Introducing Mr and Mrs Ken and Mavis Bahr who celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on December 12th.
Mavis, (nee Hayes) grew up with her six brothers and six sisters on a farm in Middle Street, Cleveland.
Sundays for the children were spent tidying the gardens and any other jobs that needed attention. Her father was a carrier and transported produce to the markets in Brisbane. After leaving school, Mavis worked at the only Chemist shop in Cleveland until her marriage to Ken. Her beautiful wedding dress was made by one of her sisters and the intricate job of hand sewing on the lace was done by Mavis.
In 1946 Ken and his father purchased 37acres in two deeds in Redlands and grew vegetables and flowers.
When Ken and Mavis married at the Church of England, Cleveland, they moved into Ken’s property, brought up their two children, and have lived there ever since.
Redlands was a highly productive farming community known as the Salad Bowl of Brisbane, and they supplied the Roma Street and Brisbane Markets, along with local weekly stalls and selling produce from their farm gate. One time, Mavis collected 30 bags of horse manure from their land and left them at the gate to be sold along with their vegetables.
At first the land was cultivated with three draught horses then a Massy Fergusson Tractor. Eventually they owned three tractors.
There was only time for holidays at Christmas when it was too hot to work in the gardens. They took their 17foot fibreglass boat to Moreton Bay, crabbing and fishing.
Ken and Mavis retired in December 1998. 98-year-old Ken mows their large grounds on his ride-on-mower and Mavis, 91 looks after the house, cooks their meals, preserves produce from their garden, and generously gives some of these to those who lend a helping hand when needed. She has just given up mowing, with a hand mower, the parts of the lawn that Ken cannot reach with the ride-on mower.
Although their children, and 5 grandchildren, live some distance away, Mavis and Ken are not alone as her youngest brother and niece are on hand to support them, along with neighbours and friends who visit regularly.
They are gentle people, Ken with his sense of humour and both with many interesting stories to tell of growing up in Redlands.
They can be proud of their life’s work in being part of the foundation of Redlands District.
I asked, ‘What advice do you have for the longevity of your marriage and the secret to a stable marriage?’
‘Give and take and be honest with each other.’