Pirie's 36ers notch up another milestone

PARTY TIME: The 36ers celebrated with a meal at the Port Football and Community Sporting Club. There were four new members of the group. Nancy Jaeschke, fourth from right, and Venie Johnson, fifth from left, said the lunches were 'special'.
PARTY TIME: The 36ers celebrated with a meal at the Port Football and Community Sporting Club. There were four new members of the group. Nancy Jaeschke, fourth from right, and Venie Johnson, fifth from left, said the lunches were 'special'.

Eighty-three years after joining South Australia at a special anniversary, a group of residents is still ready to party.

Known as the 36ers, the residents were born in 1936 when our state marked a coming of age with its 100th birthday since settlement.

On their 50th birthdays, they were recognised at the state's 1986 Jubilee, marking 150 years since settlement, when they were rewarded with money boxes and bank accounts.

Recently, a group comprising about 22 people and their partners celebrated the 36ers yearly lunch at the Port Football and Community Sporting Club.

On display was a commemorative matchbook possibly from the Jubilee grand birthday dinner-dance at Morphettville.

"It was one night to remember in our year to remember," said Nancy Jaeschke who displayed the matchbook.

TREASURE: Nancy Jaeschke holds a commemorative matchbook from the Jubilee celebration of the 36ers.

TREASURE: Nancy Jaeschke holds a commemorative matchbook from the Jubilee celebration of the 36ers.

Mrs Jaeschke said she did not know where she had obtained the matchbook, but it could have come from one of the reunions in Adelaide.

"It most certainly is a treasured possession," she said.

"At last year's lunch in Port Pirie, I brought along a money box and my bank book where two pounds three shillings was deposited after my birth by the state government."

She said the organisers had stopped holding reunions in Adelaide and Venie Johnson and she had thought it would be good to keep it going "for as long as there are 36ers".

"We had four new 36ers this time and one had passed away," she said.

"It may not mean a lot of some people, but keeping it going for as long as we can is special."

She then joked: "Next year half of us might not be here."

That got a lot of laughs from the merry bunch.

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