MEMORIES OF HELEN
Helen Elizabeth Ekin was born in Sydney 21.08.1926 to Keith and Dulcie Black. In 1942, at age 16, Helen joined the first professional Ballet Company in Australia called Kirsova Ballet. When the Ballet Company folded due to wartime financial constraints Helen joined J.C. Williamson which was a Musical Comedy/ Opera Company. It was based in Sydney but they did shows in Adelaide and Brisbane with Gladys Moncrieff. Sadly, her Ballet career came to an end when she tore cartilages in her knee.
Helen often visited Cootamundra, as her Aunt and Uncle Ethel and Tom Meale lived here and were great friends with Madge and Bunny Ekin and their son Hugh. Helen and Hugh were married in 1949.
Helen moved to Cootamundra and lived there very happily for 60 years. Bunny started Ekin's Newsagency and when he died Hugh took over. In total, the Ekin family had the newsagency for 60 years.
Helen and Hugh had three daughters Elizabeth, Judi and Alison. Helen, a wonderful and devoted mother, spent her life caring for them. Helen was instrumental in starting the Oslo Canteen at the Cootamundra Primary School and was on many committees for the P&C at both the Primary and High Schools for many years.
When their girls left Cootamundra, Helen became very involved in the newsagency especially the buying of gifts and cards and it was very successful up until they sold it in 1985. Helen and Hugh had a wonderful retirement - many beautiful overseas trips and wonderful cruises on the QE2. Sadly Hugh passed away in 1999.
Helen was so devastated, but because of the wonderful community spirit in Cootamundra, she became very involved in many committees - Meals on Wheels, Probus, CADAS, Red Cross and Blood Bank.
Helen's love of Ballet was ever-present and Chris Edwards always thought of Helen as her mentor and confidant which is a beautiful compliment. Helen still enjoyed her travels either alone or with Cootamundra friends. Helen relocated to Buderim in 2009, close to her daughters Judi and Alison, living independently until her death.
Helen was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer on December 3, 2019, and passed away peacefully on 31.12.19. She was so strong, stoic, loving to the end and everyone who knew and loved Helen were shocked and saddened by her sudden passing.
Helen had four beautiful grandchildren Hannah, Andrew, Alison, Emma and four beautiful great grandchildren Hamish, Oscar, Lucy and Emily.
BACK TO WORK
It's back to work for the CADAS Kids who returned to their Coota West Railway 'pad'this week.
Their meetings take place there each Thursday evening during the school term and they welcomed a number of new recruits to their group last night.
Again this year there will be much happening. The two assistants to director Jenny Roberts (JR), Todd Kable and Damien Smith, do a sterling job assisting with the kids but perhaps top man and public school teacher Todd will be 'somewhat pre-occupied' this term with his upcoming April wedding? Warmest wishes Todd.
AND, on another note with reference to the CADAS Kids, during the school holidays, I was delighted to catch up with a former exchange student Katja Riemenschneider, from Germany, who spent a year here back in 1995 residing with the Capes family who introduced her to the CADAS Kids.
On a 44 degree day, we ventured up to the Coota West Rooms to recall old times and have Katja paint her name on the `Wall of Fame' up there.
Now that wall is something to see, with the many 'blasts from the past' names up in lights!
This Sunday evening, February 16, is your last chance to see the current Academy Award-winning movie 1917.
It starts at 5pm in the pleasantly air-conditioned theatre at the Cootamundra Arts Centre.
This weekend sees the annual Beach Volleyball Carnival taking place here in town, with all accommodation booked out - the caravan park 'full to capacity' and all in all a standout event, generating much into Cootamundra's economy.
The hard-working committee is asking all locals to come down, have a look, enjoy, and stay for lunch, local organisations will be manning stalls providing a variety of food.