It was in Murrurundi, when John and Nita Witchard were running the White Hart Hotel, that the couple discovered their love of horses, in particular racehorses.
“Nita wasn’t a horse person at first but she grew to love them,” John says.
While John says he could write a book about their experience at the White Hart, their venture into breeding racehorses was “a real experience”.
“There’s something about horses,” he said.
John and Nita, who now live at Old Bar, celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this week.
John Thomas Witchard of Wingham and Nita Blyth of Taree were wed by Reverend Walter Latham at Taree Church of England on April 19, 1958.
They lived in Wingham “for years”, delivering milk and cream from farms to butter factories at Wingham and Lower Manning as well as the Peters factory at Taree. The milk and cream was transported in 10 gallon milk cans on a flatbed truck.
The family moved to Newcastle where they operated a mixed business at Lambton before heading to Murrurundi and the White Hart Hotel.
John and Nita retired back to the Manning, to a cooler climate.
They have two daughters, two sons, 11 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
John’s parents, Thomas Edward and Phyllis May Witchard, hailed from Wherrol Flat. Thomas was an alderman on Wingham Municipal Council “for years”.
Nita’s parents, Cecil John and Ida May Blyth hailed from Taree.