A special friendship for almost 70 years

16 January 2024

By Shirley, Resident at SCC St Mary’s aged care home, Raceview.

My name is Shirley and I reside at St Mary’s (SCCQ aged care home in Raceview). This is the story of a wonderful and lasting friendship with Helen, who also resides at St Mary’s.

My friendship with Helen spans almost 70yrs. We met at the bus stop on Ellenborough St, Ipswich, outside the old Queensland Times (Q.T.) building, when we were both not long married and I had one child in toe, and Helen was heavily pregnant with twins.

Helen’s twin boys arrived in July and in February the following year, I had my second son. Helen had two more girls and I had two also, a girl followed by a boy.

Our children played together, went to Silkstone State School and then on to Bremer State High. Our eldest son had just commenced high school, but when my husband was posted to Wagga Wagga in 1966 we had to relocate. Our years in Wagga Wagga was most enjoyable, even during the first year of having to endure a southern winter in an unheated house.

Helen and I maintained our friendship via mail and she even came and spent a week with us, along with her 4yr old, Glenda, which was lovely.

On our return to Ipswich in 1972, we left behind our eldest child at teacher’s training college, and our son Greg who was an apprentice in the NSW railway. Our life resumed and over the years our family expanded with our children marrying and having children themselves.

Helen and I didn’t see as much of each other during some of those years, but here we are many years later, both together again at SCC St Mary’s where our friendship has endured and I feel lucky to have her with me in this late stage of our lives.

Shirley and Helen, friends and fellow residents at SCC St Mary’s aged care home