TOPICS: Enduring friendship

THEIR hair has gone grey and they have pain in joints they never knew existed.

But for a group of Newcastle women, whose friendship dates back six decades, they will always manage to have a laugh over lunch.

Every three months for the past 27 years, the women have met to reminisce about the time they spent working at Johns Silk Store.

Before its closure in 1985, the store sold women’s clothing, childrenswear, manchester and material opposite David Jones in Newcastle mall.

Most of the group started work at Johns Silk Store as teenagers in 1945.

This week over lunch, the women looked back on their time at the store and fondly remembered the week they received double pay after World War II ended.

Barbara Jeans worked at the store for 22 years and said the women always managed to ‘‘have a good laugh’’ when together.

‘‘At Johns we had a good boss, we all got on well and as a result we have formed friendships that we have absolutely treasured to this day,’’ she said.

Ms Jeans said the women’s friendship had remained strong over the years because they all kept a genuine interest  in each other’s lives and were there for one another.

Among the group was Fay Lewis, who used to take her lunch breaks at the beach.

‘‘My bodysurfing talent didn’t go unnoticed,’’ she said.

It led to her title of Miss Nobbys Beach 1948.

 All above board

 TOPICS played a spot of croquet recently.

Actually, let me correct that rather misleading statement. Topics got its backside whooped by 70-year-old croquet player John Levick at the National Park Street club house.

Despite the humiliation, we were somewhat comforted by the fact Levick is about to represent Australia at the World Croquet Federation team championships from November 26 to December 2 in Johannesburg. 

It appears this croquet stuff is serious business.

A quick look on the World Croquet Federation website reveals a long list of erm ... anti-doping information.

Athletes must swear not to take diuretics or anabolic agents to improve their game.

Now there’s a thought.

A real stand-up guy

 GOLD Coast resident Ryan Fulton said goodbye to Newcastle yesterday morning  in his quest to travel on a stand-up paddle board from the Gold Coast to Melbourne.

Fulton, who is raising money for the Heart Foundation, began his adventure on November 4 at the Gold Coast and plans to end his journey on December 8 at Melbourne.

He is on track to meet his deadline, having reached Mona Vale, north Sydney, yesterday afternoon.

However, there is one major problem with deciding to travel 2200 kilometres on a paddle board.

‘‘I can’t feel my legs any more. They’re dead,’’ Fulton told Topics.

‘‘By about lunchtime I have to go on to my knees.’’

The courageous paddler, who lost his dad to heart disease, has raised $2100 to promote heart health.

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