“We were very impressed. Being on my own I felt I only needed a serviced apartment and you get quite a few perks that way.
“Once a week they come and give it a really good clean and then they change the towels every day and you get a cooked meal at midday or in the evening.
“I was very happy and glad!”
That was April 2018 and Ros hasn’t looked back since, making plenty of friends along the way.
“If you want company there’s plenty, you just go down to the lounge. I’m very much a people person so I will go and meet my friends at every opportunity.
“I’m really happy here, there’s no expense spared on the care. It’s like a hotel – they go all out!”