Huge family picnic
PERKINS family members are descending on Boambee Reserve today for a reunion which will see more than 140 people join the celebration.
The children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of the late Ada and Ray Perkins will bring their picnic rugs to the reserve for a barbecue and all-day get-together.
Mr and Mrs Perkins' daughter, Nora Secombe, has organised the event.
She said the reserve was a sentimental spot where family members had enjoyed happy outings for many years.
Ada and Ray Perkins had 11 children, all of whom are still living, with the eldest, Mrs Isabel Brinkley, now 83.
Today's gathering will bring together people living everywhere from Gladstone to Sydney and Moree, including those in their 80s to five-week-old Chelsea Morley.
Ray Perkins was born in 1906 at Billinudgel, but his father, farmer William Perkins, moved his family to Nana Glen then North Boambee Rd when Ray was two years old.
Ray's wife Ada, nee Moran, the daughter of John Moran of Middle Boambee, was born in 1907 and the couple married in 1927.
Ray Perkins first worked as a sleeper cutter, then bought a truck and collected milk from the local dairy farms for many years.
Later he and a mate built a fishing boat and Ray became a commercial fisherman. Later still he returned to the dairy industry, working in the ice works at Coffs Harbour's butter factory.
The couple met at Boambee Public School, where they prophetically took part in a mock wedding, Ada donning her mother's corset and Ray his father's tie for the event.
Their 'honeymoon' was a trip around the school grounds in a billycart pulled by the late George England.
Eighty-five years after their real wedding, Ada and Ray have 148 direct descendants, with three more on the way.