Generations help celebrate
CHILDHOOD sweethearts Tom and Grace Payne have celebrated their 65-year wedding anniversary with four generations of family who consider them an inspiration.
The pair was married on September 22, 1956 in Toowoomba, just before Tom left the country to represent Australia in the rugby league Kangaroo Tour against Great Britain and France.
“Dad was 21 years of age and was known as the joey of the team,” daughter Lyn Farrell said, adding his teammates included Clive Churchill and Norm Provan.
Tom and Grace have four children – Kerry, Lyn, Karen and John – he worked as a compositor at a printing company and she was a stay at home mum.
Mrs Farrell said in the early 1970s the family moved to Mackay where Tom managed Hatfields Printers and coached footy, while Grace went back to work as a telephonist.
In 1976 the pair began their own printing business – Payne Print – in Sydney St.
“Dad’s determination that
he showed during his sporting life, also showed through his business,” Mrs Farrell said.
“He has always had a saying, the harder you work, the luckier you get.”
After 20 years, the family was able to buy their own premises on Turner St – and today, 45 years on, that business employs 30 people.
“Such pride for our family,” Mrs Farrell said, adding that she and all of her siblings joined the family business.
“In the early days, mum would take care of her grandchildren,
who were and still are, the delight of her life.
“Both of their greatest delight now and throughout the years has been seeing their nine grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren growing up.”
Both Tom and Grace are high care residents at Good Shepherd Lodge but still enjoy weekly family get-togethers.
“We are very fortunate to have been a part of the family of Tom and Grace. A lot of fun, hard work and love,” Mrs Farrell said.