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Ladies group takes off at Semaphore


When Lefevre Catholic Community decided to start a luncheon group for women who are on their own, there was immediate interest.

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About a dozen women, most of whom have lost their husbands, were pleased to be able to gather once a month over lunch at a local café, Heart of Semaphore.

But they weren’t keen on the name it was initially given, the Widows Group, considering that it included a Religious sister and a single woman.

“We also didn’t want to be defined as widows,” said Pat Carey, whose husband died 12 years ago.

After some brainstorming by the group, Pat came up with the name ‘Ladies Flying Solo’, and it was an instant hit.

Pat has lived in the area for 45 years and has been actively involved in both the parish and the local Vinnies conference, but she said it was good to connect with other women, rather than just saying hello in passing.

“A lot of us had kids at the parish school but we don’t see each other anymore, except to wave to at the supermarket,” she said.

“We have so many different Mass times that we don’t always see each other there.”

With COVID forcing her to stay at home a lot of the time, Pat was pleased to be able to “get out and about now”.

She and some of the other women attend midday Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Semaphore, before catching up on the first Friday of the month.

For some time, the parish has had a men’s breakfast group that meets for breakfast and gospel reflection in the parish meeting rooms on the second Saturday of each month.

It was established by Vinnies conference president Dennis Kennedy.

When Vinnies treasurer Gita Kokoschko lost her husband suddenly last Christmas, Dennis wanted to help in some way and thought a widow’s group would be a good start.

Martina Van den Broek has been a widow for three years and although she has children and grandchildren living nearby, she said it was important to have friends who live locally.

“Looking to the future, it’s nice to have friends nearby,” she said.

At 45, Kim Westbury is the youngest of the ‘ladies flying solo’. A single woman, she is the altar sacristan and a member of the rosary group that has been meeting on Monday mornings for 41 years.

“You don’t always get a chance to talk to people for long after the rosary,” Kim said.

“It’s nice to have a longer chat over lunch.”

For more information contact Pat Carey on 0400 137 500 or email


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