News

Mick and Elsie go platinum

Elsie and Mick Heath celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary today.
Elsie and Mick Heath celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary today. Adam Hourigan

MARRIED in the middle of a war, Maclean couple Ronald and Elsie Heath will today celebrate 70 years of married life.

Seventy years ago the couple, who were both serving in the armed forces - Ronald, or Mick as he is known in the army and Elsie, nee Gillespie, in the air force - snatched a weekend of leave to get married in Grafton's Christ Church Cathedral.

The couple's daughter, Janice Apps, said her mum and dad often joked that getting married allowed her mum to get out of the air force.

It was a long-distance marriage at first.

"Dad was serving in New Guinea, I was 11 months old when he first saw me," Mrs Apps said.

Ronald and Elsie met just before the war when they were both employed on Owen Ryan's farm, Ronald as a farmhand and Elsie as a domestic.

"They didn't go out at first. In fact mum used to tell us how she used to do dad's hair so he could go out with another girl," Mrs Apps said.

"Mum must have held a torch for him, though. He was handsome and well-known around the area as a country singer and yodeller.

"In fact he was famous for riding his bicycle from Maclean to Harwood, yodelling all the way."

After the war the couple lived in Maclean while Ronald worked at the Broadwater sugar mill.

Soon after they moved to a farm at Coldstream and then to Timmsdale between Grafton and Dorrigo.

The big change for the young family came when Ronald scored a job on the railway and the family moved to Sydney, where they lived from around 1950 to the early 1970s.

"Mum and dad eventually got sick of living in Sydney and moved back here," Mrs Apps said.

Several years later Mrs Apps did the same to be closer to her parents.

"Dad did a bit of work for Schaeffer's Hardware in Maclean and also for the local produce store before he retired."

This afternoon the family will gather at grandchild Andrew Tom's home for a small family gathering to celebrate their milestone.



Surfer's shark tale: 'That's when it's come straight at me'

Pictured at Kingscliff this morning Rodney Clark has survived a Great White encounter.

"I lost sight of my son because a wave hit him"

Sleeping rough for Fred's Place

ALL RUGGED UP: From left, Lenny McLennan, Jason McDonald, Gerard Robinson, Gordon Rhodes and Stuart Burrows prepare for Fred's Place Sleep Out.

Tweed locals show support for homeless by sleeping outside in boxes.

Latest deals and offers

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started