Despite one of their members moving interstate, a Mount Gambier mother’s group that met for the first time over 40 years ago is as strong as ever.
The group comprises women who all gave birth to children in the old Mount Gambier Hospital between December 28 to 30 in 1983.
Group members Tracey Wanganeen, Jill Gilmore, Kerry Norman and Sandy Lavender remain in Mount Gambier while Diane Jordan relocated to Victoria several years ago to be closer to her family.
Mrs Jordan, who is originally from New Zealand, said the group of women became her family in a new town where she had no blood relatives.
“It was just nice and reassuring to have them there so it was great,” she said.
“I think I was in hospital for a week so we had a lot more time together … whereas now possibly in hospital you do not have a lot of that social contact.
“I can remember we were in the day room and were all sitting around and drinking our little bottles of Molony’s soft drink and it was really quite sweet and we were having a good old laugh.
“We have all had good times and bad times and happy times and sad times and we have all been there to listen to one another and just give each other a hug or a laugh or whatever was needed.
“The girls all came to my daughter’s wedding ceremony so that was nice.”
Mrs Jordan said due to COVID restrictions and life commitments, she has been unable to see the group as often as she would like.
“I had hoped to keep up with them a lot more but of course with COVID lockdowns and borders being closed that sort of ruined that a lot although we did do the odd Zoom meeting,” she said.
“We have not been over to Mount Gambier as much as we would have liked to but now that we have kids in Victoria, you are tied up a lot more with family and everything.
“I guess we all realise these things happen and you have just got to make the best of what you can and when you get an opportunity you go for it.
“We have managed to keep up reasonably well.”
The other women had a delightful surprise last week with Mrs Jordan’s attendance at their monthly gathering, unbeknownst to the other members beside from Mrs Gilmore.
“It had been a while since I had seen the girls,” Mrs Jordan said.
“It was really, really nice to see them all again.
“When we see each other we just pick up where we left off and just focus on what we are as a group.
“Now of course we are all grandparents so we catch up on where they are at.”
Mrs Jordan said she cannot see the group ending any time soon.
“I think we will keep meeting as long as we are above the grass and got our marbles and possibly even in the retirement village together,” she said.
“I do not think it is something you put an end to, while we are still here and breathing I think we will still be meeting.
“It is a special bond that we have got. We will just pick up with one another when we can and be there to support one another however we can.”