Long road to re­tire­ment for cou­ple


Re­tir­ing farm­ing iden­ti­ties Colin and Joan Thorn­th­waite mar­ried in 1955 and had four daugh­ters.

In 1972, they bought the 55 acres they re­cently leased.

It’s the best spot in the dis­trict, they reckon.

Be­ing re­tired means they’ve got more time to just pot­ter.

‘‘There’s not much that we’re do­ing any dif­fer­ently,’’ Joan said.

‘‘It just takes longer to do things.’’

She thinks get­ting a tele­phone was one of the most sig­nif­i­cant changes to ru­ral life. Older peo­ple will re­mem­ber those old phones.

‘‘With me be­ing so short, I had to stand on a block to talk.’’

The way farm­ers plough is one of the big­gest changes Colin’s seen in his life­time. He started with horses and sin­gle ploughs.

While no longer com­pet­ing in plough­ing com­pe­ti­tions (he’s won and placed in var­i­ous ma­jor vin­tage plough­ing cham­pi­onships and, un­til re­cently, was a judge), he still loves go­ing to events.

Play­ing cards at the Mil­ton RSA ev­ery week keeps their minds sharp, and Joan’s cook­ing keeps them healthy.

She’s a leg­endary baker in the dis­trict. ’’We eat good plain food ev­ery day,’’ she said.

Project Clutha’s Layla McNutt, Matt Mo­ra­han and Laura Moore present Catlins LandSAR’s Lianne Latta with a do­na­tion.

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