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.




WATCH: Killarney Bonfire Night fires up

The bonfire at Killarney Bonfire Night

Let me stand next to your fire - Killarney Bonfire Night

GALLERY: Saturday at Jumpers and Jazz

This is Anne and Graham Mclennan's first Jumpers and Jazz. They've made the trip from Bundaberg to enjoy the festival.

More Jumpers and Jazz photos.

Fire totems up for grabs in buy or burn sale

Paul Stumkat with the fire totems

Here's a great chance to pick up a very unique work.

Latest deals and offers


Get out this weekend on a budget

Tree jumper artwork

Here is your go to guide for getting out this weekend on a budget

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

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

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

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

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles