It started as a group of friends meeting up for coffee on a Friday but over the past 18 years it has turned into much more.
“We have become each others’ extended family,” long time member Sandra Rae said at their recent catch up on Friday, July 15.
The group was started by local ladies Monica Eddleston and Beverley Suter.
Originally it was a girls only affair and those husbands who occasionally presented themselves were allowed to stay but were fined a gold coin which was then donated to the Lions Club.
“Over the years, some girls have passed away, others have left the area and new friends have joined the group,” Ms Eddleston said.
Now the group regularly welcomes husbands and the widowers of the original ‘coffee girls’ just for the pleasure of their company.
“The purpose of the Friday meeting is, and always was, to support each other in good times and bad,” Ms Eddleston said.
“When I have been sick, unwell or injured, there is not one person in this group that hasn’t come and knocked on my door to check on me and to offer to help me in some way.”
The group ranges in age from people in their mid 50s through to their mid 80s with the common theme of catching up, looking out for one another and never putting anyone down.
Unfortunately, one of the group’s founding members, Beverley Suter recently passed away, but in the months since her death her husband Ross has become a regular.
“Ross said that he never understood Beverley’s need to keep Friday mornings free for coffee until he started coming,” Ms Rae said.
In the years since its inception members have come and gone, and other side groups have formed and collapsed – such as their other regular catch up in the form of the Patchwork, Embroidery, Craft and Chat (PECAC) group.
While PECAC is no longer, it was reignited recently when Mr Suter arrived at Friday morning coffee in his favourite jumper, which had holes in the elbows. The girls took the jumper and mended it for him.
“Beverley would never have let him leave the house looking like that,” Ms Eddleston said.
The Coffee Girls plan to continue meeting on Fridays for many years to come.
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