By Jed Lanyon
When Lawrie and Mollie Field first moved to Healesville from central New South Wales in 1969, they drove straight past the town without realising that it was their new home.
“I had to ask Mollie, ‘where’s the bloody town?’” Lawrie said.
“Well there was nothing here then, back in the1960’s,” Mollie said.
“We drove down through the Black Spur, came through here, went right up the other end and turned around and came back. I thought, this must be it,” Lawrie said.
The pair met while both working for Telecom (now Telstra), Lawrie as a telephone technician and Mollie as a telephonist.
Today, Lawrie and Mollie celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on Tuesday 19 November and have notched up their 50th year volunteering for St Brigid’s Church.
Lawrie only recently retired from his role of counting the weekly contributions, while Mollie is still a sacristan, preparing the altar with flowers and vestments.
“I look after the church and keep it up to scratch,” she said.
“It’s just natural. When you’re a part of the church you just do it.”
The pair place great importance on the value of community involvement.
“There’s nothing to do if you’re not involved in anything,” Mollie said.
Mollie and Lawrie spent their 59th anniversary sharing afternoon tea.
“By the time we got through that, we were ready for bed really,” Lawrie joked.
The couple are currently living in separate spaces as Lawrie’s health has required him to be moved in to Holmwood Aged Care, while Mollie remains at their old Healesville property of 50 years.
The couple admits that the transition from living together happily to now being separated three kilometres across town has proven to be difficult.
“It’s been eight months since he moved to Holmwood… It’s been very hard,” Mollie said.
“There’s no one to come home to anymore. It’s like… We’re not divorced, but we have parted.”
“It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it is,” Lawrie said.
Mollie said she visits Lawrie every afternoon, staying until the evening and Lawrie is able to come home every Sunday for lunch.
“I’ve never missed a day,” she said.
Their son in law, Gary Lucas, said he aspires to be like Mollie and Lawrie at their age.
“They welcomed me into the family and were very supportive,” he said.
“They are admired and respected by a lot of people in this community.”