Australian’s splash for cash at Seaton

Strewth! Dianne keeps a special promise to brave the icy waters in memory of her former colleague

A 68-year-old Australian woman kept a very special promise when she travelled half way around the world to go swimming at Seaton on Boxing Day.

Dianne Bevan pledged to brave the icy waters when she arranged to visit old friends and former colleagues at Whitford.

But the playful challenge took on a sad new significance when one of those two pals – Gail Nunan- developed cancer and died last October.

As a result Dianne’s swim became a legacy to her old friend – and a money raiser for Seaton Hospital League of Friends who furnished the hospice ward where she died.

Gail and her friend, Maggie Patterson, had worked with Dianne at Gosford Hospital in New South Wales, Australia, before they retired to England in 1998.

They set up home at Whitford and lived at Wombat Hollow before Gail was diagnosed with cancer in March, last year, and began a painful battle with the disease that finally claimed her life. She was 71.

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Said Maggie: “Two years earlier Gail had called Dianne – a great swimmer - to challenge her to go in the sea when she came to visit us at Christmas and she promised she would do it. In the end it became a swim in her memory.”

She said residents in Whitford had generously sponsored the icy plunge and raised around �200 for the Hospital’s League of Friends.

Maggie said they support had been amazing.

“This is a wonderful village – there is just such a feeling of camaraderie and friendship,” she added.