Lines girls gather for birthday in Port Lincoln

BIRTHDAY: A big gathering at the Great Northern Hotel for Christine Bird's birthday. Pictured are (back): Leon Seaman, Joe Mosca, Sandra Lines, Neil Fort, Lorraine Fort, Rodney Bird, Christine Bird, John Starke, Beth Stringer; front: Rebecca Barber, Leanne Seaman, Raelene Lovegrove and Terry Lovegrove. Photo: supplied
BIRTHDAY: A big gathering at the Great Northern Hotel for Christine Bird's birthday. Pictured are (back): Leon Seaman, Joe Mosca, Sandra Lines, Neil Fort, Lorraine Fort, Rodney Bird, Christine Bird, John Starke, Beth Stringer; front: Rebecca Barber, Leanne Seaman, Raelene Lovegrove and Terry Lovegrove. Photo: supplied

At lunch time on Friday, August 13 a happy band of travellers gathered at The Great Northern Hotel for lunch, to celebrate Christine Bird's birthday.

Mrs Bird was completely unaware that her sisters were already inside to surprise her. She had not enjoyed her birthdays since her twin Carmel Starke died in 1987.

Brother-in-law John Starke came up with the idea to give Mrs Bird a surprise birthday, and she was amazed and a little stunned to see her sisters. The sisters had not gathered together in 16 years.

Their last gathering was in 2005 for their Mum's funeral, Mr Starke had come prepared with some beautiful photos from the time when Mrs Bird and Mrs Starke were together.

There were some tears, but a lot of laughter as happy memories were shared with words like, "do you remember when?" and ''what about the meringues story Raelene?''

Leanne Seaman made and decorated a beautiful birthday cake for the occasion.

Lorraine and Neil Fort, John Starke and Beth Stringer had flown in from Adelaide that morning, Sandra Lines and Joe Mosca travelled from Port Pirie, Leanne and Leon Seaman came from Cummins while Rebecca Barber, Raelene and Terry Lovegrove live in Port Lincoln.

The six Lines girls lived and went to school on Lower Eyre Peninsula, attending Port Lincoln, Koppio and Cummins area schools, resulting in them knowing many people in the area.

The only two missing were sister Carmel Starke and Beth Stringer's husband Wally (deceased).

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