THE Christmas lunch tradition means togetherness and sharing, but this one meal each year in Wodonga means so much more to two Border women.
Evelyn Piltz and Olive Wells were childhood friends before they lost contact for years — until last year.
That’s when they were reunited by accident at the St Stephen’s Uniting Church Christmas lunch.
They met up again yesterday and enjoyed it so much, they now mark the day on their annual calendars.
“This is the second year we have sat together and we’ve decided to make it a date,” Mrs Piltz said.
“When I came last year I didn’t even know Olive was in this area.”
Both women said if it was not for the lunch and now a rekindled friendship, they would be spending Christmas alone: “I’d be with my budgie,” Mrs Wells said.
“I now look forward to this at the end of the year.
“It’s lovely to see friends you haven’t seen in a long time.”
Mrs Piltz said it had brightened her Christmas being able to see a familiar face.
Lunch volunteer Gary Knight said the aim of the lunch, which attracted more than 200 people this year, was to bring together people who did not have anybody to share the day with.
“It’s a time to share with people and those people who are homeless can know they are part of our community,” he said.