Close ties even after their married lives began
Eighty people came to celebrate the birthday of twin beautiful ladies who have aged in step with one another.
Peggy Ritchie and Betty Ireland, both of Bayview’s Aveo Peninsula Gardens, turned 100 last week.
The identical twins were born in Summer Hill in 1916 and had two brothers.
Their childhood was reportedly full of music and entertaining – their mother played the piano and their father had a beautiful singing voice.
Mrs Ritchie’s daughter Denny Rolleston said her mother and aunt found it hard to believe they had made it to their 100th birthday together.
“They have enjoyed every phase of their lives,” she said. “They remarked that they must have been born under a lucky star.”
They were always in the same class at school and sat next to one another.
Mrs Ireland said Mrs Ritchie came top of the class and that she came second.
School holidays were spent at Coalcliff on the south coast where their grandfather was reportedly in charge of the coal mine.
“Their teenage years were spent going to dances and balls three nights a week, always dressed in beautiful ball gowns and meeting the local boys,” Mrs Rolleston said.
“Both of them met their future husbands at these dances.”
When their husbands returned home from the war they bought houses very close to one another. They have never lived more than a suburb apart.
Mrs Ritchie had two girls and Mrs Ireland had two boys. “Both families spent every holiday together,” Mrs Rolleston said.
They returned to work, both at Channel 10, when their children had grown up.
Mrs Rolleston said there had been drawbacks in being one of the twins – especially when it came to clothes.
“They have always liked the same thing and will choose the identical outfit every time,” she said. “Even if shopping separately or from a catalogue.
“Each tries to get in first to stake a claim on the outfit!”
This article appeared in the Manly Daily on 11 August, written by Rod Bennett.