Margaret and David Humphries are keen to start dancing at the Carlyle Gardens Debutante Ball.
Margaret and David Humphries are keen to start dancing at the Carlyle Gardens Debutante Ball. Max Fleet

Ladies wait a long time to debut

CARLYLE Gardens residents showed it is never too late for some things, dressing in their finest white gowns and tuxedos for the debutante ball they missed out on as teenagers.

Guests flooded to the ball on Saturday night to catch a glimpse of the nine “debutantes” and their partners, and to reminisce about days gone by.

While it has been many years since these ladies were in their teens, with most aged between 60 and 80, their spirits were high and they were excited to finally experience their debut - which was meant to be a young woman's first “coming out” to society.

The night's matron of honour, Val Long, said it had been a lovely night, preceded by much excitement and good humour.

“We had such a good night from the start,” she said.

Mrs Long said the participating ladies looked a picture in their ball gowns.

“They were so excited and they looked so beautiful - they had beautiful dresses,” she said.

“The cameras were out, it was like Hollywood - flash, flash, flash.”

Morning preparations meant a local hairdresser was kept busy throughout the day.

“These ladies had never made their debut before,” Mrs Long said.

“They were so thrilled to be able to do it at last.

“Some of the ladies come from large families that didn't have much money, so they weren't able to do it when they were younger.”

Requests have already flooded in for residents to have another ball for the ladies who missed out this year.

Resident Judy Wilkie made her long-awaited debut on the night and said it was a wonderful experience.

“It reminded me of when we used to go to balls and we used to get all dressed up,” she said.

“I used to make my dresses back then, so I made this one for the night.”

Mrs Wilkie said it was a fantastic night full of dancing.

“We have never seen so many people on the dance floor before,” she said.



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