Long-time friends watch changes unfold

TRUE LOCALS: Good friends Carolyn Simpson and Jenny Yates reflect on the changes in Gladstone over the years.
TRUE LOCALS: Good friends Carolyn Simpson and Jenny Yates reflect on the changes in Gladstone over the years. Rebekah Smith

WANDER around the Gladstone marina on a Friday afternoon and you might see these two friendly faces catching up over a picnic.

Carolyn Simpson and Jenny Yates met at a friend's house over 20 years ago and forged a strong bond over a love of travelling, similar life experiences and their fun-loving personalities.

Born and raised in Gladstone, Mrs Simpson has seen many changes in the city and has interesting tales to share.

Mrs Yates, originally from Rockhampton, made the move to Gladstone 22 years ago, but can remember visiting the city often as a child, when her father served as a policeman.

"When QAL came in 1964, that's when big changes came," Mrs Simpson said.

"That's when we had huge caravan parks, transient people coming in and out, not fly-in, fly out those days.

"It's had its rough spots, but as a whole it's been a really good place to bring up children."

Mrs Yates has also felt the town change and has seen many friends move away, but is not looking to move from Gladstone anytime soon.

"Five years ago, I would walk down the street and I would know everybody. And now I know not very many people at all," she said.

The pair try and catch up at least once a month, and they say the marina is perfect.

Topics:  community development friends

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