Beaudesert couple celebrates 65 years of happy marriage

WHEELBARROW: Mr and Mrs Walker once took part in an uphill wheelbarrow race. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

WHEELBARROW: Mr and Mrs Walker once took part in an uphill wheelbarrow race. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

BEAUDESERT'S Glen and Grahame Walker celebrated 65 years of wedded bliss this month.

The pair married on June 9, 1956 at St Thomas Anglican Church, officiated by Reverend Tomlinson with about 100 guests in attendance and a reception at the old CWA hall on Brisbane Street.

It wasn't the first wedding to bring the two families together, since at the time of the ceremony Mr Walker's brother Laurie was already married to Mrs Walker's sister Dell.

The Walkers bonded on the tennis court and maintained their love of the sport throughout their married life.

"In those days most farm homesteads had tennis courts," Mr Walker said.

Mr Walker said he knew from the moment they met that his wife was a keeper.

"I saw her on the back of a truck and I said, 'she's the one I want to marry'," he said.

"It used to be on a Wednesday or Thursday night I would ride up to her place at Kerry to take her a Cherry Ripe.

"Ray Freeman and I went out on my motorbike for the tennis social, a fundraiser for the Red Cross.

"They had a wheelbarrow race uphill to the house. I had Glen in my wheelbarrow and he had Beth Freeman in his.

"We were exhausted because we hadn't had any lunch so we ate a packet of Russian Fudge and then felt sick."

Mr Walker said despite the sugar boost, they did not win the race.

Before the wedding, Mrs Walker said they had a gift evening and dance night at the Kerry Hall. Gifts included a cheese dish, a bread board and a Pyrex dish as well as a pressure cooker they still use to this day.

The Walkers remember a simpler time in Beaudesert.

"We used to have the milk delivered to the house," Mr Walker said.

"First it was Billy milk then it came in bottles and we used to leave the money out on the post.

"We all used to shop at Enrights and everyone knew each other but now you can go into town and you don't see anyone you know.

"There were no traffic lights in Beaudesert, instead we had a 'silent cop' (traffic dome) we had to go around to get through the intersection."

The Walkers described an old country town tradition known as tin canning, where newlyweds would be given some time after the wedding to settle in and then friends and neighbours would pay a surprise visit.

"They would come around and throw tin cans on the house," Mrs Walker said.

"They would also bring food and have a cup of tea."

These days the Walkers said their tennis court is still in use, with the couple hosting tennis matches at their home.

Mrs Walker said her husband was a good man.

"He's a very caring man," she said.

"He never runs anyone down, he always sees the good in people. He's a great father and husband.

"We always went out together, we enjoyed tennis and we did things together all the time, We went to the country dances at Kerry, Tamrookum and the like."

Mr Walker worked at the sawmill at Beaudesert in the early days and in 1954 the couple partnered with Tutin and Maureen Walker, Merv Lahey and Laurie and Del Walker to buy the milk trucks taking Paul's milk to Brisbane.

This partnership marked the birth of the Lahey and Walker Ampol agent, which is now operated by their sons Rod and Jeff.

Besides their two sons, the Walkers also had daughter Jill, who lives in Brisbane and visits Beaudesert most weekends.

They still live in the home they took four years building on Birnam Street and where they raised their three children.

Asked for the secret to a long and happy marriage, the couple said communication and doing things together was key.

Mr and Mrs Walker have six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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