In the heart of Lockyer, Tom and Marie's love grew

DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY: Tom and Marie Linnan walk the broccolini fields at their Crowley Vale farm.
DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY: Tom and Marie Linnan walk the broccolini fields at their Crowley Vale farm. Ali Kuchel

THERE are no secrets to a successful marriage, no hidden tricks. Just good old-fashioned trust and friendship.

And as Marie and Tom Linnan sit back at their Crowley Vale farm, it's evident their passion remains strong - even after 60 years of marriage.

"We worked pretty good as a team," Tom said, sitting across the table from his wife. "We really get along well as a family."

On April 27, Tom and Marie celebrated their diamond anniversary - a milestone achievement.

And while they're still active on the family's fresh produce farm, they can recall many more milestones from the past six decades.

Their love story began at the Glenore Grove hall.

There's a twinkle in Marie's eye as she recalls their first dance at Glenore Grove, where the couple started dating.

"I wasn't allowed to go to the dances until I had finished school," Marie said.

"A girlfriend and a chap who worked for us used to take me to the dances... but then Tom decided he should take me instead.

"There used to be dances every week and that was our night out."

Marie taught Year 2 at Gatton Primary School up until the couple wed.

Tom worked on the land and had a quarter share in the family property, helping his father grow pumpkins and potatoes.

Tom and Marie married in 1957 and spent the next few years growing the farm.

But it wasn't all farming life. The Linnans were sport enthusiasts and even when their three boys came along, they continued their love for sport.

"We played tennis for Lake Clarendon, then Tom played cricket with the Glenore Grove Cricket Club and I used to score," Marie said.

"As the kids came along it didn't make any difference. We used to pack everything up and off we went to sport.

"The kids, they became very sporty too."

In 1968, Marie returned to the classroom at Gatton for a temporary position but ended up staying nine years.

Tom continued the farm, which the family expanded into Lake Clarendon.

Married life had its ups and downs, but the strain of extremely high interest rates was one of the Linnans' biggest challenges.


Tom and Marie Linnan have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Tom and Marie Linnan have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Ali Kuchel

When they first purchased the land where the packing sheds are today, interest rates rocketed up to 23%.

"Every four years we were basically repurchasing the land," Tom said.

Just 12 months after buying the land, Tom's aunt passed away and her farm, which they were leasing, became available.

"We weren't quite ready to buy, but we had to have a go at it," Marie said.

"I'm proud of the fact we got through those years."

Besides sports and working the farm, the couple had a passion for racing.

Through the years they owned a number of race horses, trotters and greyhounds and always enjoyed a day at the track.

Their gallopers were trained by Doug Massam. One of their most prestigious horses was Brandy Boy (by Good Brandy from Royal Kudu), whose claim to fame was a second in the Weetwood Cup in the early 1960s, where Tom says the horse was narrowly beaten.

"We really enjoyed going to the races," Tom said.

"We loved the thrill of winning. We weren't big punters but seeing our horses win was a big thrill."

Today, Tim and Marie are just as strong a team as the day they married.

Marie loves a game of bingo, and Tom can be found scouring clearing sales for old farm items.

Although their hobbies have changed, they still come back to each other at the end of the day.

Their farming land has increased and while Tom is still the chief, his sons look after day-to-day business.

"Farming has completely changed since the boys have taken over, we've gone from potatoes and pumpkins to broccolini," Tom said.

"I look after the cattle and sheep mainly, but I still do some tractor work."

Tom says tractor technology passed him by, so much so that when the boys traded in his old Ford tractor 'Freddy', he was unsure how to drive the new machinery.

"The new ones with the GPS are out of my range," Tom said.

With a chuckle, Marie said they had to buy back old 'Freddy' for Tom to use on the property.

"My cousin used to work for David Evans and his name was Freddy - that's how the tractor got its name," Marie said.

With 60 married years tied away, Marie said the one thing she now wanted was a great-grandson.

"Tom comes from a family with four sisters and I always wanted boys," she said.

They were lucky and had three of their own - Tim, Bruce and Gavin.

They now have seven grandchildren and seven great-granddaughters, but a great-grandson is yet to happen.

Topics:  60th wedding linnan family lockyer valley marie linnan tom linnan

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