Christmas lights in Chifley have special meaning
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Christmas lights in Chifley have special meaning

All Christmas lights are special, immediately injecting whimsy and magic into suburban streets, but these ones in Chifley are particularly meaningful.

They are the work of 77-year-old Bev Lucas, who is something of a dab hand at Christmas lights, having had her previous efforts in Narrabundah and Ngunnawal featured in The Canberra Times as far back as 1983.

Seventy-seven-year-old Bev Lucas has put up Christmas lights around her Chifley home as a promise to her 73-year-old dying sister Valma.

Seventy-seven-year-old Bev Lucas has put up Christmas lights around her Chifley home as a promise to her 73-year-old dying sister Valma. Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

Now living at Chifley, Mrs Lucas has put up Christmas lights again at her current home in Salmond Street - she believes the first time they've been decorated so for 67 years.

Bev Lucas outside her then home in Walker Crescent, Narrabundah, with her Christmas lights in 1983.

Bev Lucas outside her then home in Walker Crescent, Narrabundah, with her Christmas lights in 1983.Credit:Fairfax Media

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And this time the lights are not only to give pleasure to passers-by - or raise money for charity as she has done in the past - but to send a message to her 73-year-old sister Valma.

Because this year will probably be Valma's last Christmas.

Part of Mrs Lucas' current Christmas display in Chifley

Part of Mrs Lucas' current Christmas display in Chifley Credit: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Valma has a terminal disease and is being cared for at her Mittagong home by their other sister Robyn, 66.

The trio used to all live in Mittagong and decorate their homes with Christmas lights. When Bev moved to Canberra, she continued the tradition.

Bev Lucas at Walker Crescent, Narrabundah, again, this time in 1998.

Bev Lucas at Walker Crescent, Narrabundah, again, this time in 1998.Credit:Gary Schafer

"My sister Valma said to me six weeks ago, she would love to do her lights, but that is not possible because of her condition," Mrs Lucas said.

"She said, 'This is my last Christmas'. And I said, 'Yes, we know that'.

"So I promised I'd do them just for her. And I have."

Bev Lucas believes it is the first time this house in Chifley has had Christmas decorations in 67 years.

Bev Lucas believes it is the first time this house in Chifley has had Christmas decorations in 67 years.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

Mrs Lucas said her sister would be thrilled to see the lights featured in The Canberra Times. She intended to frame the images and present them to Valma soon.

"She told me, 'When I go down yonder, I'll take them with me'," Mrs Lucas said, through tears.

Megan Doherty is a reporter for The Canberra Times

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