Lyn Kirkwood and Shirley Linney-Barber reunite at Sunshine Coast Airport yesterday.
Lyn Kirkwood and Shirley Linney-Barber reunite at Sunshine Coast Airport yesterday. Scott Sawyer

Meeting secretly organised to see great mates reunited

OLD friends, a limousine and a waterfront lunch.

Three ingredients creating a perfect day for Shirley Linney-Barber and Lyn Kirkwood, who were reunited at Sunshine Coast Airport yesterday.

Friends for more than 40 years, the pair had not seen each other for five years.

Sunshine Coast Airport and Jetstar teamed up to secretly organise the meeting, to acknowledge the tireless work Ms Linney-Barber, who retired to the Coast 12 years ago, had put into the community.

A finalist for the Senior Citizen of the Year Award earlier this year, she has been volunteering for more than a decade at Bloomhill Cancer Help in Buderim.

The meeting was a complete surprise to Ms Linney-Barber, who believed she was at the airport for a tour of the facilities when her beaming friend, Lyn, and husband Rhett strolled off the plane.

"It's just totally amazing," an ecstatic Ms Linney-Barber said. "I thought I was just coming to look at a fire truck ... to go to CareFlight, and then you know, I said, 'Oh someone really important's coming down'... and then I think, 'Oh my God, it's Lyn'."

After meeting while they worked together at a legal office in Melbourne, the two gravitated towards each other, both working, single mothers with plenty in common, as they celebrated birthdays, kids' birthdays and motherhood milestones together.

Ms Linney-Barber recalled how she used to terrorise her mate in the workplace.

"I used to come into her office when she wasn't there and join all her paper clips together into this long line and then put them back into the box and she'd go to take out a paper clip and pull out this huge line of paperclips," she said with a laugh. "I think we're closer than sisters."

Mrs Kirkwood recalled how they leaned on each other, during difficult patches.

"Single mums today have got lots of support every

where they turn, but there was absolutely none for us. We did need each other I think," Mrs Kirkwood said.

The old friends, whisked off in a limousine to a classy lunch at The Boatshed, planned on plenty of talking and a little bit of shopping.


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