Oakenden couple Gwen and Col Sievers celebrate 60 years of marriage.
Oakenden couple Gwen and Col Sievers celebrate 60 years of marriage.

They were determined to go on a honeymoon

PATIENCE is the key to a lasting marriage.

Oakenden couple Gwen and Col Sievers should know, this week they celebrated their 60-year milestone.

“Never go to bed without talking to each other,” Mrs Sievers said.

“We’ve never had a big argument,” Mr Sievers added.

As a couple, they have been together for longer than 60 years.

But neither could agree on what year they actually met. It was either in 1965 or 1966, four or five years before they tied the knot.

The Sievers recalled they first locked eyes at a Friday night dance at the Parish Hall.

Mr Sievers was a keen dancer and would travel from Oakenden to Mackay up to three times a week to dance. His little brother, Marcel, would usually accompany him.

Mrs Sievers, then Gwendoline Smith, lived in Mackay.

The pair were married in the afternoon on February 20, 1960, at Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

Mrs Sievers wore a long-sleeve white gown of delustered satin. It had a long train trimmed with guipure lace.

“I had the trained removed later and wore the dress to a number of balls,” she said.

Taking part in the wedding party was the groom’s brother Marcel, the bride’s sister Gloria Wynn, the groom’s cousin Lester Matsen and friend Cheryl Smith.

Mrs Sievers’s attendants wore lipstick-pink delustered satin gowns.

The reception was held at the Parish Hall for 210 guests.

Beautiful weather became torrential rain, some guests were even stranded by floodwaters and unable to return home.

“It poured and it poured,” Mrs Sievers said.

“It rained for days,” Mr Sievers added.

In fact the flooding wreaked havoc on their honeymoon plans. They were meant to drive from Mackay down the coast, but had to turn around before they even reached Sarina.

Back in Mackay, Mr Sievers was told the trains could still get through. So with some clever manoeuvring, he drove his Holden on to a flat-bed carriage and they restarted their honeymoon by enduring a 14-hour train trip to Rockhampton.

The newlyweds then travelled south to New South Wales where they toured the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

Mr Sievers said it was amazing to see how the scheme was being engineered and constructed. They spent time in employee camps, mingling and eating with the numerous nationalities working on the project. A highlight was visiting Lake Eucumbene.

They returned to their home in Oakenden after four weeks away.

Mr Sievers, 83, has lived in Oakenden all his life and is still an active canefarmer.

“My father and uncle pioneered the land,” he said.

Aged 14, he went into partnership with his brothers, Basil and Marcel. They bought their Uncle Harry out of his portion of the family farm. Their father, Albert, later joined them and the Sievers purchased numerous cane farms in the area.

Mr Sievers has seen many changes in canefarming over the years including horses being replaced by tractors.

And he has no plans to retire.

“That’s a dirty word in this house,” Mrs Sievers said.

Mr Sievers is proud of his farm and said it keeps him active and healthy.

“It’s a beautiful part of the world,” he said.

Mrs Sievers has enjoyed working in the paddock with her husband over the years. She has also volunteered for many years at Mirani State High School’s tuckshop.

Her favourite pastime has been lovingly crafting fancy work. Her passion for the craft has produced bundles of handmade items for her children and grandchildren.

Mr and Mrs Sievers are proud of their three children; Wendy, Karin and Wade, their four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

“We are expecting another great-grandchild very soon,” Mr Sievers said.

Family and friends will gather today at Lamberts Beach for an anniversary party. The Sievers are expecting 35 people to attend.

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