WILSON - ELLA TONI
Date of Death 15 May 2012
Our friend Ella passed over on the 15th May 2012. We celebrated her life in our August 2012 issue with two reflections from her two best friends Jennifer Edwards & Starsha Williams . Here is the extracts from the August issue
My Tribute To Dearest Sistergurl Ella”- Starsha Williams July 2012
It all began in August 1976, myself and another dear sister (Rangi Carroll) decided to move from Palmy Nth to the bright lights of Wellington.
We went to stay with Rangi’s old friend Geraldine at 330 The Terrace..it was a 2 story house converted into 2 flats, Geraldine & Lana Box on the bottom & Ella, Gaye & Serena on the top floor.
This is where I first met Ella, she was a very aloof almost toffy nosed Queen, not caring to meet or wanting to know who the new queen in town was! I actually thought she was quite stuck up at the time but I was to find out later that she was like that with everyone LOL. I met & got on well with the other girls especially Serena & there was & always will be a special place in my heart for her.. but it took awhile for Ella to warm up to me (I don’t know why?)
Anyway not long after that they all had to move out to find new accommodation. Meanwhile I moved back to P.N for a time for medical reasons.
About 6months later I moved back to Welly to stay with Rangi, Geraldine & Lana. They had moved into a nice house in Kilbirnie; 55 Duncan Tce. Ella, Gaye & Serena had moved to Newtown, Adelaide Rd I Believe?! That is where I got to meet Ella again, on a Sunday morning after the Sunset had closed Serena had invited me back to their place for breakfast. Ella seemed more amiable & we talked abit about nothing, just made a lot of smalltalk really, but it worked for us!
We hit it off quite well after that. Needless to say Serena went to bed so Ella made me breakfast.
The next time I saw Ella was September ’78. I was living with friends from Palmy, Carol, Rosina & Donnie at the time but we all decided to go our own way so I was flat hunting & I just happened to be In Cuba St when I bumped into Ella.
She asked “What you up to?” I told her & she said “Hang on” & she went to the phone box to make a call to the landlord Mr Lee. The next thing I know, I had the flat next to hers, 232a Cuba St. This was to be the start of our 35year friendship!
For the next 8years we lived next door to each other, we did a lot of things together…went shopping, clubbing, got off our faces lol. We shared a lot of things as well like jewellery, clothes, shoes, oh & men lol. I ended up being her personal hairdresser as well. You could say we did anything & everything for each other as “sisters” do, it was a good time.
Then to my surprise cousin Jan lived one building down from us.. well dear lord, once the three of us got together, it was mayhem hehe.
Karen & Lorena had moved into the building across the road then Renee moved into the top floor & it was more mayhem LOL.
In 1987 Ella had moved further up Cuba St, Myself & Donnie moved to 80 Pirie St. Ella & I still got to see a lot of each other. I’d go visit her or vice versa or we’d meet up & our place for drinks before venturing out. We always had a better time at home than when we went out..getting out of it & having more than a few bevvies while getting ready. Ruby would join us as well since she lived down the road. Great times!!
In ’91 I moved back to Palmy but would often come back to Welly to see Ella & Gary & visit some of the other girls. Ella & Gary had moved in with another dear friend Jenny. Ella had become more of a home-body since being with Gary. I had noticed by the late 90’s that she was starting to get more forgetful & that she had short term memory loss. I was unaware at the time that it was the onset of Alzheimers/Dementia for my dear friend. I would try to make more frequent trips to Welly to be with her or stay as long as possible whilst there.
In 2001 I made the big move to Melbourne but kept in touch with Ella as often as possible. Over the next 10years Ella’s condition would start to worsen to the point where she didn’t know who anyone was, eventually she was institutionalised at a Miramar facility. Jan kept me abreast of her condition.
The last time I actually ‘spoke’ to her was about a month before her passing. She had to be reminded of who I was but that was ok by me. It was a short but memorable chat.
One of the saddest times in my life was when Jan informed me Ella had passed away, more-so that I wouldn’t be able to attend my dear sisters’ tangi but I was happy in knowing that my oldest & dearest friend of 35years was at peace now. I had a lot of wonderful & memorable times with Ella & I will cherish them all the days of my life!
I guess the moral of my story is to cherish long friendships for you never know when they will be taken from you?!
I will love & miss her dearly!
R.I.P sis xx