Lifelong romance began diving into air raid trenches
THERE are not many couples who can date the beginning of their courtship to air raid drills during World War II.
But that's how far back Trevor and May Want trace their romance when they met at Grafton High School.
It turned the life-and-death routine of practising to survive enemy air raids by racing down to the trenches into something far more enjoyable.
After graduating, Trevor pursued his career dream of breeding stud quality Holstein dairy cows and beef cattle.
At this time, jersey cows were the dominant breed.
May won a teaching scholarship but had to relinquish it for the soldiers returning from the war.
Instead she obtained work at Gerards and Co in the fashion department, where her keen fashion sense and tactful demeanour kept her busy
She recalled her supervisor would call out, "Forward Miss Allen" when a customer entered the store.
Trevor used his considerable sporting prowess to overcome the lack of a motorised vehicle when courting May.
He rode his trusty, one-gear bicycle up hill and down dale from Swan Creek to Grafton to take May out, sometimes perched on the handlebars.
On December 14, 1949, Trevor and May were married at Christ Church Cathedral.
After the reception, they thwarted their enthusiastic confetti-throwing family and friends by accidentally catching the early train for their honeymoon, a camping holiday at Tiona near Foster.
On their return, they lived with Trevor's parents and his three siblings in the family home on "The Hill" at Swan Creek.
In 1952, Margaret was born at Runnymede Hospital in Grafton, followed two years later by Kathryn.
It was time to look for a farming property of their own.
They found 33 acres with a home a mile away on the bank of the Clarence River.
Here they ran their Holstein dairy and fledgling stud and managed their beef cattle interests at Lavadia and Halfway Creek.
By now they also had a half share in a Holden. Helen and "young Trev" duly arrived to complete the family.
May learnt to milk and was the "home handywoman" whose favourite saying was, "necessity is the mother of invention."
She used her aptitude for teaching and art to skill the girls in sewing, gardening and cooking and was known to throw many a googly cricket ball to Trev.
Trevor taught the children to hone their athletic skills by hitting balls with them in the paddocks or flicking balls at them from odd angles.
It was a happy time except when the massive flood waters rose above the river bank to a metre below the height of the power poles.
May and Trevor showed great strength of character coming back after each flood to clean up their inundated home, replace washed out fences, bring back the surviving animals and replant their crops.
Trevor and May needed to expand their dairy to remain viable when the Milk Quota System was introduced in NSW dairies.
In 1971, they moved to Ulmarra where the Clarendon Holstein Stud was improved year after year to world class standard by Trevor and 'young' Trev right up to this day.
Trevor and May take their commitment to helping their community very earnestly.
They have been involved in, and often headed up, many organisations from school, sport and local government.
May was often the quiet support act, enabling Trevor to attend his meetings.
The four children gradually left home and Trevor and May built their two-storey home across "the road"(think Pacific Highway) in 1978.
Here they ran an extremely popular B&B with no paying guests.
It has always been a place of many long cups of tea with fresh scones and happy banter around the large dining table.
Today, aged 91 and 90, Trevor and May are contentedly living at 1027 Pacific Highway, Ulmarra where they can look out at the Mighty Clarence from the back and watch the cows on the farm from the front.
They look forward to seeing their 13 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren scattered all around Australia and the world.