NINETY YEARS YOUNG: Sister Grace Rogers, who celebrated her 90th birthday this week, has spent more than 70 years of her life working in communities as a Sister of Mercy.

IF there was only one word to describe the personality of Sister Grace Rogers, her first name would encapsulate it all.

Celebrating her 90th birthday this week, the Sister of Mercy has dedicated more than 70 years to serving communities across the country, which she says has contributed to what has been a fulfilling life.

Born in 1927, Grace grew up in Merbein before joining the Sisters of Mercy at age 18.

“When I made my first Communion, we had a lovely Sister named Aloysius, and I used to think back then that I’d like to be like her one day,” Sister Grace said this week.

Sister Grace’s career in education saw her travel all over the country, serving as principal at several schools across Victoria and Tasmania.

Described by her colleagues and friends as having “a heart of gold”, Sister Grace eventually returned to Mildura where she spent most of her time supporting Italian families who migrated to the region, while also working within local Parishes.

She spent the final years of her working life at St Vincent de Paul Society, before settling at Chaffey Aged Care.

Sister Grace said a highlight of her career was opening a school in Warrnambool for children of displaced parents after World War 2, which she says was both a rewarding and challenging task.

“I looked after 108 little boys who were about three-and-a-half years-old, and I was in charge of that,” she said. “That was a big job, probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done.”

When asked what the secret is to a long and happy life, Sister Grace insists that it’s accepting people from all backgrounds and simply “getting on with the job.”

“I have always been satisfied, every life has its challenges, but because I came from a big family I was able to cope with things,” she said.