A friendship forged at a local school has withstood the test of time.

Wendy Thaler, Kim Rutherford, Pat Cornwell, and Beth Sukha-Barker met at Sunnyside Public School in Kitchener 54 years ago.

The women say they knew what they had was special right from the beginning.

“It was a connection and it hasn’t ever ended,” Rutherford said.

“You don’t pick your family, but you pick your friends,” said Cornwell. “And I think sometimes friends can be closer than family.”

Over the last five decades, the friends have stood by each other, always making an effort to stay in touch and support each other.

“We can call our friends at anytime, be it happy, be it sad,” said Cornwell. “There’s always someone on the other end that can help you out, whether to make you laugh or say it’s going to be okay.”

kitchener friends

From weddings and birthdays to challenging and difficult times, the women have been through it all together.

“There’s endless words describing these ladies,” said Thaler. “They're just totally amazing.”

And what’s their top secret for lifelong friendship?

“I think wine is important,” said Sukha-Barker. “And laughter.”