There were very few events that withstood the impacts of WA’s COVID restrictions in 2020 and 2021 — but Albany’s almighty Glenda Gaggle was one of them. An annual gathering of people named Glenda, the WA contingent was cut off from the rest of country during those heady early days of the pandemic. Undeterred, the WA Glendas rallied around each other to hold a modified version of the annual Glenda Gaggle — the Waggle Gaggle. Now, with the interstate borders reopened and COVID restrictions easing, Glendas across Australia are free to gather once again. The first Glenda Gaggle was held in 2007, the result of a chance meeting between then Albany cafe worker Glenda Gaspari and a Sydney visitor Glenda Rivers. “(Glenda Rivers) mentioned she had never met any other Glendas,” Ms Gaspari said. “I said I could get together six or seven other Glendas, no problem. “A couple of nights later we went to Tanglehead for an evening out. I said we should do this every year and they all agreed.” From that impromptu inaugural meeting, the Glenda Gaggle has grown into an annual tradition that has created lasting friendships and a support network. On Saturday, October 22, the Glendas will gather at Motel Le Grande for the 16th annual dinner. The event has expanded to include a breakfast on the day of traditional dinner and another breakfast the day after. It seems the Glendas just can’t get enough of each other. “It’s just just hilarious when our girls are all together in a room,” Ms Gaspari said. “Someone says, ‘Oh, Glenda what are you are doing tomorrow’ and 20 Glendas are all answering.” At some point during the weekend, you can bet that an Albany waiter will be left baffled. “That happens at every gaggle,” Ms Gaspari said. “The poor old waiter will come out and say, ‘Chicken parmi for Glenda’.” To make things easier for each other, the Glendas wear badges with their surnames as well as where they are from. Previous Glenda Gaggles have drawn people to Albany from as far afield as Tasmania and New Zealand. While travel is still thawing from the COVID freeze, there are at least two people coming from Melbourne for this month’s event. All up, Ms Gaspari is expecting a crowd of at least 25 Glendas, ranging in ages from 30s to 70s. “There are a couple of new Glendas coming from Perth that haven’t been before,” she said. “Some girls will just gel with each other, and I really encourage mini-gaggles — like in NSW, some of the Glendas have had their own mini-gaggles over the years.” These days, the camaraderie extends beyond those who meet in person. The Glenda Gaggle Facebook group has grown from about 50 members six years ago to well over 400 today. There are members from the UK, US and Canada, who hope that they might catch up with their overseas namesakes at some stage if the stars align. One potential problem facing the group is the lack of newborns being named Glenda. Many of them were named after the English actor Glenda Jackson. But names have a way of coming in and out of fashion, and the Glenda Gaggle is only growing stronger. “It’s just a lot of fun and I’m actually really proud of what we’ve achieved,” Ms Gaspari said. If your name is Glenda, you are invited to attend the 16th annual Glenda Gaggle dinner at Motel Le Grande. The dinner will start at 6pm on Saturday, October 22. For details, call Glenda on 0427 535 634.