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.

Richmond MP continues to fights for MRI

Able Medico managing partner Mark Grahame, Richmond MP Justine Elliot with Medical Staff Council chariman Dr Mike Lindley-Jones.

Justine Elliot continues to fight for an MRI at Tweed Hospital.

Learning peace of mind

BEING MINDFUL: The children of St Anthony's Catholic Primary School learn mindfulness from Angela Lockwood.

Children learn how to handle stressful stituations.

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun to shine bright at festival

Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun is one of the headlining acts at this year's festival.

Main stage set to pump with radiant reggae and dub vibes

Expert's talk on Olley's life is not to be missed

THE ARTIST: Artist Margaret Olley at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery in 2006.

RARE insight into the life of one of most cherished hoarders

Country star returns to roots

LIVIN' THE LIFE: Australian-born country music superstar Gord Bamford lands at Twin Towns on October 28.

Australian born, Canadian raised.

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

CCTV footage surfaces of Kim Kardashian West's robbers

The blurry footage shows three men on bikes and two on foot

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

Bank could add towns to 'high-risk' home loan list

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

NEW Gladstone region towns could be added unwanted bank list.

Tenants renting rooms on Airbnb breaching lease

Rental properties.

Tenants renting rooms on Airbnb is a no no