Cen­tury of happy mar­riages

Bowl­ing Brly­acks West­brooks work it

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

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.”

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

Mile­stones: Jan­ice and Tony Brly­ack with Arthur and Elaine West­brook

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