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Good friends are hard to find

Retirement Living Lifestyle Positive Ageing Stories
06 May 2019

The Good Life spoke to two sets of friends at IRT Parklands, asking them what makes their friendship work.

Marrie and Arleen

Marrie Handley and Arleen Tregenza have been friends for almost seven years.
Marrie Handley and Arleen Tregenza have been friends for almost seven years.

How did you meet?

Marrie: We have craft afternoons here in the village and that’s where we met.

Arleen: We just clicked when we first met. We’ve got the same warped sense of humour.

What do you enjoy doing together?

Arleen: We go out on the bus trips and we’re always getting in trouble for talking too much and laughing. We also went on a Harley Davidson ride recently. It was something I’d always wanted to do so my daughter booked Marrie and me on a charity ride. It was a full day and included lunch. We travelled 300km and laughed like crazy all the way.

Marrie: We were on the back of the bikes and we just held on to the riders. Arleen got the better looking bloke, though.

What’s the secret to a long and happy friendship?

Arleen: Speaking your mind and acting naturally, just taking it as it comes. You know Marrie calls me grandma … and I’m the younger one! So I call her mum now.

Marrie: I believe in looking into a person’s heart. It’s not about what they wear or how much money they have, it’s what they are deep down inside. If you find a good friend you have them for life.

How important is it to have good friends?

 Arleen: It’s very important to have someone to talk to, someone you can rely on, someone who’s always there for you.

 Marrie: I agree completely.

Sandy and Val

Sandy Butow and Val Metherell have been friends for almost 30 years.
Sandy Butow and Val Metherell have been friends for almost 30 years.

When did you meet?

Val: We met when I interviewed Sandy for a job in the front ticket office of Canadian Airlines, in 1989. I thought Sandy was qualified, experienced and had the right personality for the job, which she did. The company we worked for was very sociable and Sandy and I always got along well. We got much closer when I was widowed in 1997.

What do you enjoy doing together?

Val: We love travel, it’s our main hobby. You name it, we’ve been there.

Sandy: We like going to places we haven’t been before; we’ve been to Africa and Asia, the Amazon, and on cruises and safaris.

What’s the secret to a long and happy friendship?

 Sandy: We’re chalk and cheese. And because we’re so opposite in our likes and dislikes, the key is acceptance.

How important is it to have good friends?

 Val: Well, being a widow with no children or family in Australia, it’s very important to have Sandy’s friendship. I’m very lucky to be able to share her four sons and their families.

 Sandy: Often it’s difficult for single women to be accepted by couples, so I’m very fortunate to have such a good friend as Val. Village life is good because we see familiar faces wherever we go.

(left to right) Val Metherell, Arleen Tregenza, Marrie Handley and Sandy Butow (front) spoke to The Good Life about friendship.
(left to right) Val Metherell, Arleen Tregenza, Marrie Handley and Sandy Butow (front) spoke to The Good Life about friendship.

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