Century of happy marriages
Bowling Brlyacks Westbrooks work it
TONY and Janice Brlyack celebrated 50 years of marital bliss on Saturday with family and friends at the Mossman Memorial Bowls Club.
The love story of the keen bowlers began in the small Yugoslavian village of Dubrava where Tony was born and grew up under the Communist regime.
“At a young age I already knew that it was wrong to be dictated to by the Communists or any government how an individual should live their life,” he said.
“So when the opportunity came for me to escape to Austria, in 1957, I grabbed it with both hands and took off.”
After living in a camp for 12 months in Austria, Tony was offered the chance of a job to start a new life in a new country.
“I sailed to Australia in 1958 and landed at Fremantle before going to Melbourne to live and work,” he said.
Tony started his working life as an apprentice farrier in his homeland but once in Melbourne he studied for a degree in engineering.
Janice was born in Ararat, Victoria, and the pair met in Deeb’s haberdashery store in Cairns when Tony came into the store to buy some sturdy work clothes for his job as a cane cutter.
After several meetings Tony plucked up the courage and asked Janice to go to the pictures with him which she happily accepted.
“I’ll never forget said.
“We used to ride past each other on our pushbikes but we never spoke, never even said hello and then after coming into the shop a few times he asked me out and I agreed and we went to the picture theatre where the Cairns casino sits today.”
Tony and Janice now live at Miallo and have been in their home for the past 17 years and also ran the Newell Beach store for nine years.
Janice’s secret for being married 50 years was respect.
“I have a great friend and husband in Tony and we understand and respect each other which is so important,” she said.
Tony agreed supporting each other was crucial to a long and happy marriage.
“When you first start out you are just like to young saplings and you must help each other grow so that you get the best out of each other and continually back each other up,” he said.
it,” Janice IN TODAY’S fast-paced world and throw-away society not many things last - including relationships - but one Craiglie couple has well and truly beaten this trend.
Arthur and Elaine Westbrook have been together for more than 50 years and are just as happy today as they were when they first married on April 18, 1962, when Arthur was 21 and Elaine was 19.
Arthur was born in Nambour and Elaine was born in Kingston and the couple first met at the church they attended in Kingston.
“Church figured deeply, and still does today, in our lives and it might seem odd to today’s young that when we first went out we were surrounded by family but that how it was back then and I didn’t mind one bit,” Arthur said.
Elaine and Arthur have four adult children, two boys and two girls, 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Throughout their 50 years together Arthur and Elaine said that they have been doubly blessed because they have been able to work together in a number of businesses they have owned. Arthur has “worked at everything” from being an engineer and building hospitals and airstrips in New Guinea to being a pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Mossman.
“I have been very lucky in that I have been able to do every job that I wanted, the only regret I have is that I have not learnt how to fly as I really would love to have my pilot’s licence but hey, who knows, I still may get it - I’m fit and healthy, so why not,” Arthur said.
They only built their new home 18 months ago and show no signs of slowing down as Arthur’s latest project is being a property developer despite a triple bypass heart operation six months ago.
Elaine said they had not had any arguments in all their years together, only “intense moments of fellowship”.
“I consider myself a very lucky woman, I have a fantastic and loving husband and fantastic children who are all healthy and happy,” Elaine said.
Arthur’s secret to being married for 50 years to his childhood sweetheart was simple.
“I think everyone should really get to know and understand each other properly before they get married and move in together.”
Milestones: Janice and Tony Brlyack with Arthur and Elaine Westbrook