Stroke Club members, from left, Barbara Starrenburg, Pam Hellian, Pat Birnie, Margaret Banyard and Lynette Badham.
Two very busy and very sprightly Mahurangi women celebrated their 90th birthdays last month.
Warkworth Wellsford Hospice held a special morning tea for Joan Ballantine to mark both her birthday and her retirement, while the Warkworth Stroke Club celebrated Pat Birnie’s 90th later the same morning.
Joan started with the hospice rag team about 12 years ago, but more recently was up early every Wednesday morning to make scones and sandwiches for the garage sale volunteers’ morning tea.
“Hospice was very good to me when my husband was sick so when he passed away, I wanted to give something back,” she said. “Joining the volunteers was just what I needed to get me going again. It’s been a real joy.”
Joan’s enthusiasm for line dancing and dressing up were noted at the celebration, and Christine Sanderson said her humour and loyalty would be missed enormously.
Pat Birnie’s contribution to the community through many organisations including the Red Cross, Save the Children Fund and the Snells Beach School reading programme were acknowledged at the stroke club morning tea in her honour.
She was a founding member of the club, which grew from a small group of women who got together originally to help a young mother who was crippled with arthritis. The child they helped care for is now at university in Dunedin.
“I’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed good health all my life,” Pat said. “When I was young we didn’t sit at computers all day and we had to ride or walk to school. I think that perhaps all that exercise helped keep us healthy.”