Three wise women in funny hats

CHRISTMAS is coming and these three wise women have been getting into the Christmas spirit for weeks now.

They’re among the faces of the many who sell you your Northern Daily Leader six days a week. They’re also the girls from the newsagency of funny hats.

Dunn’s in West Tamworth has a funny hat for every occasion – and the staff wear them to the merriment of their regulars and the distraction of the unwary who venture into the newsagency at odd times.

But like many of your favourite faces of the day and the weeks of your year, these three are off tomorrow and celebrating with family and friends.

Shana Byrne, 18, has been a casual regular after school and during holidays for the newsagency for the past five years. 

Shana finished her Higher School Certificate only weeks ago but will continue working this year at Dunns while she starts studying psychology through university correspondence. She will spend Christmas with her mum and dad and the rest of the family near the water at Newcastle.  

Virginia Abblitt says her Christian name has always provoked comment at Christmas for the legendary story of the little girl in 1897 who asked if Santa was real – and was written a beautiful reply from the editor of the then New York Sun. 

The story has been passed down through the ages and our Virginia grew up knowing it too.

Virginia will spend her Christmas this year in Hobart with the rest of her siblings, who, although spread out around Tasmania, get together this year with her younger sister.

Maxine Dunn’s Christmas is a matter of the in-laws and the outlaws for the December merry-go-round these days.

It’s her turn with her brothers and husband Peter’s sister, but she’s had her wonder times with the kids.

The Dunn’s two children, Timothy and Skye, are both married and living away in Brisbane and on the Central Coast, but nan and pop saw Matilda, eight, Abigail, 7, and Isobella, 18 months, earlier this month for their festive feast.

“Christmases used to be perfect when all your parents were alive but they have become wonderful in the presence of grandchildren,” says Maxine.

In all their Christmases they’ve only ever had one away from the family celebration. That was 40 years ago when she and Peter were teaching. They were in Singapore.

“It sounds flash, it wasn’t perfect but it was lovely and there’s nothing to beat family ones with little kids.

“The joy and pleasure you see in those bright eyes; there’s a wonderful buzz, it’s just lovely.”


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