Volunteer duties ‘halt’ celebration
Schiffkes enjoy anniversary a little later than normal
A MUNDUBBERA couple celebrated its 60th anniversary with a big party at the Mundubbera Bowls Club last week.
Myrtle and Cecil Schiffke were married on December 29, 1956 though held their celebration a couple of weeks later as they were busy doing volunteer work.
“It feels great to have passed 60 years,” Cecil said.
While Cecil was from Gayndah, Myrtle moved down to the region from north Queensland after she finished school.
“I came down and met my grandparents, who I had never met before, in Gayndah,” she said.
“Cecil was working on the bridges, my uncle was his boss.”
Cecil said he and Myrtle got closer on her second trip to Gayndah in about March 1956, though it was not without a bit of teenage drama.
“I met my other boss’s daughter, she was chasing me and she missed out,” Cecil said.
“I took her to the pictures and she got upset as I was sitting next to Myrtle.”
The couple got engaged in October and were married in December.
“I asked her if she’d like to marry me, she said yes and we got engaged, that was a great thing,” Cecil said.
Myrtle said she needed consent to wed.
“I was 18 and I had to get written consent from my parents,” she said.
“21 was the legal age back then, but some of us joke about it now, us older ones.
“I didn’t think it was young, I was happy.”
Cecil is now 83 and Myrtle is 78.
The couple lived at Cecil’s family farm for the first nine months of their marriage before they rented a house and finally bought a house in Mundubbera.
“We had our ups and downs,” Myrtle said.
“When we left the farm we had no money.
“The biggest challenge was not knowing whether Cecil would work again after a work accident.”
Cecil said the accident happened in the 1960s.
“A colleague was taking me to work and a car ran out from side road and smashed right into my shoulder and I couldn’t work for a long time,” he said.
“It still gives me heaps of issues now, it’s hard to sleep some nights.
“Myrtle worked hard and picked fruit, but she did it and is still here with me today.
“She did a lot of citrus work, in the shed, around the trees.
“It’s a good healthy lifestyle working out in the fresh air.”
While Cecil and Myrtle have both been retired for a number of years, community is close to their hearts, with the couple volunteering for many different community groups.
“On December 28, our anniversary day, we delivered Meals On Wheels,” Myrtle said.
“The people are why we do it, we meet people from everywhere. “We like to help people.” And what do the couple think has helped them survive 60 years of marriage?
“You always kiss and make up,” Myrtle said.
“We have had a few blues in our time, but we got over it.”
The couple have three children, nine grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
Number 19 is due to arrive in a couple of weeks.
We have had a few blues in our time, but we got over it — Myrtle Schiffke
WEDDED BLISS: Cecil and Myrtle Schiffke have enjoyed their 60 years of marriage.
Cecil and Myrtle Schiffke on their wedding day in 1956.