Courting at the squash leads to 50 year love story
IN 1968 at the Squash 52 courts a romance was sparked between two players.
More than five decades on, Cecil (Cec) and Marion Brown's rally is still going. The Browns celebrated 50 years of marriage last week.
The pair exchanged wedding vows on June 21, 1969, at the former Central Methodist Church, Gregory Street, Mackay, in a ceremony conducted by Reverend Barnes.
Attending them on the day was Tom Hughes, Alan Jones, Kathy Boden (nee Howell), Fiona Bosoly (nee Cole), Jeanette Wolfenden (nee Cassells) and Velma Howell.
A reception followed at the Methodist Hall and the newlyweds honeymooned at Happy Bay, Long Island.
Before her marriage, Mrs Brown worked as a secretary at 4MK and became the first employee at Channel 6. Once married, she gave up her employment and moved to Homebush to become a cane farmer's wife and full-time mother.
The Browns had four children, Wendy Brown, Russell Brown, Mark Brown and Michelle Hubner.
Mr Brown had a dream to grow orchids and in 1991 after 30 years of planning he opened Orchidways - an orchid and plant display house in Homebush.
Orchidways was a spectacular visual display of orchids, flowers, plants, moats and waterfalls for a rainforest effect.
It was a tourist attraction where tour groups could enjoy a Devonshire tea after a walk through the display.
Three of the Browns' children were married at Orchidways, but the business shut in 2008 due to severe weather.
With Mr Brown's many years of experience working as a cane farmer, the couple purchased Polstone Sugar Cane tours in 2000. They ran personal cane farm tours to schools and overseas groups.
During the off season they worked with a slushie and then a gum ball machine business and travelled throughout the Mackay region, Gladstone, Biloela and branched out to the Bowen Basin. They were the largest distributors of the products in Australia for five years.
The Browns retired in October 2011 to travel around Australia. But it was put on hold due to Cyclone Debbie.
In January this year they took their first cruise to New Zealand with their youngest daughter and her family to celebrate Mrs Brown's 70th birthday and the couple's wedding anniversary.
Mr and Mrs Brown have 10 grandchildren, Brooke, Ryan, Greg, Andrew, Amy, Taylor, Keanin, Shaye, Declan, Ayden. Number 11 due in July.