The passengers swayed to the rhythmic rattle and clank of the tram, free from the distractions of modern day devices that consume our being and stop us noticing that connection. In 1957, on this iconic Brisbane tram, it proved to be that opportunity to see the person of our dreams.
She was 19. He was 27. She thought, when she had noticed him on the tram, “I’ve got no chance with a man so good looking as him”. She was wrong. They travelled on the same tram route from the City where they, along with the other passengers, alighted at the last stop – the Carina Terminus on Old Cleveland Road.
They were both from England (not that they knew that until they met), migrating to Australia with their respective families and commonly known at the time as one of many 10-pound Poms.
The first awkward interaction. He asked her out. She already had plans. A promise to go out with her sister for dinner that night. Out of all the free nights she had, he chose the one where she was busy. Just my luck, she thought. But he didn’t give up that easy. Despite his reserved nature he asked her out again. And so the courting began.
The terminus was the regular rendezvous point where they caught the tram to their date destinations in the City. Ever the gentleman, he walked her home after from the Carina Terminus along Gallipoli Road to Willard Street.
Along the Old Cleveland Road tram route is the church where they married at Camp Hill. It rained that day – but didn’t dampen their elation of becoming husband and wife. Their’s was a union based on love, respect, mutual goals, care and compromise. That never faded.
Life certainly threw them some challenges and stresses as it invariably does. It served to make them stronger in themselves and with each other. ‘Give up’ wasn’t an option. Isn’t that what marriage is all about? It is now 60 years on. They have lived selflessly for each other, their children and grandchildren. Affectionately dubbed ‘darby and joan’, they have generously shared their love, laughter and life lessons. They have achieved more for who they are together than what they have materially built together. And whilst he has now passed, their souls are eternally one.
They met on a tram. The winding tram tracks along Old Cleveland Road are still there – listed on the Queensland heritage register for their unique contribution to Queensland. Their story is a significant tribute to the institution of commitment as the tram tracks that still lay there are a tribute to Queensland’s culture and history. It is a story that needs to be preserved and shared as a legacy of enduring commitment.
What story of inspiration can you share?