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.




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

10 things to remember when you move out of a rental property

Here are some useful tips for people moving out of rental properties

Warwick vet pleads 'stop risking our lives'

IMMUNITY BOOST: Warwick vet Chris Reardon welcomed the extension of the hendra virus vaccine to 12 months after three doses following extensive lab testing (pictured with Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott).

Vets welcome hendra vaccine extension

Local choice protects pigs

PASSION FOR PORK: Free range Tamworth pigs are doing well on Belinda Marriage’s Karara property.

Karara producer gives insight on the pork industry.

Latest deals and offers


She’ll be apples in Stanthorpe as festival kicks off

Jonathan Apple, festival president John Thouard, former Young Ambassadors Miriam Spina and Taylah Wantling and Isabella Grape welcomed the start of the 2016 Festival.

It’s a great start for the 10 days of festival ahead'

How you can help save young woman's life

Maryvale woman Tracey Young is battling Atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome (aHUS), with her treatment costing $500,000 per year.

Auction to raise money for local with debalitating illness

Waleed Aly explains

Waleed Aly in a scene from the 2015 Melbourne Comedy Festival Debate. Supplied by Channel 10. Please credit photo to Jim Lee.

Project host Waleed Aly explains how price cuts will make dairy farming...

Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in Trouble

Stars get a dressing down from Producer Joel Silver about promoting their latest film.

Stars in trouble with Producer Joel Silver over promoting their new film.

Egypt Air flight missing

Egypt Air says Flight 804 bound for Cairo from Paris has disappeared from radar...

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago