Friends reunited even after all of these years...90 of them
by Guy Rouse
Two friends, Nettie Rouse and Esther Hagen, both having celebrated their 93rd birthdays just a couple of weeks apart, are once again enjoying living close to one another in Swift Current, SK.
Nettie’s 93rd birthday on April 2 and Esther’s was on April 17. They started life as Nettie Landmark and Esther Moxness, growing up on farms near each other and playing together in the community of Instow, Saskatchewan.
They walked together to the one room school in Instow called the North Instow School.
It was in this community that they began a friendship that continues to this day.
Nettie and Esther both married farmers, Esther married Arnold Hagen in March of 1945 and they raised their family and farmed in the Admiral community.
Nettie married Bill Rouse Jr in June of 1947 and they raised their family and farmed in the Simmie community.
The couples remained friends, visiting one another and camping together as they farmed and raised their families. Their husbands also became good friends, hunting and fishing together.
Esther and Arnold moved off their farm and into Shaunavon, Saskatchewan in 1986, spending summers on their farm and in December of 2015 Nettie and Bill moved off their farm and into the Prairie Pioneer
Manor in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. It became more difficult to see each other in person but they always kept in touch by telephone.
Sadly both women lost their husbands; Esther in 2011 and Nettie in 2018.
Then in May of 2020 Esther Hagen moved into a unit at the Prairie Pioneer Manor in Swift Current where Nettie Rouse still resides in her unit.
Once again the two friends are pleased to live close together as they did as young girls and are able to spend as much time together as they wish.
It’s a friendship that has spanned over 90 years.
Nettie Rouse is on the left and Esther Hagen is on the right.