Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Friendship and two people who will be celebrating more than most are lifelong friends Ariel Adams and Belle Goodacre.
Ariel and Belle have been friends for 95 years.
Belle is 100 and Ariel will join her in the centenarians club when she turns 100 on August 17.
Both were born in Sydney in 1917 and met at Alexandria Primary School where they immediately struck up a friendship that would guide them through the next 95 years.
“Ariel and Belle also attended the same high school which, in 1932, organised an extracurricular walk over the soon-to-be-opened Sydney Harbour Bridge, “ Ariel’s son Jeff Adams said.
“Outside of school the pair were avid ice skaters, spending a fair-share of their time down at the Glaciarium (Sydney’s first ice rink). They also played vigoro for the ‘Red Robins’ together, all through the 1930’s.
“Work life wouldn’t get in the way of their friendship. They worked together at Winns, an old large department store in Redfern. One day, Belle was transferred to another Winns store in Darlinghurst; not long after, Ariel was successfully granted a transfer to the very same store.
“In the late 1930s, it was Belle who introduced Ariel to her future-husband, Merv. In 1940, Ariel married Merv, with her maid of honour, Belle, by her side.
The very same year, Belle married George. No points for guessing who Belle’s right-hand-lady was on the day.
“Merv and George were best mates, even before they met their future wives and the friendship of the happy four continued throughout their lives.”
The friends have 31 living descendants - 25 from Ariel and six from Belle.
After Merv and George passed on, Ariel and Belle decided to celebrate their 80th birthdays by going on a world cruise for three months, travelling through Panama, New York, London, France and Italy, before returning home.
Ariel moved to Hammondcare Miranda in 2013, where Belle regularly phones and visits her, Jeff said.
“The 100 years-young, Belle, catches public transport (two buses, a train, and a brisk uphill walk) from Hurstville to visit her closest friend.”