To the untrained eye it looks like just another hawaiian shirt, but to Shirley, this blouse represents a dream 60 years in the making.
She always wanted to go to New Zealand and started saving at 16 years of age, but you know what they say, life’s what happens while you’re busy making other plans.
Mr Keel swept her off her feet, they got married soon after and a house and three children later she still hadn’t made it to the land of the long white cloud.
It wasn’t until three years ago, just after Mr Keel passed away, three ladies from Shirley’s church needed a fourth comrade for a cruise to kiwi land and asked her to come along.
“I finally got my chance to go to New Zealand and I loved every bit of it. Everything was a highlight because it was all new and it’s the one place I always wanted to go,” she said.
The hawaiian shirt was an essential purchase prior to boarding.
“They had a special hawaiian night that was part of the two week voyage. I wore a lei around my neck that night too,” she said.
Now the blouse is only worn on special occasions.
“It’s not every day wear. I would only wear it now if I went out of a night, or something like a birthday, but I wouldn’t just wear it going shopping,” she said.