TWINS Hugh Elford and Dianne Boddy will celebrate their 80th birthday today after leading very different lives.
Mr Elford, of Wodonga, is best-known for establishing and managing Aware Industries for people with disabilities and helping start the Kirinari agency and Hume Employment Service.
Ms Boddy, of Melbourne, is a professional engineer who has earned international recognition for a 60-year career that has produced 2000 successful designs.
She had produced solutions to engineering problems in industry sectors from canning and sheep shearing to deep-sea oil rigs and has dozens of patents to her name.
Both attribute much of their success to their mother, Audrey, who was widowed by an air crash in Canberra in 1940 that killed three federal ministers and the army chief.
Dick Elford was secretary to Air Minister Jim Fairbairn and they had flown to the US, Canada, Britain and Portugal without mishap before their RAAF plane crashed, killing 10 people.
Mrs Elford, left with seven-year-old twins and no pension, was forced to take many jobs to make ends meet and pay for their education.
Hugh left school to work in the water industry while Ms Boddy became an engineering tracer at 19.
Her fascination with machinery and acquisition of engineering expertise led her to supervise all the design work for a canning company by the time she was 23 — and she never looked back.
Although she received many engineering qualifications and held managing directorships and consultancies, Ms Boddy never went to university.
“But I’ll be going to Swinburne university this month — to study engineering of all things,” she said.
Both Ms Boddy and Mr Elford lost their respective spouses, Harold and Jenny, recently.
Mr and Mrs Elford moved to the Border in 1982 and among many other activities formed an amputee association and helped local amputees.
Mr Elford said he was proud agencies he started or helped in the area now employed 780 people.
He is still involved in St John’s Anglican Church in Wodonga, while Ms Boddy is designing a lamp for the organ at her church in Melbourne.