Love is all around Carinity aged care homes
As the lyrics of the famous pop song tells us, “Love is all around” – including in Carinity aged care communities.
On the eve of Valentine’s Day on 14 February, we had a chat with three of our married couples about how they fell in love.
Clive and Thelma Boyce
After 71 years of marriage, Thelma reckons she and her husband Ron are still “very good together”.
Now 91 and 92 years old respectively, Ron and Thelma married in Brisbane in their early 20s, following a brief courtship.
“I worked at Mathers shoe store in the Valley with Clive’s cousin. She was having an 18th birthday party at Cash’s Crossing, on the Pine River, and a few work girls were invited,” Thelma said.
“I was just sitting there at the party, minding my own business, when this young man came over to me and said, ‘Can I give you a ride home on my motorbike?’ That’s how Clive introduced himself.
“He made a date with me for the Wednesday, and we went to the movies.”
With Thelma living at New Farm and her new beau at Bald Hills, Clive travelled many kilometres to visit his future bride.
“Clive’s mother was worried about him because he was going on his motorbike backwards and forwards to see me near the Valley, and it was night time,” Thelma recalls.
After the couple married and honeymooned at Laguna House in Noosa, they moved into “a little flat under a house at Sandgate”.
“It was just concrete floors, concrete pillars, a three-quarter bed and a gas stove that when we opened the door was full of mice,” Thelma said.
“Clive’s father, for a wedding present, bought us a block of land in Bald Hills. I think his mother wanted to keep Clive close!”
The Boyces lived at their home at Bald Hills for around 70 years before moving into Carinity Hilltop together.
Ron and Jan Hallett
It’s said that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, and that was the case for Ron and Jan Hallett.
After meeting at teachers’ college as teenagers, the young couple spent a whole year apart when they commenced their careers: Jan in the Sydney suburb of Bondi and Ron near Albury in rural New South Wales.
“We had met at an end-of-year college camp. We just hit it off and we continued to love one another and wanted to spend time together into the future,” Ron said.
“During that next year we only met at holiday times, but our relationship strengthened and we decided that we would become engaged. We requested the Department of Education appoint us to the same school on the Central Coast.”
Ron, now 90, and Jan, 91, were married in 1953. Ron later ministered as a Uniting Church pastor, which saw the couple live in towns such as Albury, Berry, Newcastle and Parkes.
The Halletts had three children including an adopted daughter, who between them gifted the couple seven grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
“Jan and I feel fortunate to love one another dearly and we’re so thankful we have one another,” Ron said.
Jan believes hers and Ron’s Christian faith and their “strong marriage” of 70 years has helped the couple endure many hardships and family tragedies.
“We’ve been committed to one another and been involved in so much together. Ron has always been very special in my life and I’m so thankful that we’re still together.”
Stanley and Grace Fryer
Carinity Brookfield Green
Stanley and his wife Grace, originally from Scotland, met at work. Stanley was a manager at an insurance company office in Brisbane, where Grace was later employed to do clerical work.
“I thought she was very beautiful and I still think she is beautiful. We worked together for a number of years and subsequently we got engaged and then married in 1959,” said Stanley, who is now 100.
Grace said: “I thought he was good looking for a start, he was kind and I liked all of him.”
The couple was married in St Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Brisbane and later raised three children together.
“After we had our wedding photos taken in the photography studio, we went back to the wedding reception at Lennons Hotel, which was one of the top hotels in those days,” Stanley recalls.
“We were stopped when we went to walk up the front steps and told we couldn’t come in that way. They were expecting Princess Alexandra to arrive as she was in town to officiate the opening of a hospital.
“So, we had to go in the back entrance which wasn’t very pleasing to Grace!”
Just like the visiting British princess, Stanley and Grace’s nuptials made the news. Their wedding picture appeared in The Courier-Mail newspaper with the accompanying headline, ‘Scots lass weds … and the pipes skirled on Saturday.’
Grace, 85, believes marriages involve a lot of trial and error, also noting that she and Stan “don’t have any secrets”.