A 71-Year old marriage built on a strong foundation
Houses built, properties owned, tragic losses, and world travelling. A 71 year devotion of marriage has helped conquer any adversity.
Leslie was born in the late 1920’s, one of six children.
Starting life with badly turned feet and so he learnt to walk quite late then had to wear heavy callipers from a very young age well into his school years.
Because of his affliction, he was the subject of extreme bullying and name calling which, in hindsight, probably gave him his drive and ambition to succeed in life.
At twelve years of age, he purchased his first push bike then took up competition cycling to improve his leg strength.
He certainly did that, for in time he went on to become a Queensland Champion. At 87, he was still cycling around the back streets of Caloundra, but stopped only because the traffic became troublesome.
Leslie left school after year six to begin an apprenticeship as a shop and office fitter at Leachfords.
From there he went to Evans Deakins shipyards at Kangaroo Point where he detailed the cabins of the Shell oil tankers being built there.
It was during his time working there that he met the love of his life Heather.
Heather was born in Bundaberg, one of four children.
Her family had a lot of moves, following work, before finally settling at St Lucia.
Her family suffered terribly when Heather’s older sister died from tetanus. Heather started work at the ripe old age of thirteen after completing scholarship. Her first job was in the chocolate department at Pennys.
She then moved to Players where she became a machinist. Leslie and Heather met on a bus heading home from Redcliffe one rainy day. Apparently, Heather and her girl friend were sitting on the bus eating ice creams, when Leslie asked her for a lick of her ice cream which she ignored.
However, her friend accepted the offer of a dry seat, while Les took hers and got soaked for his trouble. And so the journey began. Leslie and Heather married on the 16 August 1947.
They built their first house together at Everton Park after work, in the afternoons and on weekends, while Leslie worked a full time job.
A few short years later, Les went into business with his older brother and friend , building spec homes.
By the late 1950s, Heather and Les had purchased three acreage blocks of land at Samford. In 1960, they put the Everton Park home up for sale (which sold in two weeks) then moved their young family into the two roomed holiday cottage on one of the Samford blocks, while they built their second home on the adjacent one.
The family now numbered six. Leslie and Heather then established a poultry farm, by this time Leslie was no longer a builder but a full time farmer; with both poultry and then beef cattle.
They went on to buy three other larger properties: • Closeburn, which also became part of the poultry farm, with day old chicks through to point of lay hens kept there. • Eatons Hill, where they moved into the old colonial house after they sold the poultry farm in August 1973 until they built their third home in 1976. • The Gregors Creek property was a large cattle property near Toogoolwah, which they sold in 1978.
Then Leslie turned his hand to developing his Eatons Hill Property where he had built their third home, while also building his first holiday home at Golden Beach, Caloundra.
When the development of the Eatons Hill property was completed and sold as acreage lots, he started the same process at Closeburn.
With all of this happening front and centre, they turned their hand to investing in town houses and units but found it stressful dealing with multiple tenants, for they did all the maintenance and letting themselves.
They then started investing in commercial properties.
Leslie and Heather went on to sell their first holiday house and then build again on the canal at Pelican Waters. They used to spend half of the week there and the remainder at Eatons Hill.
During all of these years together, they have played recreation tennis at night with friends, went square dancing and ballroom dancing, played indoor bowls, partied like you wouldn’t believe and travelled extensively.
While Les still played bowls, Heather continued to sew paint, embroider, knit and crochet.
Through all of their 71 years of marriage, they have remained united and strong, through great sadness with the loss of their daughter , their little granddaughter, and more recently their grandson.
Their love and devotion to each other has conquered many obstacles and adversities along their journey together.
May they share many more happy times here at Maranatha.