Our fam­ily life in this par­adise

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Jessie Tol­son gazette@tpd.newsltd.com.au

FROM their house on the hill near Miallo, the Lloyds have seen many changes over the years.

Mar­ried in De­cem­ber 1950 and mov­ing to the re­gion in March 1951, Syd­ney and Palma Lloyd have been cane farm­ing since.

Syd­ney was born in Win­ton in 1928, moved to the Dain­tree at age seven be­fore mov­ing to Moss­man in 1942.

Palma lived in Hugh­en­den, was born and raised there and it was there she met Syd­ney while he was there help­ing to build a bridge.

‘‘We met at a dance hall in Hugh­en­den,’’ Palma said.

‘‘He was too ner­vous to come in to the hall for a cou­ple of weeks; he would stand at the door and size up the girls.

‘‘One night he and his brother came in and picked my sis­ter and I up to dance.’’

Within three months of mar­ry­ing, the cou­ple bought their property and worked hard at mak­ing it into a fam­ily home and a vi­able busi­ness.

With five chil­dren, eight grand­chil­dren, 3 step grand­chil­dren and five great grand­chil­dren, Christ­mas times and mile­stones are a busy time for this happy fam­ily.

But the start of their fam­ily lives here in the re­gion were a lit­tle tough.

Pally said money was scarce in those early years.

‘‘Money wise, times were tough for the first cou­ple of years. When we bought the property, all the money that Syd had saved from when he started work­ing had gone, we used it all to buy the farm.

Be­fore the crush­ing and were get­ting any money back, if we went to town we couldn’t even af­ford to buy a soft drink. We had lit­tle money.’’ Syd­ney worked hard at clear­ing their land. ‘‘When we came here there was 30 acres of ground cleared and I ended up with 213 acres of ground cleared. We cleared it all our­selves. We got the bull­doz­ers in for the big stuff, but the roots and things we had to clear by hand,’’ Syd­ney said.

‘‘It got more mod­ern as the years went by with ma­chin­ery mak­ing things eas­ier. But to be­gin with, it was hard work.

‘‘I re­mem­ber when War­ren our el­dest was a baby, I never got to see him awake. I would be up and out to work be­fore he was awake and would get home af­ter he went to bed.’’

The fam­ily be­gan in a home that had an old con­crete floor, no elec­tric­ity or run­ning wa­ter, with a rain­wa­ter tank for drink­ing wa­ter and Syd­ney would cart wa­ter from the creek up to the house for the wash­ing.

Af­ter a dry sea­son he no­ticed the creek was dry­ing up. ‘‘I stum­bled around in the bladey grass and found an old well. I got in it and cleaned it all up and got a pump on it to pump the wa­ter in to the tank. Things were much eas­ier af­ter that.

‘‘The property we live on now, used to be all trees, I cleared it all and would cut all the wood in lengths to be used for sleep­ers at the mill. That kept us go­ing a lit­tle bit.’’

Pally said bit by bit as the years went on, the money got bet­ter, but they had their chil­dren which took up a lot of money also.

Af­ter liv­ing in the old home, they built a house and moved to the cor­ner of Somerset Drive and Moss­man-Dain­tree Road and lived there for 35 years, be­fore build­ing their cur­rent home where they have lived hap­pily for 25 years.

‘‘We gave the kids blocks of land, Deb­o­rah lives next door to us and Des­ley next to her. Avril lives near the main road.’’

The three houses stand proudly on the hill of Lloyds Road, with a view to die for over the fields and to the sea.

‘‘It’s nice and peace­ful here, we live in par­adise, close to some of our grand­chil­dren and great grand­chil­dren, we never had to worry about much traf­fic.’’ Pally said.

The young fam­ily had an old truck that they would get around in, if they weren’t on their bikes.

Syd­ney said the roads were pretty quiet back then.

‘‘There wasn’t much traf­fic around back then, most people would be in a horse and sulky or on their bikes. We had the old T Ford model - 1928 truck.’’

‘‘It had an open cab, with three chil­dren there would be a baby on the lap, one be­side you and one be­hind you.

‘‘We got our first car when Karen was a baby. It was a Hum­ber Hawk.’’

Dancing has played a large part of their lives, teach­ing var­i­ous classes around the re­gion in dif­fer­ent styles of dancing.

The cou­ple have been in­struct­ing Mr and Miss Moss­man stu­dents for 24 years, in time­less and dif­fi­cult dances such as the waltz.

‘‘If the school runs the Mr and Miss Moss­man again this year, it will be 25 years. Ev­ery year is dif­fer­ent with the stu­dents, and over the years we have less time to teach them and fewer stu­dents,’’ Pally said.

They have also taught in Cairns, in Moss­man and up in the Table­lands, giv­ing tips to hun­dreds of people over the years, but have stopped teach­ing adults, only teach­ing the high school kids be­liev­ing its im­por­tant to teach the kids valu­able life skills.

With fam­ily all over the coun­try, the pair are happy and proud of them all.

‘‘We have had a good time, we have re­ally en­joyed our lives here and rear­ing our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren.’’ Pally said.

FAM­ILY LIFE: Syd­ney and Palma Lloyd (above) on their wed­ding day and (right) present, (top right) with fam­ily (be­low left) the fields around the area

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