The all-female, over-60 social groups sweeping the nation (and world!) 64



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Women in their 60s are often going through change. They may have just retired or their adult children may have just left the family home, or they may have downsized or become a widow. Whatever the situation may be, it’s important to have friends nearby to support you through these times. But what if your friendship group has waxed and waned over the years? How do you find another group?

Around the country, and in fact the world, women in their 50s and beyond are wearing red hats and purple outfits and getting together. They’re called the Red Hat Ladies, and they’re going strong. One such group are the Arcettes from Arcare Greenhill in Victoria.

Starts at 60 spoke to one of the inaugural members, Dulcie, about her involvement in the organisation. At 90, Dulcie is one of the eldest ladies in the Arcare Greenhill Red Hat Society, however she is still heavily involved in the planning alongside Sue, the coordinator, who is 53.

Irene & Dulcie
Irene & Dulcie

When asked about her favourite thing about the Red Hat Ladies group, Dulcie said she enjoyed singalongs as well as lunches in the cafe and telling jokes. She said she was involved in monthly meetings and was looking forward to going along to the outings every month. Dulcie, like many Red Hat Ladies, didn’t know anyone initially, but wanted to join to expand her social circle and be able to socialise with like-minded people.

Sue, Audrey, Faye,  Alice, Irene, Dulcie, Joyce
Sue, Audrey, Faye, Alice, Irene, Dulcie, Joyce

We also spoke to Audrey, who said the group motto is ‘What happens in the Red Hat Society, stays in the Red Hat Society.’

“Some residents from Arcare Greenhill namely myself, Alice, Margaret, Elizabeth, Dulcie, Peggy, Faye, Irene and Joyce, together with Sue, our Lifestyle Coordinator, have recently joined the Red Hat Society and formed our own group”, Audrey explained.

“The rules of the group state that members must be over 50 years of age, wear a Red Hat, and something purple.

“The whole idea of the group is to encourage friendships and social get togethers and is a fun light-hearted event”, Audrey said.

So where did it all start? “We had our first meeting together and discussed some of the things that we would like to do together so everyone had a say in what they wanted”.

What sort of things can someone who is considering joining the Red Hat Ladies expect?

“Last week in full regalia of Red Hats, we had lunch down in our Café and many things were discussed. A few jokes were told and a wonderful lunch was arranged”.

If you would like to know more about the Red Hat Society, click here.

Tell us, are you a member of a RHS? If so, where? If not, would you join?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I would love to join, but is there one in southern Tassie?

    5 REPLY
    • Yes there is. I don’t know the contact details but a friend of mine belongs.

    • Jeneane, the Hobart Chapter is called The Scarlett O’Hatters and their Queen is Queen Poppi. As someone else has indicated, if you go to the Matilda Rose 2 website, you can email Annette (who runs the website) and she will forward your details to Queen Poppi. Have fun.

    • Yes we are the Scarlett O’Hatters
      Our motto is growing old disgracefully

  2. Would love to hear more about it. Looking for something suitable to join in.

    1 REPLY
    • I am a Red Hat Lady and I have the best fun with my group of Ladies. We wear Purple with Red Hats and reverse it when it’s your Birthday month. Once a year we have an annual Giggle and it is held in different towns in the State. This year it is being held on the sunshine coast. If you want to look at what we ladies get up too go the Matilda Rose 2 web site.

  3. Contact Matilda rose 2 all the groups are listed there. Good Luck you will love it

    2 REPLY
    • How do we contact her? I am in South Australia. Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Maree
      How do we contact her? Would love to catch up with other groups in Melbourne.

  4. Would love to join a group in Adelaide, any ideas?

    1 REPLY
  5. Is there one on the Sunshine Coast in Qld???

    1 REPLY
    • I’m in the northern end of the Sunshine Coast.
      I’d love to join, can anyone tell me if there are any groups this end please

  6. Love to know if there’s one in Hobart or Southern Tasmania.

    1 REPLY
  7. Hi Ladies, sounds like a fun group. I live in Palm Beach QLD…. Is there s group around here ? I know their is a Coffee Meetup Group, but I’m unable to go on Tuesdays.

    2 REPLY
    • When i was on the Gold Coast earlier this year i went to the ?Carrea markets and went into haberdashery styled shop where i was advised there were Red Hatters in Gold Coast.

    • When i was on the Gold Coast earlier this year i went to the ?Carrea markets and went into haberdashery styled shop where i was advised there were Red Hatters in Gold Coast.

  8. I belong to the “”Strawberry Delites” in Palmersrton North ,New Zealand

    2 REPLY
    • Shona, I am originally from PNth and next time I am in town (in November) I would love to have a wee catchup. I will email the Queen when I know my dates. It was your chapter that originally introduced me to the Red Hat Society. I was enthralled from that day forward! Lady (Purple Velvet Cupcake; Baroness of High Tea) Cupatea xx

      1 REPLY
      • Where do you live now I actually live in Feilding. Due to a family issue I Havnt attended fir over a year, but do intend going and pay my sub. Also I live quite a busy life for a 75yeR old. At present I’m in Auckland, house sitting /dog/cat, for a month. I also look after the people’s small dogs in my home, or will house/pet sit.

    • I belong to Violet Crumbles in Wanganui NZ and love it.

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