Platinum anniversary for Birkdale farming couple

LOVEBIRDS: Lorna and Mervyn McKell had a quiet celebration at home due to coronavirus social distancing measures, but hope to gather with family later this year.

LOVEBIRDS: Lorna and Mervyn McKell had a quiet celebration at home due to coronavirus social distancing measures, but hope to gather with family later this year.

FROM sailing on Moreton Bay to farming crops at Wellington Point, the bayside has been a lifelong home for Lorna and Mervyn McKell, who celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this month.

Mr and Mrs McKell marked the occasion on April 8 at their Birkdale home.

The pair met at a trophy presentation for the Wellington Point sailing club.

"It was suggested to mum from a person in the club that it would be a very good idea for her to turn up to it," the pair's eldest son Lyle McKell said.

"As it turns out it was a very good suggestion."

Mr McKell courted his future wife by riding his bicycle from his family farm in Birkdale to her home in Wynnum.

"Pop McKell had a small crop farm at Birkdale where dad worked," Lyle said.

"On Saturdays they would play tennis on Nan and Pop McKell's tennis court and then go to the dance Saturday night.

"Dad and his brother Ron would pick up their mates in the work truck and go to the dance, the boys in the back of the truck and mum sitting beside dad in the front.

"Dad's best mate, Boyd Gammie was his wingman then, best man at their wedding and still here to have a chat and a cuppa when they get together."

Two years after they met, Mr and Mrs McKell got engaged.

They were married on April 8, 1950 at Saint Paul's Church of England in East Brisbane.

With the help of Mrs McKell's father, Mr McKell built the pair's first house on a block of land across the road from the farm where they lived for nearly 45 years.

They then moved into a house they had built next door.

During their married life, they worked together on the Birkdale Road farm, which was later resumed by the state government and is now the site of Wellington Point State High School.

They also had a love of sailing, with Mr McKell competing in Australian and world championships.

"Mum and dad have supported each other through thick and thin, sickness and in health, the good, the bad and the ugly for 70 years," Lyle said.

The pair have two children, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

While COVID-19 social distancing measures delayed the anniversary celebrations, Mr and Mrs McKell are looking forward to gathering with their family later this year.

"If by chance that COVID-19 is over by July, we will then make it a triple celebration with dad turning 91 in July and mum turning 92 in August," Lyle said.

"If not, we will celebrate their milestones when it is possible.

"From the whole McKell family, we wish mum and dad good health and happiness for the rest of their lives together."