Mates celebrate 80 years together
EIGHTY years ago George Powell and Sam Cavallaro were born nine days apart and became instant friends.
Throughout the decades they went to separate primary schools, found jobs and married and settled down, but remained great mates.
“Since the cot, we’ve always been friends, he went to Rocky Point and I went to St Augustine’s in Mossman and we played football against each other,” Sam said.
“We done our own thing but when we met up, we were always good friends and would chat.”
In those days there was no high school and George did his apprenticeship with the Mossman mill as a carpenter, while Sam went to work on his family’s property.
At the age of 16, George built his parents a house and continued to build houses through the area, including a house for the Cobbs in the Upper Daintree.
“In the real old days I was only an apprentice at the mill at the time and out bush I built a place on the beach for my parents, which is a park now at Wonga Beach,” George said.
“I went to Papua New Guinea in 1953-57 and then came back and started to build in Mossman - I built quite a few all over the district and the most significant I think was St Augustine’s Church, Warren Jenkins and myself were the builders.”
George’s father Stanislaus Powell also made a significant contribution to the area as the print setter of the Mossman Mail in the early 1930s.
In true friendship, George built Sam’s house that he currently lives in today with his wife Grace and also a house for Sam’s mother.
“We had our 50th birthdays together which was wonderful, since he moved to Cairns we see each other once a year but the friendship is still there,” Sam said.
Sam, who at 80 continues to fly his ultralight, received a surprise 80th birthday last weekend with over 100 guests, but the best surprise was on Monday when George came to visit with his family.
“I’ve always found Sam to be a genuine person even from the early days, places like Mossman didn’t have the big populations and you sort of grow up together,” George said.
Lasting friendship: Sam Cavallaro and George Powell