JOINT CELEBRATION: Christine and Bill Parker with two of their grandchildren Ashlee, 5, and Emily, 3, at the couple’s joint 60th birthday celebration.
JOINT CELEBRATION: Christine and Bill Parker with two of their grandchildren Ashlee, 5, and Emily, 3, at the couple’s joint 60th birthday celebration. Mara Pattison-Sowden

Special birthday celebration for Gladstone couple

WITH family across Australia and birthdays six months apart, the long weekend was the perfect time for Bill and Christine Parker to celebrate their 60th birthdays.

They have been married for 39 years, and with Chris set to retire soon, they are looking forward to lots more travelling together.

But for this occasion, held at the Gladstone Bowls Club on Saturday night, their family travelled here from Bowen, Townsville, Brisbane, Rockhampton and as far as Melbourne.

"We came here in '87 for work with Queensland Rail," said Bill, who retired in December and turned 60 on January 12.

"I don't know how I found time to work," he said.

"All my time has gone into renovating the home and looking after the grandkids."

Chris, whose actual birthday is coming up on July 31 - the same day as the couple's anniversary - is still working as a cleaner at Gladstone Central State School.

"It's really nice, the kids are really lovely," she said.

When asked whether she was looking forward to retirement, the answer was "yes and no".

"Yes because we get to travel a lot more, but no because I get worried I'd get bored," she said.

"I might have to find a hobby."

Although the couple went overseas last year, with a trip Vietnam and Cambodia, "which was brilliant", this year they'll leave in August to go caravanning for several months.

"But the grandkids told us we have to be home by Christmas," laughed Bill.



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