A real gem of the party scene
THE Central Coast's Roving Rubies lay claim to two records - having the most senior Australian Red Hatter in their group and the most group members to have done the Hokey Pokey on Sydney Harbour at one time.
The group celebrated "Dame Edna" Fowler's 96th birthday in Age of Aquarius style on January 31, complete with giant Kombi banner with window cut-outs.
They even supplied their eldest stateswoman with a butterfly kaftan for the occasion.
Declaring Edna an icon, group founder Marlene Klintworth, known affectionately as Queen Lilimarlene, has made it her mission to make each birthday since Edna's 90th special.
Her 90th involved a bikini party, her 95th a formal do with long dresses and tiaras more to Edna's taste, and Edna declared at the time: "We'll see what they do for my 100th!"
But she didn't have to wait that long, with a fun Flower Power gathering at Daley's Point Kitchen this year's marker.
The ladies aren't afraid of a good time and even made their own fake (or so we are told) joints for the occasion!
The only hurdle was that no one was game to make the birthday cake for the former multi-award-winning cake decorator, with Marlene finally talking a newer member who was blissfully unaware of Edna's credentials into doing so.
But Edna's birthday is just one of many reasons the group finds to celebrate, with members' birthdays marked on the first Thursday of each month at Gosford Leagues Club.
They will also be celebrating the group's 15th birthday this year, heading back to the Rhythm boat to cruise Sydney Harbour with Red Hatters from six other branches.
Last year they created a veritable conga line of 73 red and purple-bedecked ladies, as Marlene said, "trying to remember their right from their left" and doing the Hokey Pokey as they boarded.
And with last year's guest being country music legend Frank Ifield, Marlene said they had big shoes to fill in 2020. But amidst the fun, the group also does its bit for others, including fundraising for victims of the bushfires and preparing and sending 70 Christmas boxes to Australian troops.
"To date I have 48 wonderful letters and cards sent from overseas thanking us … they are really touching," Marlene said.
But, with Marlene in the picture, even these were not your ordinary boxes.
"They loved the whoopee cushions and fun little games we put in as well as the Tim Tams, of course," she said.
The Red Hatters are a social group of women from 50-96 years of age who always welcome new members. You can do as much or as little as you want with the group, the object is simply to have fun, and Marlene said they had a few mothers and daughters like Edna and daughter Hellen Meaney who found it a great way to connect.
To find out more, call Marlene on 0412 760 725 or email rovingrubies@optus net.com.au.