Gayndah bids farewell
Helen Walker heads home to Scone
FOR GAYNDAH locals who don’t know Helen Walker personally, they know her as the Christmas elf, or Easter bunny, who spends hours handing out treats spreading festive cheer down Capper St come holiday season.
This Christmas will be Mrs Walker’s last local stint in her elf costume after locals gathered at Gayndah RSL hall this week to bid her farewell before she moves away.
Mrs Walker has been making the town a happier place for 28 years, but has now decided it’s time to return to Scone, New South Wales, to be with her family.
“My husband died 11 years ago and I only stayed here after he died because little Lena Kane asked me if I would stay until she died, because we were great friends, and I said alright then,” Mrs Walker said.
“But I wasn’t expecting her to die at 100.
“Lena was like my family in Gayndah and she spent a lot Christmases with me at home, we’d have a roast dinner and sheds have her sherry and I’d have my beer.”
A beloved friend to Mrs Walker, Miss Kane passed away on April 30, 2018 at 100 years old.
“When she died my kids asked if I was going to come home now and I thought maybe I actually wouldn’t, but I went down there for a few weeks and I saw all my great-grandkids and I said ‘nup, I have to come back here’ so I decided I’m leaving Gayndah at Christmas,” Mrs Walker said.
She said her farewell held at the RSL hall at the weekend affirmed the sentiment that she was going to miss the people the most.
“They presented me with this beautiful big painting of Lena Kane, and it was the painting that won Sue Harm the Oils and Acrylics section of Gayndah Art Gallery's biennial art competition,” Mrs Walker said.
“I wasn’t expecting anything at all and it was an absolutely beautiful thing to do.
“I’ve made a lot of friends since I’ve been here so a lot of them turned up for me last Saturday.”
Mrs Walker is set to leave for Scone on December 29.
GOOD FRIENDS: Gayndah locals gather at the RSL hall to farewell Helen Walker before moves away.