Town's twins turn 70

Judy Buerckner and Pam Canning will be celebrating their 70th birthday today.
Judy Buerckner and Pam Canning will be celebrating their 70th birthday today.

THEY are known as 'the twins' of Emerald and have spent their lives helping everyone else, but today Judy Buerckner and Pam Canning will be taking some time out for themselves to celebrate their 70th birthdays.

Pam's partner Baz said there was so much the girls had done for the Emerald community that he wanted them to be recognised for their generous spirits and loving natures.

And what better way to celebrate their lives than on the 70th anniversary of their births.

"They're always smiling and so happy, there's not a bad bone in them," Baz said.

"They're just such caring girls."

Pam and Judy both started their careers in nursing before venturing down different avenues, but have ended up together again in Emerald.

Judy married her husband Tom in 1966 and the couple had two children before she took up judo and became the New South Wales champion twice.

With her judo knowledge she moved to Emerald in 1977 and started self defence courses for women in town.

She was the strapper for the Emerald Tigers for 10 years and nursed at 126 Borilla Street for 24 years.

Among a long list of achievements, Judy was also the treasurer for the Central Highlands Area Sport and Recreation Committee and lectured around the Central Highlands in sports medicine.

Pam lived across the Tasman in New Zealand for 34 years, where she also had two children and lectured in midwifery and women's health at Wellington University.

She got her pilot's licence at the age of 25 before she took on a position four in nursing.

Pam was the only nurse who was allowed to give prescriptions out and was affectionately known by many as 'Aunty Pam'.

She met Baz while living in NZ and the couple has been together for the past 20 years.

It was family that brought Pam and Judy back together nine years ago, after Judy's husband was left a paraplegic after an accident.

Together with their nursing knowledge and generous natures they have looked after him and done what they do best - care for others.

Baz said even after all these years they still had their cute twin traits.

"They walk down the street arm in arm," he said.

"They're so identical they walk and talk the same. They will even get dressed independently without any conversation and end up wearing the same thing."

Taking some time out this afternoon, the twins will be celebrating with a few good friends and an afternoon tea on the veranda.

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