When Michael Ferguson was laid up with a broken back after a workplace accident, his girlfriend Jayne stuck by his side.
He popped the big question on her birthday as she sat beside his bed, and now they’ve been married 20 years.
Michael, 50, loves living life with Jayne and their son Lauchie, who is doing year 11 at Beenleigh Special School, and believes there is nothing more important than family.
Michael’s dad always managed dairy farms, so the family moved around a bit, but Beaudesert has a special place in his heart.
Des and Dianne Ferguson welcomed Michael, the second of their three boys, into the world in 1971, after his aunt Marg Rodwell delivered him at Beaudesert Hospital.
His childhood began at Cedar Glen, and he recalls the story of his grandmother Ruby Stubbs hearing the Stinson fly over the dairy, where she was working, right before the infamous 1937 crash.
The family shifted to Jandowie, Oxenford and Christmas Creek, and Michael finished school at Beaudesert High before getting his first job stuffing chooks at Beaudesert Coles.
He said Beaudesert felt like home.
“It’s good when you walk around town and see people who’ve been family friends forever,” he said.
In Michael’s teen years, an old friend who’s since passed away gave him a Yashica 35mm film camera.
He still has that camera, though he tends to work more in digital these days.
“There’s just something about capturing the moment. You see something you know you’ll never see again so there’s that urge – you need to capture it,” he said.
His other hobby, when he gets the chance, is going for a ride on his Honda Hornet 900.
“It’s just you and the bike – it’s my time, my space,” he said.
At the rate grass is growing, there hasn’t been much spare time for hobbies lately.
Michael has been in the turf industry for 18 years, and while he’s a self-described ‘general dogs’ body’, it’s pretty clear he knows his stuff.
He started out doing turf deliveries, has worked for several local companies and even did a stint around Bundaberg, where Jayne is originally from.
These days, his work involves projects from the Sunshine Coast to Moree, building and renovating sports fields, doing large scale landscaping, and maintaining a whole lot of turf.
Ask Michael what’s most important, and without missing a beat he’ll say family.
Through life’s challenges, from breaking his back to depression, life-threatening diverticulitis and losing his dad through dementia, his family has always been there for him.
“I’d be lost without Lauchie, Jayne, mum, my brothers and Jayne’s family,” he said.
“In spite of all Lauchie’s issues, I wouldn’t have that kid any other way. No two days are ever the same, he’s always happy to see you and for a kid with autism he’s very empathetic.”