Friends make it to a memorable milestone

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Girls get together: The “girls” include Elaine Madill, Anne Madill, Elaine Haynes, Lorraine Scott, Judith Tindale, Rose Martin, Thelma Morgan, June Hill and Dorothy Evans and Pat Rolls at Mount Eliza last week. (Picture: Yanni) and, below, at one of their early gatherings. (Picture: Supplied)

A GROUP of nine women who have grown up together over the past 75 years enjoy nothing better than getting together fortnightly on the Mornington Peninsula.

Elaine and Anne Madill, Elaine Haynes, Lorraine Scott, Judith Tindale, Rose Martin, Thelma Morgan, June Hill and Dorothy Evans wouldn’t miss their “girls’ day” lunches for the world.

Last week they celebrated 60 years of meeting for lunch at the home of one of their friends’ daughters, Sue Fontana, at Mt Eliza.

Two of the women started prep together, and five met up at primary school before joining the Highett Ladies Basketball Club and the Moorabbin National Fitness Club as teenagers.

Elaine Haynes and Rose Martin, the first to have babies, started meeting for lunch fortnightly at each other’s homes. The group grew to include their old friends, with the women and their growing number of children catching up for lunch each fortnight.

The women live at Rosebud, Baxter, Frankston, Cheltenham, and Rowville. Two live interstate, but still make an effort to catch up on special occasions, such as the 60th anniversary.

Ms Haynes said members of the group were “all very proud” of their long-lasting friendships.

“Of course, we’ve all had our ups and downs and periods of grieving, but we have always been there for one another,” she said.

“Perhaps the most important thing between us all is that there has never been a cross word spoken.”

Making their friendships and companionship easier has been the fact that their husbands all get on well, too, with several working together at a large removals company.

Ms Haynes said members of the group often holidayed together.

“When the kids were little we’d do picnics, or go to the zoo. Then, when they got a little bit older, we would all meet fortnightly at each other’s homes.

“We’d get the children their lunch and afterwards put them to bed for their afternoon sleep and then we’d sit down and have a scrumptious lunch together.

“When they got older and were doing their own thing we started going to the Baxter Hotel, because it was halfway from everyone and we love it.”

Another of Ms Hayne’s daughters, Cheryle, said: “It’s been a fantastic milestone for them all, and we’ve been brought up on their friendships as a sort of extended family. We call all the women ‘aunty’.”

The actual number of “girls’ days” the women have enjoyed takes some calculating. They usually have a break in January but then go back into their usual routine in the first week of the school term, making the total about 1300.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 26 November 2019

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