CONGRATULATIONS: Frances and Rodney Harm celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary from a safe distance, with family and friends driving past their home on Saturday morning.
CONGRATULATIONS: Frances and Rodney Harm celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary from a safe distance, with family and friends driving past their home on Saturday morning.

3000-plus people send anniversary wishes from afar

AN ELDERLY couple have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in the company of those they cherish – from a safe distance.

From 9am to 11am on Easter Saturday, Rodney and Frances Harm were treated to the sight of many of their family and friends driving past their Lowood home.

The plan was arranged by their three daughters, who spread the word online.

“We posted it all up on Facebook, then sent a few texts to family and friends. I suppose about 50 or so people went past,” their daughter Kelly Hansen said.

“We told them it was happening, but they weren’t really sure what to expect. It was a really good way to boost their spirits and put a smile on their faces again.”

Due to government restrictions on gatherings, and Rodney and Frances being in an age group deemed to be high risk, the pair have been in self-isolation for the past few weeks, separated from their usual social circles.

While a more traditional celebration was out of the question, the drive-by gave them the opportunity to share waves and words with those near and dear to them.

“We set up a little gazebo out the front and we just told people to come past. A lot of them passed over the fence flowers, cards and cakes,” Kelly said.

“A lot of the nieces and nephews had made signs and held those out. One cousin came past with all the tins out the back like they were just married.”

Frances and Rodney have both lived in the region their whole lives and were married in Toowoomba on April 11, 1970.

“They’ve lived at that house since they were married. They bought the house at the same time and moved in, so that’s the family home,” Kelly said.

In their time together, they have been blessed with three daughters, seven grandchildren and plenty of friends.

While many of these friends and family members took part in the drive-by celebration, the anniversary has attracted congratulations on an international level as well.

Kelly said she had shared the post to the ‘Bin Isolation Outing’ group on Facebook, where it gained significant attention.

“That’s a site that was started because, I think the gist of it was that at the moment your wheelie bin goes out more than you do,” she said.

“From that post, nearly 32,000 people have liked it and 3212 people from all over the world have commented on it to send congratulation wishes, which is lovely.

“We were just overwhelmed by the amount of comments from people.”


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