For Beverly and Graham Bryant, it was love at first sight and it led to a lifetime of wonderful memories. Now in retirement, they are loving their most recent move.
Beverly Bryant was born in the shale mining town of Glen Davis in Central NSW. Following the end of World War II, the mine was no longer required for shale and subsequently closed. In 1951, Beverly’s parents decided it was time for the family to move. They chose Booragul, some 300 kilometres away in the City of Lake Macquarie near Newcastle.
Living lakeside was certainly very different to life in a rural town, but it presented lots of new and exciting opportunities for the family.
Beverly continued her schooling, first at Teralba Primary School and then at Booragul Primary School – she was part of the first intake of students when Booragul Primary School was new.
She completed her secondary studies at Wickham Home Science School and then stepped into an office job with poultry company Steggles.
Meanwhile, Graham Bryant was born in the Newcastle suburb of New Lambton and lived with his parents in Birmingham Gardens. Graham completed his schooling at Plattsburg High School and, in 1956, he accepted a panel beating apprenticeship with the Department of Government Transport in Newcastle.
Beverly was busy in the Steggles office while Graham was serving his apprenticeship. The pair were working just 600m from one another.
“A friend arranged the introduction and it was love at first sight,” says Beverly. “Graham finished his apprenticeship in 1961 and that same year we bought a small home together in Cardiff South. We married in 1962 at Hamilton Wesley Uniting Church.”
Beverly and Graham welcomed three children to their family and, in 1969, built a new larger home on the same Cardiff South block of land.
“We have wonderful memories from that time in our lives,” says Beverly. “There were caravan holidays, and, as teenagers, the kids were involved in lots of sport – netball, soccer, indoor cricket and tennis.”
“We were also active members of our local P&C Association and Graham used his panel beating skills to restore some old cars.”
“We made many lovely friends during those years, many of whom still remain great friends today!”
Beverly and Graham’s work life was just as busy as their homelife. In 1977, Graham was excited to accept a role as a teacher at Newcastle TAFE College. He taught there for 17 years.
In the early 1980s, Graham joined Newcastle Video Moviemakers to learn more about the art of filmmaking. Little did he know at the time, it would lead to a successful business later.
“Graham was a very talented filmmaker and won many competitions,” says Beverly. “His love of the art saw him establish a filmmaking business where he filmed weddings, concerts, balls and sporting events. He was so busy I soon became an assistant camera operator!”
Beverly and Graham both eventually put down the camera and stepped away from their business and into retirement.
Recently, after 58 of the most wonderful and rewarding years in their Cardiff South home – they decided it was time for them to move.
“The lawn and gardens were becoming more difficult to maintain, as was the home itself,” says Beverly. “So, encouraged by our children, we decided to look for an over-55 village.”
Beverly and Graham now call Oak Tree Retirement Village Boolaroo home.
“I’m about to turn 77 and Graham will soon be 80,” says Beverly. “We realise now – it’s obvious – we should have made the move to Oak Tree 10 years earlier!”
“We’ve been warmly welcomed by the residents and supported so well by the staff. In fact, their advice and expertise actually made the move to Oak Tree much easier than we expected.”
“It’s the best thing we could have done, and we couldn’t be happier.”