Love stands the test of time

The Weekend Post - - News -

WHEN May Gid­dins and Wal­ter Jago mar­ried at Babinda on No­vem­ber 13, 1948 it brought to­gether two of Babinda’s best known fam­i­lies.

Gid­dins Creek was named af­ter May’s fam­ily and Jago St af­ter Wal­ter’s. But it seemed fate kept them apart un­til they were older and ready for love.

Al­though they grew up in the same town and both went to Babinda State School as chil­dren, nei­ther re­mem­bers meet­ing the other.

May spent her high school years as a boarder in Char­ters Tow­ers and when she re­turned to Babinda, WWII had be­gun and Wal­ter was in the army.

Sta­tioned in Townsville, the tal­ented footballer played for Cen­trals Club and was part of the Townsville rep team that won the Carl­ton Shield in 1946.

Af­ter the war, Wal­ter (Watty) re­turned to Babinda and Babinda Rugby League. It was then that a 17-year-old May Gid­dins caught his eye.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing school with straight As, May was of­fered a teach­ing schol­ar­ship, but turned it down. Her fa­ther was ill and her fam­ily strug­gling.

She found work as a tai­lor’s seam­stress and be­came known for her sewing and smock­ing. A tal­ented singer, she also sang at many lo­cal wed­dings.

By the time she and Wal­ter mar­ried in 1948, he and his t three broth­ers — John, Ge­orge a and Bert — were house­hold names in the Far North for their rugby league prow­ess.

“Th­ese were the golden years of foot­ball in Babinda,” says Di­ane McKay, May and Wal­ter’s daugh­ter. “Babinda fans fol­lowed their team as faith­fully as Cow­boys fans do to­day. Spe­cial trains would take foot­ballers and their fans to places like Townsville.

“On the re­turn trip, trains would blow their whis­tle well out of town and con­tinue toot­ing all the way in.

“In 1947, Babinda took the Carl­ton Shield from Townsville. In 1948, Watty and his broth­ers played piv­otal roles in win­ning the Fo­ley Shield, which had re­placed the Carl­ton Shield. Babinda held the hon­our of win­ning the last Carl­ton Shield and the first Fo­ley Shield.”

Di­ane says an aunt who was over­heard at the wed­ding say­ing “that girl is wasted on mar­riage” was quickly si­lenced.

“This was a pop­u­lar mar­riage be­tween two young peo­ple very much in love and it has cer­tainly stood the test of time,” Di­ane says.

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