Birkdale’s John and Jan (nee Ingram) Smith are celebrating 50 years of marriage.
Their love story began in 1964 when the then Ms Ingram arrived in Australia with her best friend on a working holiday. While working at the Osbourne Hotel, Fortitude Valley, she met her future husband, who was originally from Gladstone.
They became engaged after six months, before travelling back to New Zealand to be married at St Peter's Church, Christchurch on January 8, 1966. Following a honeymoon in NZ, they returned to Australia and lived at Ashgrove before purchasing their first home in Aspley and starting their family with the birth of Kellie in 1966 and Troy in 1967. In 1973, the couple moved the family to Birkdale, which they still call home some 43 years later.
Mr Smith was the longest-serving employee of Frigmobile Australia, driving trucks for them for more than 45 years. After their children started school, Mrs Smith returned to work at Queensport Hotel and remained there for the following 15 years before moving onto Capalaba Soccer Club, where she continued to work for the next 15 years.
Now both retired, Mr Smith spends his time in his magnificently groomed garden, while Mrs Smith enjoys dog sitting and bingo. They now look forward to regular cruise ship holidays.
The couple celebrated their anniversary with family and friends at The Court House Restaurant, Cleveland.
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