FAREWELL DO - VICE QUEEN OF THE SASSY SISTERS
The much beloved long serving Vice Queen - The Countess of Chaos has needed to return to the UK for personal reasons. Very sad all round as she would have much preferred to stay. As well as her unflagging support for her own chapter, she has been extremely supportive of Red Hats here in the West. Over the years Do has unearthed some cracker ideas for our chapter outings, which has inspired other chapters to follow in her lead. So giving her a Red Hat send off was inevitable.
So all those special to her from many chapters, gathered for one final time together. She had distributed most of her hats around, so in deference to her, all the Sassy Sisters wore one of these for the day! The look on her face as the realisation dawned was priceless. There was much hugging and tear shedding, but mostly laughter as we recalled those special memories from the past, all the while creating new ones for the future.
The atmosphere on the day while tinged with sadness was still a celebration of Do’s Red Hat journey. She was heard to remark that “Normally this is what is said at your funeral, and you don’t get to hear such nice things about yourself”, ending with the comment “I feel so rich’’. She truly is one of those remarkably humble individuals who have no idea of their true worth.
Of course there were gifts so that she would remember us, all with special significance, like the handbag so she could take us with her everywhere, and a photo book put together for her to browse over later. Being the undisputed Queen of Op Shopping which we explored these far and wide, it was appropriate that the frames for her group photos were sourced from one of these.
More importantly the honour of Life Membership of the Sassy Sisters was bestowed upon her. And to lighten the mood we played a jigsaw puzzle, where the names of all those Red Hatters special to her were written and placed in a heart template. This represented while we may be ‘apart’ as the various pieces were, that we would still always be a ‘part’ of her heart! And of course a poem in her honour, recited beautifully by Susan.
The Empress of The West – Bev Fussell, topped proceedings off by presenting Do with a very special quilted hanging she had created especially to thank her for all that she had done for Red Hats here in the West. This included Australian motifs as well as things close to Do’s heart, like the fabulous shield she made for us.
Sadly, finally, the day drew to a close as Do gave her final farewell saying she had ‘Memories to pickle and polish’, and inviting us all to visit her in the UK. And I know for a fact several are planning this already. With the strains of Auld Lang Syne ringing in our ears we separated one last time.
From Queen Anna: "We will miss her tremendously.
For me as Queen she was her most wonderfully supportive Vice Queen there
ever could be. Nothing I could ever say could thank her enough for all she has
done. In the words of Winnie The Pooh
‘How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard’. But
though she has now gone from our shores, she can still participate in our
outings through the magic of FaceTime as evidenced here!"
CRUISE AROUND AUSTRALIA
Queen Joan (Bribie Island) and her companions had a wonderful cruise around Australia meeting up with a number Red hat (and other) friends both on board and at a number of ports and were given wonderful welcomes by Queen Merveen (Hatters to Go – Burnie TAS) and Queen Angela (Albany Royal Red Hatters WA).
The ladies had such a great time they have booked the same trip this time next year.
This trip certainly has given the Queen Joan ‘Royal Seal of Approval’.
STEPPING BACK IN TIME
The M’Ladies of the Lake have enjoyed many social interactions and relationships since the formation of their Chapter in December 2006. They have embraced their ageing years and feel optimistic about life knowing that encouraging interaction with others prevents isolation and promotes good mental health, physical activity and positive ageing in all areas of their life.
Their latest adventure took them back to 1887 when they enjoyed lunch at the grand historical building, Mansfield House at Maitland, originally the CBC Bank. The Palm Court Tea Rooms offer High teas, lunches and is a great venue for weddings etc, for groups or for any special occasion. The extensive yards and building have been well preserved and its original grandeur was obvious. The ladies spent a few hours enjoying the ambience of the gardens and the interior and explored the manager’s office and adjoining rooms. Lunch was delicious also!!
PICNICS IN THE PARK
Spring for the Dames Down Under in SA has certainly been a mixed bag of weather. Daytime temperatures in the mid-30°s, night time temperatures as high as 28°, and cool days and nights in between, with the promise of rain that hasn’t really satisfied the thirsty gardens.
Rain was forecast on the day of their planned Picnic in Himeji Gardens and the Dames were glad it stayed fine though a little overcast… although they had the Tea House in the Gardens for cover if necessary. It stayed fine and they spread out the picnic rug, unfolded the chairs and enjoyed lunch and a cuppa on the lawns, accompanied by lots of chatter and laughter of course.
The group plans to have another picnic on the banks of the River Torrens where they will enjoy lunch on the lawns before boarding Popeye for the boat ride on the River Torrens. First launched in 1935 the fleet of boats are State Heritage Icons.
An invitation is extended to Queens and Members of other local Red Hat chapters to join the Dames for the picnic…hopefully the weather will be kind to them again.
A' ROVING WITH THE ROVING RUBIES
The Roving Rubies 11th birthday celebrations held on the Rhythm Boat on Sydney Harbour was great fun. It was also Queen Lilimarlene’s 70th again birthday. The theme for the day was flowers in your hair, or on your hat and the Hawkesbury girls did a grand job of their sombreros. Other Red hat sister groups are always invited to join - it is good for the smaller groups to be amongst a big gaggle of red hatters.
A video was taken of 84 red hatters on the wharf claiming the World record of “The Most Red Hatters doing the Hokey Pokey in Sydney”, with a challenge issued by the RR’s for others to break that one!!
Queen Lilimarlene has also been a’roving around Tasmania, meeting up three chapters while there.
She caught up with some of the Hobart Scarlet O’Hatter, including the founding Queen Joanne but missed Queen Janine who was still on her travels.
While gathered with Hatters to Go, Q Lilimarlene, Queen Merveen and VQ Merlene of Burnie decided to call themselves the Mer-mar-mer Lene's of Tassie. The Burnie group was celebrating Friday 13th, so Lilimarlene helped them claim a world record for the "Most red hatters dressed in all black doing the Hokey Pokey on Black Friday 13th in Tasmania”. There will be 2 Friday 13th next year and it is possible this record will be broken.
Lilimarlene also caught up with the now combined Devonport/Latrobe and Queen Heather Pearn of the Coastal Robins (reviously the Tassie Red Devils), who are now finding their feet. They are had a good time at the chocolate factory for a high tea. Q Lilimarlene’s expertise in group photos come to the fore – after years of practice she finds that by using the word “Monkey” all smile at the same time resulting in smiles all around.