Farewell tea for Mrs Thorley

The late Eileen Thorley, left, dressed as the Easter Bunny,
with Lydia Graham at an event at the Old Colony Inn.

FORMER New Norfolk shopkeeper Eileen Thorley will be remembered by friends at an afternoon tea on July 13. Mrs Thorley, who operated her Pennyworth bric-a-brac shop for about 20 years, passed away aged 90 on June 24. A private funeral was held last week.

Friend and customer Ruth Howie is organising an afternoon tea at the New Norfolk RSL Club on Friday, July 13, at 2pm for people to share their memories of Mrs Thorley. All are welcome. “Wear an outrageous scarf as Eileen would like us to get together for all those funny stories of hers which endeared her to each of us,” Ms Howie said.

Ms Howie said Mrs Thorley’s Burnett St shop had been a haven for many people. “She was a big-hearted little woman,” Ms Howie said. “She always helped the down and out and many people would sit and chat with her in the shop.”

“Eileen was a matriarch, and, after years as mayoress of Fairfield in Sydney with her veteran husband as mayor, she held court at Pennyworth. A woman of true compassion and fierce community spirit, she participated in all community events.”

Filming for Rosehaven at Pennyworth in 2016.

Pennyworth, at 47 Burnett St, was previously Thorley’s Town and Country, a hardware store operated by other members of the family. The shop closed about a year ago but the premises were used as a second-hand shop in ABC-TV’s Rosehaven.

Dozens of condolences were added to a family member’s Facebook post about Mrs Thorley’s passing, reflecting the high esteem in which she was held at New Norfolk. James Graham of the Old Colony Inn recalled: “I have an outstanding memory of her one Easter Sunday at the Inn dressed as the famous bunny!” (pictured above).

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