Family their pride and joy

LINDA Graetz always had a dream that she and husband Norm would one day get in their car and just drive to wherever they fancied.

It would be a reward for the decades of hard work spent raising their family.

The dream never materialised but that didn’t matter to them yesterday afternoon as they soaked up the love and good wishes of their large extended family.

The occasion was the Graetzs’ 70th wedding anniversary, a union out of which came five children who they worked tirelessly to feed and clothe and — something they held dear — to educate them as best as they could.

They were delighted as dozens of their extended family — the Graetzs also have 18 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren — gathered at their home since 2010, the Dellacourt Retirement Hostel in West Albury.

Norm Graetz and Linda Grosse lived just a few kilometres apart on farms in the Walla area before they met and so already knew each other before their friendship and love blossomed.

She was coy though yesterday about how that eventually came about.

“I won’t tell how it started,” she said with a laugh.

“Ron was 24 and I was 22 when we got married.”

Their wedding was at the Zion Lutheran Church at Walla and soon after they moved into a house on the Walla-Gerogery Road, where they share- farmed for several years.

Then they got their own property, buying a small, 10-hectare dairy farm at North Walla in 1951.

Mr Graetz supplemented the family’s income in the 1950s by working at Modern Engineering and Construction and a few years earlier, in 1948, was heavily involved in setting up St Paul’s College at Walla.

Their growing family led to Mr Graetz working as a Rawleigh dealer from 1961, travelling throughout Culcairn Shire selling wares from his green Moris van — and he won many awards for his efforts.

That ended when the farm was converted to poultry and egg production and it was this time, the 1970s, that Mrs Graetz warmly remembered yesterday.

She would spend many hours each day grading eggs before making her deliveries to many wholesale customers in Albury and Wodonga. They retired from the business in 2004.

“I used to deliver eggs three times a week,” Mrs Graetz said.

“They were all not just customers, they were friends.”

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