THE lady who sold swimming costumes to prime ministers' wives and royalty (but she won't name names) - is about to retire.
This Noosa identity who ensured there were volumes of crocheted bikinis for the girls on Noosa beach (oh, the way they went out of shape in the wet!) said there is absolutely nobody she couldn't fit for togs.
After 35 years in business, Noosa's queen of swimming suits, Josephine Matthews, is calling it a day and moving on.
But she is leaving behind great some memories. The woman whose claim to fame includes being one of Noosa Heads Surf Club's first four women lifesavers, said her health, grandchildren, and the business climate have all contributed to her decision to close up shop and move permanently to Port Douglas. Although she wants to live the quiet life, she will keep her North Queensland store.
Semi-retirement is the perfect solution for someone who has led such a busy life.
The Dutch-born former high school teacher came to Melbourne as a child with her parents. After teaching, she managed a hotel with her first husband in Victoria and went on to live in the Philippines managing fish farms before returning to Australia.
"Back then I was thinking of the Gold Coast," Josephine said.
"But when I came to Noosa - that was it, I just loved it."
Fulfilling her desire to purchase some of paradise, she bought blocks of land on the newly developed Noosa Sound. Then she went on to set up her Hastings St business in the former Pine Trees complex.
"I bought the shop for $35,000 from Owen Putney," she recalled.
"But then Pine Trees went into receivership and I lost the lease, so I guess I just paid for the goodwill."
You could say the goodwill included making great friends and living a fabulous lifetstyle. With her mates Margaret Cummings and Jan Murphy, she made her own fun.
Restaurants such as Annabelle's and Barry's on the Beach along with the Noosa Heads Surf Club were the places to be.
"We might go to lunch and just not come back," she laughed.
"But in the off season, we were often lucky to have three customers a day."
Still Noosa was the perfect place to keep fit and a group of eight, including the late Frank Everett, would do daily morning runs through the national park.
These days Josephine's fitness has been impaired since her 1992 diagnosis of Polymyositis, a connective tissue disease. To date, her treatment has included 52 chemo sesssions. To sustain continued movement and flexibility, she is a regular yoga practitioner.