65 years of love and joy for Lowood sweethearts
WHEN Clyde Marschke first laid eyes on a young Fay Rohl in 1950, the avid motorbike and car enthusiast knew he would have to make room in his heart for the girl who took his breath away.
The then 21-year-old was attending a pre-wedding dance in Glamorgan Vale when fate stepped in and changed the course of his life forever.
"I locked eyes with her and I thought to myself, this is something new," he said.
"I kept thinking to myself 'I hope she is a farmer's daughter', and she was."
The pair began courting and three years later they were married in the Marburg Lutheran Church on December 12, 1953.
In front of all their family and friends, Fay, who was 19, and Clyde, 24, promised to love each other through the good times and the bad, as well as in sickness and in health.
The young bride borrowed a dress for her big day.
"I borrowed the dress from a neighbour. It had been worn quite a few times but was beautiful," Fay said.
"My neighbour kept the dress and on our 25th wedding anniversary we had it on display on a mannequin."
The pair began their married life working on the farm which Clyde had bought from his father at Patrick Estate. They spent 37 years harvesting small crops of potatoes, garlic, lucerne and onion. Clyde also passed on the joy of his first love, motorbikes, to Fay by teaching her how to ride.
The couple have five children. Shane was the first born, but sadly he died when he was three weeks old. Then came Daryl, Rhonda, Diane and Lynne.
The family escaped tragedy in 1970 when a distracted driver ploughed head on into the car in which they were travelling.
"We were at Brightview Weir when a car smashed into us head first," Clyde said.
"He was waving at a farmer and didn't see us."
While the children escaped injury, their parents were both sent to hospital.
"I was in hospital for a month," Fay said.
"The good Samaritans from Patrick Estate pitched in to help look after the farm and the kids during that time."
In 1991 the couple hung up their tools and turned off the tractor for the final time. They had decided to build a new family home in Lowood, and have happily lived there since.
The couple enjoy spending quality time with their children, their nine grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
The couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with an afternoon tea with their family, but Clyde also plans to surprise his wife with a little something on Wednesday on their special day.