Today, Friday, February 9 is a very significant milestone in the lives of Manning River Times columnist Pamela Muxlow and her husband, John.
Fifty years ago, on Saturday, February 9, 1974, the couple were married at St Paul's Anglican Church, Nabiac before family members and friends.
Pamela's bridesmaid was her English friend, Margaret Johnson, who was a flatmate during Pam's time living in London. A few months before Pam and John's wedding Margaret decided to migrate to Brisbane to live in Australia and she accepted Pam's invitation to be her bridesmaid. Pam and Margaret are still good friends and keep in contact regularly.
John's best man was long-time school friend and mate William "Billy" Reed, who certainly made the wedding day a memorable occasion for the couple.
Billy was always one for fun and jokes. When Rev David Fry asked the couple to kneel, there were giggles and laughter from the congregation, which didn't go down very well with Rev Fry. Little did he know the reason for the laughter until afterwards for Billy, on the pretext of wanting to polish the groom's shoes, had very sneakily painted on the soles the word "help".
Not only did he do the job on the shoes, he also put talcum powder in the couple's car air vents so when on the honeymoon and needing to use the air, the honeymooners got a dusting of powder.
"We have a good laugh when telling folk about it now," Pam said.
Sadly, Billy passed away some years ago.
Pam, who was the only daughter of the late Albert Digby, who passed away in 1968, and wife Cicely, was given away by her eldest brother, Alan (now deceased).
Back from their honeymoon they lived at the Digby farm in Nabiac for three months. They then moved to their block of land at Tinonee, living in a garage built by the previous owner, as they waited for their home to be built by the late Mal Woodward who sadly passed away just a couple of weeks ago.
Pam continued to work until she was due to have their first child, a lovely healthy daughter they named Fiona Louise, who arrived at Manning Base Hospital on May 13, 1977.
After finishing her maternity leave Pam returned to her former job and worked again until son, Andrew Charles was born on May 5, 1979.
Pam became a full time mum and became involved with her children's playgroup at the old Mondrook School and then with Tinonee Public School. Pam was involved with the P and C, receiving a life membership, the canteen, and did the school banking for many years.
Pam was also a member of Tinonee Red Cross, a member of St Luke's Anglican Church and guild, as well as a being a Sunday School teacher.
Pam and John met for the first time at a dance held at Wingham Memorial Services Club one Saturday night. She was taken there by her cousin Helen Williams and her friend Jeffrey Cox, not long after Pam had returned after her overseas working holiday in late 1971. Jeffrey was in the national service intake and he and Helen married in September 1973, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary last year.
Prior to their marriage John received his National Service call up in 1971 and did his basic training at Singleton, along with a number of other Manning Valley boys.
When his National Service time was up John returned to work as a mechanic at his parent's business, Muxlow's Garage in Wingham. He remained there until his parents retired, joining his brother, Robert, in the business, until John went out on his own as a mobile truck mechanic.
Over the years Pam and John have enjoyed a number of cruises in the Pacific region and are looking forward to again taking up this type of holiday.
Daughter Fiona lives in Townsville and, like her mother, has travelled the world with her MMA (mixed martial arts) and jiu-jitsu. Unfortunately, Pam and John don't get to see her as often as they would like.
Son Andrew, who joined the Australian army straight out of school and served in East Timor for a time, met his wife, Sharona, also a soldier. Andrew, now a mechanic, and Sharona have given Pam and John two delightful grandchildren, Keala and Korben, now both in high school.
Pam and John say there are no big plans in the future at this time but to stay healthy and enjoy the life which they have been given
John is a keen gardener and loves to grow and give away the produce his garden bears, and Pam likes her photography and history of the family and the area.
Pam's voluntary work continues as a member of the Tinonee Memorial School of Arts Hall committee, of which she is the current treasurer. She is also the secretary treasurer for the Tinonee Historical Society.
Pam hasn't forgotten her roots and has been a member of the Wallamba CWA Branch (Nabiac) since 1974, holding various positions over that time.