Lorna Diener, 100, and Isabel Elmore, 95, have been friends and neighbours for almost 80 years.
It’s fitting, then, that when Lorna marked her 100th birthday in September, Isabel was there to share the celebrations.
The pair, who both still live in their homes and receive regular visits from Bolton Clarke Registered Nurse, Tanya Morrison, met as young wives who were among the first residents in their quiet street in suburban Launceston.
Lorna was Launceston born and bred, having grown up near City Park, attended primary school there and won a scholarship to the local Methodist Ladies College, where she is named four times as Dux of her class on the Honour Roll.
“I married my husband Philip in January 1940 and we had built our family home ready to move into as soon as we were married,” she says.
“There were not many houses in our street at the time and we immediately made friends with a couple down the road, Isabel and Walter.
“Both our husbands had served in the war and they became great mates, our children grew up together and both our families would often share many social outings and events together – Isobel and I were always very close friends.”
Isabel’s family arrived in Hobart in 1921, and she got engaged to her husband Walter before World War II broke out in 1939.
Walter joined the 2nd 40th Battalion and was deployed to West Timor, during which time she received a dreaded telegram saying he was missing in action after the area was invaded by enemy forces.
“We heard nothing for three months,” she says.
After months surviving in the jungle, Wal and his men were eventually able to build a radio and communicate with the Australian Armed forces and finally Isabel had word that her husband was well and with his unit. They were married soon after his return.
Today, Isabel still marches in the Anzac Day parade with her daughters. She lives independently in the house where she raised her family, with support from our At Home Support team.
“I am very appreciative for all the assistance from Tanya, I enjoy living in my own home and she is a wonderful nurse, I don’t know where I would be without her,” she says.
Lorna and Isabel’s enduring friendship has seen them through happy times like the arrival of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and difficult periods including the loss of their husbands.
“I still like to wander up to the local supermarket to get a few groceries, and I still potter in my garden,” Lorna says.
“And I still have Isabel down the road – we can’t always manage to visit each other, but we have a chat on the phone whenever we like.”