Joan and Allan Brunke will celebrate 60 years of marriage on June 2, 2016.  Photo Contributed
Joan and Allan Brunke will celebrate 60 years of marriage on June 2, 2016. Photo Contributed Contributed

60 years of unforgettable memories in married bliss

ALLAN and Joan Brunke (nee Easton) were married by Reverand Ken Innes at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church in Maryborough 60 years ago this month.

Allan did his electrical apprenticeship at the Maryborough Sugar Factory and was a well-known rugby league player playing for Rovers in the late 50’s and represented QLD Country in 1958, 1959 and 1960.

To his knowledge, he still holds a record for the most points scored in a season for Rovers.

Joan started her teaching career at the Central State School (Central Infants as it was known then), then Pialba and Coalstoun Lakes schools before being appointed the sole teacher at Parke State School.

In 1956 female teachers had to resign when they married, so the newly weds - wedded on June 2, 1956 - quickly started a family.

They had five children - Jim, Debbie, Bill, Kate and Jenny - over the years 1957 to 1967 and in 1965 moved to Howard where Allan worked as an electrical mechanic/linesman and relief control room operator for the Electricity Board at the Power Station.

In May 1970 Joan returned to teaching at Torbanlea State School and in 1973 the family moved back to Maryborough where they were busy with children participating in rugby league, softball, hockey, dancing and eisteddfods.

Joan spent many years teaching at Granville State School and St Mary’s Primary before retirement and Allan worked as an electrician on the trains for ASEA, ABB and Bombardier.

Allan played touch football into his mid 60’s gaining selection on the Sunshine Coast Over 60’s side several times in the 1990s.

The couple retired permanently to Toogoom in 2003, but tragedy struck just before Christmas in 2005 when the house that Allan had built over many years, burnt to the ground and they lost all their possessions.

With their determined spirit and support from their family, they set about getting a new house built and after living there for several more years made the decision to sell up and move back to Maryborough where they settled in Tinana in 2014.

They have travelled extensively throughout and around Australia four-wheel driving with family and friends and had wonderful adventures in the UK, Europe, New Zealand, Canada and Alaska.

They are both avid readers and keep themselves mentally agile playing Upwords and doing the Chronicle crosswords every morning and they have a close-knit group of friends who gather to play cards almost every week.

Joan and Allan also keep very busy and involved in family life with their five children, 14 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

They have just received congratulatory cards and letters from the Queen, Governor General, Prime Minister, State Premier and Fraser Coast Mayor and are having a celebration at home with all their children, extended family and friends to mark the occasion on Sunday.

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