A GROUP of Ballarat men who have been friends for almost 50 years, and meet for lunch every week will be together forever having been immortalised by an Alfredton artist.
'The Wednesday Boys' Henk Batstra, Jack Micich, Gerry Anderson, Les Hotchin and John Burke have been meeting for coffee for many years, discussing everyday events, politics as well as "sex and rock 'n' roll".
For the past five years they have caught up each Wednesday at Europa Cafe in Sturt Street. This week, the group received a surprise with the unveiling of five portraits, all oil paintings painted by Jack's wife Diane.
READ MORE: Ballarat's best coffee spots
Mr Burke said it was an incredibly special gift which meant the world to him and other members of the group.
"These guys I've known for many years and most of us are retired, I'm the only one who's still working," he said.
"It makes us laugh, we always feel good about everything once we've met up and Europa has been such a wonderful place that treats us like family.
Mr Burke agreed it was rare for a group of men to chat over coffee.
"I really believe it's important to have men's groups like this. It's sort of the cafe version of the Men's Shed, although we don't work on things, we just drink coffee," he said.
"This is quite overwhelming as I thought Diane was doing just small pocket sized paintings, but these are just phenomenal, she's incredibly talented."
Mrs Micich said she had been working on the paintings on and off for the past few months.
"They have a wonderful friendship and they are a little group of friends who pick up a few people here and there, it's lovely," she said.
"I've been working on them for about three months. Each year I give myself a little goal, and a couple of years ago, I did a series of pastels of ladies.
"I thought I'd give it a whirl with oils. It's been a joy working. When I suggested I could do a group of them and they all sent me selfies and even suggested that even those who didn't have a lot of hair, perhaps I could put a bit more on top."
Mr Batstra said he loved going out and having coffee with his friends.
"I guess I was the primary instigator all the way back, we all enjoy each other's company," he said.
"I think it's a nice things to do, the Men's Shed don't work for me. But when you come to the same coffee shop, you get to meet a lot of people.
"We don't talk deep and meaningful stuff, you know what men are like, we just have a lot of laughs and enjoy ourselves.
"The paintings are fantastic, I'm pretty stoked to see them. Diane is brilliant."
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.