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May 20, 2020

A lifetime of friendship at Bimbimbie

Moira Stewart and Peggy McDonnell are friends spanning 1 century, 8 decades or maybe just 75 years sounds about right.

Their story began when working together, at John Sandersons Shipping Lines, Spencer Street Melbourne in the 1940’s. Moira was a PA in the Finance department, Peggy worked in the Cargo department as a stenographer, two mischievous young ladies.

As time went by, Moira took a well-deserved holiday to the UK, met John on her return on board the ship, and he became her lifetime devoted husband.

Peggy went on to meet Bob, who was to become her husband at the Army Barracks in St Kilda Rd Melbourne.

Both attended each other’s weddings and kept in regular contact for many years. Moira and John sold up in Melbourne to move to Merimbula in the 1960s.

Peggy continued to live in Melbourne bringing up 4 children and became a busy housewife.

I remember well a holiday we spent at the Kingfisher motel in Merimbula, a motel John and Moira had lovingly built, owned and operated for so many years.

Once again, I hear that laughter of two young ladies …

Twenty-two years ago, my husband and I moved to Tathra with Peggy following 4 years later and yes, the friendship from the 1940s -60s resumed. It was a delight listening to their antics as young ladies and they spent many hours reminicing over cups of tea and scones. I wondered if the stories I was hearing were indeed my mother!!

When Peggy moved to Bimbimbie some 12 years ago, little did she know that a few years later, Moira and John would follow and move to the Village … once again the laughter could be heard from another Lifetime as these dear friends enjoyed each other’s company.

Now, both well into their 90s, their minds as sharp as their wit, their diminished hearing not stopping a good old story, they have relinquished their independent living and moved into permanent care.

Who would have imagined that these two beautiful women who experienced Wartime, Depression in the 30s, hard times and good times would now sit quietly beside each other, not having to speak but chuckling occasionally as they say, “do you remember?”

Their Lives took different Paths, as Life does, but the “fork in the road” has led them back together again.

This time they laugh at a dinner table about nothing really important, not the cheer or eagerness of 20-year olds, but as wiser, wonderfully accomplished seniors who laugh at themselves and their new world in care.

The World goes around, the Paths always lead us to where we need to be and our true friends are just “Always There”.

Moira Stewart and Peggy McDonnell

Characters from yester-year.

Comrades from yester- era.

Constants in each other’s lives.

A Memory of Mates.

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