Noth­ing blue about 65 years

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By Gra­hame Whyte

To­day, Neil and Laura Camp­bell of Ba­rooga are cel­e­brat­ing 65 won­der­ful years to­gether, with Neil now 88 and Laura turn­ing 86 in Novem­ber.

Mrs Camp­bell has fond mem­o­ries of her wed­ding day all those years ago when she be­came a happy spring bride.

‘‘We were both born in Bac­chus Marsh, but we lived in Wer­ribee,’’ Mrs Camp­bell said.

‘‘My par­ents had an or­chard at Wer­ribee — and ve­g­ies as well,’’ she said.

‘‘Neil came across at high school and we met there. And then he was my deb part­ner — and just qui­etly, it went from there.

‘‘He was a gen­tle­man, he was great. Af­ter we got mar­ried we went to live in Bac­chus Marsh.’’

From there, the cou­ple moved to Mer­rigum about 10 years later and then to Yar­roweyah, be­fore re­tir­ing to Ba­rooga about 40 years ago.

‘‘Our older son, Ray­mon, was born on St Pa­trick’s Day, and our daugh­ter, Linda was born 14 months later,’’ Mrs Camp­bell said.

‘‘I just didn’t want the ‘d’ on it,’’ she said, re­fer­ring to the un­usual spell­ing of her son’s name.

‘‘We have got five grand­chil­dren and five great-grand­chil­dren. They are lovely — one great-grand­child lives here and the rest are in Kin­garoy and Bal­larat,’’ she said.

Af­ter a life­time of dairy farm­ing the cou­ple moved from milk­ing to cars, tak­ing on the wreck­ing yard at Ba­rooga.

Did a 20-year-old bride ex­pect to lead such a full and var­ied life? ‘‘No, I didn’t,’’ Mrs Camp­bell said. ‘‘You never think of what’s go­ing to hap­pen in the fu­ture — you just take it day by day.

‘‘We’ve had a lot of high­lights — apart from mar­ry­ing Neil and the chil­dren, we did more than 35 years of car­a­van­ning.

‘‘In 1980 we started car­a­van­ning and just fin­ished last year.

‘‘We used to go away for three and four months at a time — af­ter we left the cows, of course. We loved it.’’

The Camp­bells’ favourite places to visit on their amaz­ing car­a­van odyssey in­cluded the gem fields, Mis­sion Beach and Mt Beauty — and they still have lots of friends around Aus­tralia.

‘‘We re­ally loved Alice Springs. We used to go there quite of­ten,’’ Mrs Camp­bell said.

Mr Camp­bell and both the chil­dren were in­volved in speedway over the years, rac­ing around Vic­to­ria.

‘‘We love be­ing in this area — we like Ba­rooga and Co­bram, it’s great,’’ Mrs Camp­bell said.

And is the happy cou­ple on the same wave­length af­ter so many years to­gether?

‘‘We do think alike — we don’t ar­gue,’’ Mr Camp­bell said.

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