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Twins Jenny Cribbes and Elizabeth Forrest, with their friend Linda Plant, have gone from living in the same street and riding their bikes to school in the 1960s to recently sailing around the Whitsundays together.

Jenny Cribbes (nee Wortley) (Class of 1968)

My first job was with the Australian Boy Scouts Association as secretary, which included using a PABX switchboard. I spent nearly 30 years with a shipping company as secretary (called a Personal Assistant these days), organising staff, using telex machines, gestetners and shorthand. There were no computers and everything was manual.

I started in kindergarten at Ivanhoe Girls’ and finished with the Class of 1968. My strongest memories are of the uniform – we could not leave school premises unless properly dressed with hats and gloves. I remember sitting at the back of the classroom eating carrots and being excited when we could purchase hot pies from the Tuck Shop. I loved the rivalry between the Houses – there were only four during my time (Ashby, Rotherwood, Rowena and Oswald). 

Over the years I have travelled extensively, learned to tapdance, played competitive tennis and squash, fished in tournaments all around the world and played golf, being a member of Kew Golf Club. I served on the Ladies’ Committee for 10 years, then joined the Women’s Golf Victoria Committee as Assistant State Handicap Manager.

My twin sister Elizabeth and I have always had an interest in sailing. I have kept in touch with Linda and remembered that she had done some sailing, so together we chartered a sailing vessel, a 44’ Catamaran and toured the beauty of the Whitsundays. Our sailing skills became very competitive – who could sail the fastest while at the helm.

It was great to swap many stories of our Ivanhoe Girls’ days – a journey down memory lane while enjoying the sailing.

Linda, Jenny (in centre) and Elizabeth (at helm of yacht).
Elizabeth Forrest (nee Wortley) (Class of 1968)

I started school at Ivanhoe Girls’ in kindergarten and left after completing Year 11. I graduated the following year from Holmes Commercial College learning shorthand, typing, Commercial Principles and Practice. I worked as a Personal Assistant for many large companies. 

After I got married, we moved to Wisconsin, then Sydney, and finally to Traralgon. I currently live in Melbourne. I have three daughters (the first two are twins who attended Ivanhoe Girls’), three sons-in-law, and three grandchildren. 

I remember falling off the “joywheel” at Ivanhoe Girls’ a few times and I really enjoyed the swimming sports - I belonged to Rotherwood House. I kept up many friendships made throughout my school years, playing tennis together with other past students after we graduated.

Our parents were interested in boats and fishing. I joined my twin sister Jenny to enjoy many sailing adventures in the Whitsunday Islands, Croatia, Turkey and the Greek Islands. Our trip with Linda was a fabulous way to catch up on a long school friendship. 

(L-R) Elizabeth, Linda and Jenny
Linda Plant (nee O’Neill) (Class of 1969)

I studied Radiography at RMIT after I left Ivanhoe Girls’, and after that I worked in various hospitals in Victoria, interstate and New Zealand. I married my husband Bill in the 1980s and we have three sons. I was back studying again in the 1990s, this time for ultrasound and worked for many years at BreastScreen in South Australia. I am happily retired now and live in Adelaide. 

All of my schooling was at Ivanhoe Girls’, even kindergarten! An early memory of school is wearing a straw boater in summer and a beret in winter plus always a blazer outside school grounds. I remember the little bottles of milk and Mum would buy either chocolate or strawberry flavoured straws that I could use with it. I loved all the sport, I remember Ivanhoe Girls’ winning the combined sports in the early 1960s and being in the under 12 cross ball team. I had tennis coaching at school and this flourished into a lifelong activity. I played tennis at St James for years with “the Wortley twins” (Elizabeth and Jenny) amongst others.

The Whitsunday sailing was wonderful, Elizabeth won the “let’s see how fast we can go” competition. We were lucky to have a lovely sailing breeze each day. The skipper, Jenny’s husband Greg, took us to some great spots to anchor overnight and we were able to visit the shore and explore numerous islands.