Diamond wedding anniversary celebrations for Rob and Margaret Saunders

Rob and Margaret Saunders were married on July 1, 1961, in Bowen.

LAST month, long-term Innisfail residents, Rob and Margaret Saunders (nee Evans), celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary and nine family members joined them to partake in a barbecue and a special luncheon at Roscoes Piazza.

Unfortunately, some family members were in lockdown due to COVID-19 and were unable to attend.

They received congratulatory letters from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, His Excellency General David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of Australia, and his wife Linda, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter, and Member for Hill Shane Knuth.

Rob, who is the eldest of three, was born in Warwick to parents Ron and Gwen Saunders in 1938, whilst Margaret, who is the middle of three sisters, was born on the bank of Meunga Creek en route to Tully Hospital to parents Jack and Betty Evans.

Margaret attended Kennedy State School, which had one teacher, and then Herberton High School where she boarded at the Methodist Hostel.

Rob completed his primary schooling at Ascot State School and secondary at Industrial High, Brisbane.

In 1957, Rob was called up for National Service and did his training at Wacol and, a year later, he met Margaret in Brisbane through mutual friends, the Vines family. 

At the time, Rob was an apprentice plumber at J R Wylie & Sons and Margaret worked at Commonwealth Bank in Brisbane.

Love blossomed and the pair were married on July 1, 1961, at Bowen Presbyterian Church and thirty guests attended the reception held at Rob’s parents’ house in Bowen.   

After their nuptials, they lived in several towns in North Queensland as Rob was involved in sewerage mains’ construction.

They were blessed with three children and have four grandchildren.

In 1973, Rob and Margaret moved to Innisfail as Rob’s father oversaw the sewerage contract and Rob worked for his father’s company, NSN Constructions. 

After seven years, the contract ended, and the couple decided to stay in Innisfail where they have lived for close to 50 years.

For a few years, Rob worked at the Council in the water gang and at Industrial & Agricultural Supplies.

Margaret worked as a teacher’s aide at Goondi State School for almost 25 years and, before his retirement, Rob was a groundsman at Innisfail High School. 

They have been volunteering members on school and kindergarten committees, the Apex Club, and the National Servicemen’s Association for 20 years.

Wildlife conservation has always been a passion for Rob and Margaret and, as members of the Johnstone Ecological Society for 30 years, they have been very involved with the rehabilitation of a degraded wetland at Bulguru.

Their love for off-road travel has seen them explore every state in their camper trailer or tent, circumnavigating the country, taking every known dirt road and desert crossing.

They have fond memories of camping trips, card nights, and the many lifelong friendships formed since living in Innisfail.

“Surprisingly, over the years, not a lot has changed in Innisfail, as it is still a laid-back town with friendly people.”

When the couple were asked about their philosophy for a successful marriage, their response was that they “both like the simple life and enjoy each other’s company.”

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