Hervey Bay’s Bev Cornwell and Maryborough’s Joan Darlington caught up and shared memories and photos at Point Vernon.
Hervey Bay’s Bev Cornwell and Maryborough’s Joan Darlington caught up and shared memories and photos at Point Vernon. Karleila Thomsen

Memories flood back at reunion

MEMORIES came flooding back to Bev Cornwell and Joan Darlington in an emotional reunion yesterday as the old school chums came together for the first time in about 60 years.

The two lived in the small country town of Thangool near Biloela in the '50s and, after moving to Hervey Bay in 1955, Bev thought she had filed away memories of the area for good.

Neither of the ladies had any idea that they had both been living in the same region for many years until Bev read a story about Joan's amazing marathon feats in The Chronicle last month.

“It's a small, small world,” Bev said yesterday as they recalled old times.

“It was only that curiosity got the better of me and I looked up her phone number, and all I had to say when she answered was: “Do you have a sister called Ysia?”

Ysia Hawkins was Bev's best friend and all three girls went through school together.

“Ysia was a year older than me and I have always remembered her as a beautiful person and someone that I really admired and looked up to even at that young age,” Bev said.

“She had a very unusual name and spelling; I had never heard the name before.

“Joan had blond plaits and was the same age as my young sister Lyn.

“My memories of those early years are full of good times and birthday parties at the Hawkins residence in Thangool.”

A very excited Joan, who has lived in Tinana for about 30 years, said she had a hard time believing who was on the other end of the line.

“After all those years, it took a story in The Chronicle to bring us together.

“It's amazing really that you can live so close to someone and you don't know they're there.

“But without our maiden names you wouldn't know it's that person,” she said.

“It's so lovely to meet again; and we'll stay friends and we'll meet up every so often and get together.”

Joan, her husband Greg, Bev and her husband Geoff and Bev's sister and mother all met at the Homemade Café in Point Vernon yesterday for morning tea, to swap stories and look over photos of times from over half a century ago.



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