ANNIVERSARY: From left; Noreen Fairley, Audrey Breuer, Kris Boyle, Jayne Knott, Fay Dicker, Carol Pease, Coral Isaacs, Brenda Wills, Mary Sendall, Wendy Hickey, Vivienne Simmons, Dorothy Bettiens, Maria Brown, Lysbeth Roach, Judy Zahn and Rita Martin.
ANNIVERSARY: From left; Noreen Fairley, Audrey Breuer, Kris Boyle, Jayne Knott, Fay Dicker, Carol Pease, Coral Isaacs, Brenda Wills, Mary Sendall, Wendy Hickey, Vivienne Simmons, Dorothy Bettiens, Maria Brown, Lysbeth Roach, Judy Zahn and Rita Martin. Contributed

Turkey Beach Ladies celebrate 20 wholesome years

AS TUESDAY marks the Turkey Beach Ladies' 20th anniversary, group member Rita Martin shares anecdotes of times gone by.

Ms Martin said the small group, made up largely of retired Turkey Beach women, started as a craft group.

"People got together to knit, crochet, sew, embroid but there was more talking done than there was sewing done so the sewing started coming down,” Ms Martin said.

These days the group's members meet every Tuesday at the Turkey Beach foreshore for casual conversation over light refreshments.

"We have a spot there and everybody knows where we'll be and we just call it parliament,” Ms Martin said jokingly.

"Up until three or four years ago we didn't have a hall ... now we've got a hall and if it's raining we go there but most of the time we avoid it, we want to be outside.

"There's not any (fixed) members, people come and go but last week there was 15 of us.

"A couple of ladies have passed away, some of them have moved out (and) as people leave other people come along.”

Ms Martin said the ladies often participated in community events and were proactive on occasions such as World Cancer Day.

She said the weekly catch-ups doubled as a support network and a means of staying connected in what was a relatively isolated area.

"It's a place for everybody to come, there isn't anything in Turkey Beach. There's not a council (office)... there's not a cafe where you can sit down and have a cup of coffee in town,” Ms Martin said.

"So it's a place where anybody and everybody is welcome. If you're new in town that's one of the first things the general store will tell you.

"We just sit there and chat and if somebody's been unwell we talk about how they're feeling ... We just look after each other and see whatever we can do to help each other, that's what it's all about.”

Ms Martin said the group likely started for similar reasons two decades ago.

"Turkey Beach is a fishing town so the men talked to each other when they were putting their boats in but the women were very isolated so I think that's how it actually came together.”



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