30 years of walking and friendships

What began as a couple of friends taking a regular walk has since spanned to 30 years of walking kilometres around Franklin, talking and friendship.
Three days a week, the Walkie Talkies as they like to call themselves set off for a five kilometre walk around Pukekohe. Ranging from late 50s to mid 80s, the group of ladies say it was originally formed as a social catch up.
Now, the ladies are out and about on regular adventures that aren’t just limited to Franklin.
“The late Betty Short was the original instigator of the group, and that was well over 30 years ago. There have been several who have come and gone over the years, but we still have a few of the originals. I have been a part of it for over 20 years, and Peggy Watson is one who has been walking with us for over 30 years,” said Ruth Irvine.
The Walkie Talkies consist of around 12 local ladies who are all very good friends. Rain, hail or shine, you will find them ‘on no particular course of direction’, as each walk is different. However, they make sure they finish off with a coffee at a cafe in Pukekohe.
“We all take turns to pick which cafe to go to, as we all have our favourites.”
When asked how they feel about walking an average five kilometres each time, their reply was simple. “We don’t notice it as we are too busy talking,” said Bev Christie.
Once a month, they also make sure they head to Auckland and take a walk around one the many parks for a change of scenery.
The Walkie Talkies don’t keep their friendship to just their regular jaunts. The group also make sure they go away together once a year.
“Even though some of us can’t do the walks anymore, or have moved out of the area, we all still make an effort to catch up either on our trip away or at the coffee stops.”
For most of us, any form of exercise is considered a chore, but not for these ladies; their regular meets are the highlights of the week, and are sorely missed when they can’t make it.
“It is what gets me out of bed in the morning,” said Pauline Kay.
“Fresh air and friendship, what more could anyone ask for?” said Colleen Swift.
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