From boats to books and wood to metal…..there is no doubt that Neil and Lilian have talent in spades.
Married for over 60 years and both with a drive to keep busy, the couple are humble when it comes to showcasing their crafts.
Neil’s love for boating saw him build a number of boats from scratch. A fitter and turner by trade, he has fabricated craft from steel, ply and aluminium, the boats then used for fishing and whale watching. The door- and window-frames in his home in Hervey Bay were also built by Neil, using the wood from a silky oak tree. On the four apartments the couple built in 1967, Lilian laughs when she remembers why they do not have morning or afternoon tea. “When we took our tea breaks on site, everyone would come and chat to us. Lovely as the chats were, we would realise an hour had passed with no work done! So we stopped having tea breaks altogether, still to this day.”
A member of the shooting range near Maryborough, Neil shared his workmanship to make the target frames and the 20x40m galvanised building on the range. He enjoyed giving back to his community.
Two rooms in the couple’s home are dedicated to Lilian’s woodwork. Clocks, ornaments and wall-hangings adorn the room, showcasing 20 years of creating exquisite and interesting articles. Her flair for woodwork has been recognised at the Maryborough shows, where she regularly won prizes and medals. Lilian is not only talented with her hands; her love for writing has seen her pen poems and create colourful books for their five great-grandchildren. Written and illustrated by Lilian, the children’s books are enjoyed by all.
The warm and gifted couple are now slowing down to enjoy the tranquillity of Hervey Bay. They agree that their active lives, with no-smoking and no-drinking has stood them in good stead. Independent and capable, Neil and Lilian receive some services from Suncare through their Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) which helps older Australians access entry-level support services to live independently and safely at home.