Bridge Buddies become neighbours
When Ann Gluckman and Margaret North began playing bridge together, they never imagined they would end up becoming neighbours. But now, two decades later, the women are living on the same floor of the same apartment block at Metlifecare’s 7 Saint Vincent.
“We first met playing bridge when Ann was filling in for one of our regular players and she has since become a very good friend,” says Margaret, who moved into the village in December and recently celebrated her ninetieth birthday.
“I’ve visited Ann at 7 Saint Vincent regularly over the years to play bridge and attend various functions. I love gardening and have always been struck by the beautiful gardens here. It’s so quiet and peaceful.”
Not surprisingly, when Margaret recently decided to sell her St Heliers home of 53 years and move into a lifestyle village, 7 Saint Vincent was top of her list.
“I looked at lots of different places and felt very much at home at 7 Saint Vincent because I’d visited often and knew Ann so well. To have her just around the hall is amazing – she is an incredible woman.”
A resident at 7 Saint Vincent for the past 15 years, Ann was the first woman in New Zealand to be appointed principal of a state co-ed secondary school and was awarded an OBE for her work in education and the community in 1992. She was former prime minister Helen Clark’s form mistress at Epsom Girls Grammar School, has written and edited numerous books (on everything from aging to Jewish history),and has worked as a tour guide to some of the world’s most far-flung destinations.
Now aged 93, Ann is still a force to be reckoned with. She often stays up until the wee small hours writing and editing books and she immerses herself in a wide range of community work. Despite her busy lifestyle, friendship – and her bond with Margaret – remain one of her top priorities.
Says Ann, “Margaret is the wise and gentle one. She is a fantastic gardener, a cordon bleu cook, a pianist, and was a marriage guidance counsellor for 25 years. She is an extremely dear friend. It’s just wonderful to have her living down the hall from me!”
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