Reg and Helen (nee Laws) Butler celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on January 18.
Reg and Helen (nee Laws) Butler celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on January 18. Zarisha Bradley

Fishing trip turns into 60th anniversary

WHO knew a fishing trip in Ingham in 1956 would turn into four children, five grandchildren and a diamond wedding anniversary six decades later?

Reg Butler, now 84, and Helen Laws, 88, met through mutual friends and a common love for fishing - Helen taught Reg how to "tie a crab" and the rest is history.

"I'm a toy boy," Reg joked, referring to their age difference.

"But at the time we met it didn't really matter much, we just wanted each other and that was it."

Never doubting the love they have for each other, they said they're more surprised they've managed to live this long.


Helen, who is originally from Brisbane, said they made the trek from Ingham and married in the Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit in New Farm in 1958.

She said she had to resign from being a school teacher before she got married because those were the employment rules in those days; however, it worked out well for their honeymoon on South Molle Island.

"All the teachers used to resign before the end of holidays so you'd get your six weeks holidays, you'd get your four weeks pay and you got your two weeks honeymoon," she said.

Reg worked for Goodyear Tyres in Ingham when they had their first baby in 1960, then he transferred to a store in Mackay in 1962.

They had three other children after that and, Helen pointed out, "he missed the lot".

"He was in Innisfail when the first one was born, then the next one he went off and had a beer at the pub with his mates and half an hour later I had the baby. Then the next one he was really sick and couldn't come up... and the next one he was looking after the other three and he couldn't leave them," she said.

As strong as their love is, the couple have certainly had tough times over the years.

Sadly, their second child Katherine passed away of a brain tumour in 1998.

"She was 35... that was our only girl. She got it (the tumour) when she was 24 so she did pretty well," Reg said.

Nowadays, the couple still keep busy with Reg keeping active as the lolly pop man at Fitzgerald School every morning and afternoon, and Helen a life member of the local family history society.

While "we still love fishing", they don't go on fishing trips or get up in the middle of the night and go dragging for bait any more.

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