Remembering the past

May 10, 2024 BY

Far and wide: After their first meeting in 2007, 'The Heathcote Ites' often have up to 60 people at their twice yearly gatherings, coming from all over the country. Photo: SUPPLIED

AFTER attending a friend’s funeral in August 2007, a group of Heathcote couples decided to meet up for a meal.

From that gathering, the group has grown in numbers and meet up twice a year.

“Several of us were talking after we attended Nette Manton’s funeral,” said Grant Baker.

“Someone suggested we meet up for a meal.

“Upon hearing about it, other couples contacted us and said they would like to come along. “After that we decided to meet every May and October.”

Some attendees attended school together in Heathcote while others met through the local football team from the ’50s onward.

As more people joined the gatherings, the group decided they should give themselves a name.

“We named ourselves ‘The Heathcote Ites’,” said Mr Baker.

“Over a meal we share photos and memories of our early days in Heathcote.

“We’ve had ex-residents come from as far away as Western Australia, Tasmania and all across Victoria.

“My wife Heather and I still live in Heathcote and there are a few others too.”

The group holds their meetings at the Bendigo RSL where a section of the dining area is set aside for them.

“It is always an informal gathering and people mingle, swapping seats throughout so they can talk to everyone,” said Mr Baker. “At times we’ve had 50 or 60 people attending.

“We never know how many will come but it’s always good to catch up with whoever can make it.”

The next gathering will be on Tuesday 21 May at the Bendigo RSL starting at 12noon.

“Anyone who would like to attend will be made very welcome,” said Mr Baker.