Marrying the girl next door

Elaine and Sidney Ludwig on their wedding day. Image supplied.

When Elaine Stubbs was visiting her uncle’s farm in Boyland she met the boy next door, Sidney Ludwig and thought he was handsome.

This year they celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

Elaine Stubbs was only 16 years old when she and Sidney met.

She used to work on the telephone exchange at Beenleigh and recalls when she showed a photo of Sidney to the women she worked with, they said, “if you don’t marry him, we will”.

When they were courting the distance from Boyland to Beenleigh was considerable, so Elaine would come and stay at her uncle’s house on the weekends and Sidney would bring her back to Beenleigh for work on the Sunday afternoon.

Elaine loved dancing but Sidney had two left feet, but they were happy dedicating their lives to the farm and later to their family.

Sidney and Elaine became engaged when she turned 18 and married when she was ‘twenty and a half’.

They were married at St Peter’s Lutheran Church, Beenleigh on 1 June 1963 and moved to the Ludwig family dairy farm where they still live today.

“We’ve lived there for the last 60 years – fancy staying in one place for 60 years!” she laughs.

After they married, Elaine stopped working at the telephone exchange and joined Sidney working on the farm.

It was hard work, long hours milking up to 150 cows morning and night, but Elaine and Sidney loved the life they built.

“You had to get your priorities straight, you had to do whatever you had to do and what you couldn’t do you didn’t do.”

When they first got married the cream went to Kingston Butter Factory, but later the whole milk went to the Butter Factory in cans.

The couple had two children, Andrew and Karen who attended Beaudesert State School and then went to Beaudesert State High School.

With the duties of dairying, holidays were few and far between but the family enjoyed being on the farm and spending time together.

“We had a lovely life when we had the children; living next door to Nanny and Pop was a lovely happy arrangement and we all got along really well.”

Andrew was a keen race walker and worked full time on the dairy.

He was selected to carry the Olympic torch through Canungra in the lead up to the Sydney Olympics in 2000, a moment that filled the whole family with pride.

Sadly he was killed in a car accident in 2009 and just over three years later his sister Karen died of breast cancer and leukemia.

After Andrew passed away, they discussed selling the property, but Sidney wanted to keep the place that had been in his family for over 100 years.

Today Karen’s son Thomas Brook leases the farm and runs the property, living in the home his great-grandparents once lived in.

Sidney will be 85 on 22 June this year and Elaine is 80 years of age and they are happy living in the home they have been in for over half a century.

“We’ve had a happy marriage and we’re comfortable at home. We hope to stay here as long as possible. We love sitting and looking at the cows. We love the cows.”

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About Keer Moriarty 478 Articles
Small town newspaper Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady.