Treat it like the weather, there will be the calms, the storms and the lulls in between and eventually there will be the silver lining, you just have to be patient.
This is what Alice Kane-Smith and Les Shipp say about surviving 60 years of marriage.
In 1958, a young Aussie lad and a young Irish lass both set off from different ends of the world looking for adventure, friendship, independence, fun and maybe even love.
If only they knew that this journey would be the beginning of a true love story, lasting a lifetime.
Les was only 23 when he left the Australian shores on the Fair Sea headed for England. Alice was also 23 when she left Ireland and headed to Europe to hitchhike.
After several months of working, travelling and meeting new people from all walks of life, they both arrived at Salzburg in Austria.
Les says that when they first met and got to know each other, Alice invited him back to Ireland to experience the fox hunt, but what he didn’t realise was that he was the fox!
Alice returned to Ireland, hoping that Les would eventually join her and after six weeks he arrived, and found work at Harrods and Alice nursing. Les finished working at Harrods, stayed until after Christmas and returned to Ireland to marry Alice.
After their wedding on the 3rd of January 1959, against all of her mother and father’s wishes, Alice jumped aboard the Fair Sea with Les, Australia-bound.
In 1959, their first-born son, Nigel was born, then followed a daughter, Cynthia, in 1961. They lived at Dandaloo in New South Wales.
Les had taken on a job on a cattle station and moved the small family on to a remote cattle property. Soon after, another son was born, Roy, in 1963.
In 1965, another son was welcomed into the family. His name was Joseph. Sadly, one month later, young Joseph passed away, it was a heartbreaking loss, made even harder with no family or friends to share the burden with. Then later that year, tragedy struck again when the family home burnt to the ground.....they had lost everything.
Then, in 1970, another daughter arrived, Rebecca.
The 1970 floods in Curraboomer hit, taking all their possessions. Les left looking for work, taking the two boys with him and ended up working on a cattle station at Moonbi just out of Tamworth. Les then got a job working for Telstra for many years.
Alice drew on her knowledge of horses and built a very reputable horse riding school that became famous in the Tamworth region for 40 years.
Les and Alice have now settled in Wauchope, and their family has grown from four children to 13 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren and still growing.
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