Roving Rubies celebrate Dame Edna’s 96th
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 a giant Kombi banner featuring 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 one to remember.
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, as a fun Flower Power gathering was 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.
Marlene finally talked 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.
They will mark the group’s 15th birthday this year by 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 while, as Marlene said, “trying to remember their right from their left” and doing the Hokey Pokey as they boarded.
As last year’s guest was country music legend Frank Ifield, Marlene said they had big shoes to fill in 2020.
But amid the fun, the group also does its bit for others, including raising money for victims of the bushfires and preparing and sending 70 Christmas boxes to Australian troops.
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.
HIPPY BIRTHDAY: Birthday girl Dame Edna Fowler, her daughter Hellen Meaney and Shirley Chapman with Ava De Zeeuw (back).