Beaudesert women celebrate International Friendship Day

ON International Friendship Day, Whiddon Beaudesert Star residents and best friends, Linda Hovey and Joanne De Koning are relying on their close bond to see them through yet another COVID-19 lockdown.

After three new cases of the virus were detected in south-east Queensland yesterday, health authorities declared that all aged care facilities in the Metro South area, including those in Beaudesert, would be closed to visitors.

Ms De Koning arrived at Whiddon Beaudesert Star six months before Mrs Hovey and said they had been fast friends for about six years ago since.

Ms Hovey, came to Australia at the age of 30 from Kent in the UK and Ms De Koning came from Arnhem in the Netherands aged 25.

The pair said they had bonded over their similar likes and dislikes such as food and clothing and neither had expected to find someone to share such a special friendship with in aged care.

When asked what they most liked about each other, the ladies did not hesitate.

"Linda is very open and caring," Ms De Koning said.

"Joanne is very kind and often helps me with things," Mrs Hovey said.

Both said they enjoyed having morning tea together in the sunshine in the courtyard outside their neighbouring rooms.

Ms Hovey's daughters had also bonded as a result of their mothers' friendship.

Last year Ms Hovey was pleased to celebrate her 99th birthday with Ms De Koning and her daughters at a family celebration on Tamborine Mountain.

Ms Hovey's 100th birthday happened just as the COVID-19 crisis was emerging and the care home went into lockdown for the first time.

Both families celebrated with a small gathering in Jaycee Park.

At the time, Ms Hovey, who lived through World War II and the depression as well as the upheaval of moving to Australia from the UK in 1950, said she understood why many of the people she had hoped to share her 100th birthday were unable to attend.

She also said she understood why social distancing meant none of her guests could close enough for a birthday hug.

"We're blowing kisses, you can't get the virus that way, can you?" she said.

"Everyone has gone to so much trouble to make this party happen.

"I feel great, no different really than I did yesterday."

After six years of friendship, their advice for a good friendship was to discuss things together and help each other with any problems.