Soul mates finally separate

Twins Alice and Mary at their 94th birthday celebrations.

VICTORIA’S oldest twins were inseparable for 97 years.
But Alice Churchill passed away at the Outlook Gardens hostel in Dandenong North on 9 February, leaving behind sister Mary Colquhoun, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren.
The Star spoke to the duo when they celebrated their 94th birthday.
“She is a lovely companion” Alice said of Mary.
“We couldn’t live without each other.”
But Mary’s son Bob Powell said his mother was handling her soul mate’s death “extraordinarily well and with absolute pragmatism”.
“She’s just a survivor,” he said.
In a tribute to her “beloved twin sister” Mary said: “Life will not be the same without my soul mate of 97 years and 12 days. Fly free, my dear.”
Alice had been ill for about 18 months before slipping away. At her funeral in Cranbourne on 15 February, civil celebrant Dawn Dickson said she would be remembered as “a woman who acted according to her beliefs, whose many achievements were accomplished with grace and intelligence, who was full of life, warmth, charm and good humour”.
The identical twins were born on 29 January 1916 and grew up in a family of 13 in Archies Creek, near Wonthaggi.
Alice left school in Year 8 to help on the family dairy farm, and met and fell in love with Edward George Churchill, known as Ted, in the early 1930s.
They married a few years later and their loving partnership spanned six decades.
They farmed at Woolamai and had three children – Kevin, Elaine and William, known as Billy.
“She made the most of what was going and always had a smile on her face,” Ms Dickson said.
“She was a happy person, a little mischievous, and certainly outgoing.”
Alice moved to Dandenong in the early 1960s, then to Pearcedale and Cranbourne before returning to Dandenong.
She loved to read the newspaper every day, and the Woman’s Day magazine.
“She always watched the news and nobody was allowed to talk,” Ms Dickson said.
“And you couldn’t talk during Millionaire Hot Seat because the host was one of her idols.
“She loved Eddie (Maguire), and she was just as passionate about the (Collingwood) Magpies as he is.”
She loved a sing-along around the pianola, her garden, bingo and to bake for the family.
Alice loved going to dances with Ted, and her grandchildren had fond memories of accompanying her in Cranbourne.
She also loved “a flutter” on the horses and bought a share in racehorse 13 Skins in the ‘90s with granddaughter Doreen.
Alice moved to Outlook Gardens six years ago following a fall and Mary soon joined her.
“She was still determined to do as much as she could,” Ms Dickson said.
“It would have been easier for her to stay in bed, or in her room, but Alice didn’t want to miss anything.”
Mr Powell knew ‘Aunty Alice’ longer than anyone else, aside from Mary.
“It is well-documented that in twins one is usually more gregarious and outgoing than the other, and I’m sure mum would agree that Alice was indeed the gregarious one,” he said.
“She did always have a smile and to me she seemed ready, on the edge of popping up with a slightly naughty or funny comment when least expected and she seemed to enjoy doing just that.”
Her last words were true to this trait. To granddaughter Doreen she said: “I’m running out of gas.
“We can all say that we were privileged to have known her,” Mr Powell said.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.