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Test of time . . . Don and Elizabeth McColl cut the celebratory cake for 40 years of the Orwell St Church friends and neighbours group, which was founded by Don's mother Marge. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

The Orwell Street Church friends and neighbours group has lasted the test of time.

And so have the friendships.

The group, which meets the first Thursday of each month, celebrated its 40th year last week at an event attended by 90 past and present members.

It was founded in 1979 by the late Marge McColl as a ladies’ group, but has since moved to include men.

As an outreach of the church, the group meets once a month to have a hot drink and listen to various speakers and demonstrations.

Mrs McColl’s son Don McColl, who attended the 40th celebrations, said his mother was a “hobbyist”.

“We couldn’t go away on holiday without stopping at different craft shops.

“She would be very proud of the legacy she left here.”

After moving to Mosgiel, Mrs McColl established another friends and neighbours group there.

The group’s present-day chairwoman, Valerie Shekleton, said the anniversary event was a good opportunity to catch up with people who had moved on.

Margret Rawcliffe has been attending monthly meetings since 1979 and said it was about “fellowship and friendship”.

“It is something to look forward to each month,” Mrs Rawcliffe said.

“It is especially good for some of the older people who do not get out as much and are lonely.

“Some of our members are in rest homes and they still make the effort to come along each month.”