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Family arrive in Whitsundays 60 years ago

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LONGTIME Cannon Valley locals, Rex and Myra Robinson, have celebrated 60 years in the region since they sailed over from the United Kingdom, for just 10 pounds.

Rex and Myra met and married in England, before becoming ‘10-pound poms’ and setting sail, along with their two-year-old daughter, and another baby on the way.

They floated around Queensland before landing in Proserpine, in 1963.

Now, Rex and Myra are the only residents on Robinson Road– named after them after they built their home, brick by brick, and paved the road themselves.

The 50-hectare block of land they built on had been vacant since World War One and is now a tropical paradise made up of many different kinds of plants and trees.

“What you see here is what we have done, there was no road here when we bought the property, we cut every tree by hand,” Rex said.

“Down the front, is a couple of acres I literally cleared by hand in about six months, and then planted mango trees there.”

Myra has been a proud member of the Mommas and Poppas choir group since it began, with Rex joining recently as an instrumentalist.

Some decades ago, when Rex and Myra were in their 60s, the pair played in the local town bush band, The Barrier Reefers.

“It started out as a church group, all the churches got together for the Whitsunday Christian Festival and this band was called Captain Spike Williams and the Great Barrier Reef Rat Bags, from all different churches,” Myra said.

“We would go away to music festivals, and the band played around for about five years.”

Their passion for music also led into teaching.

“We used to do workshops, I taught line dancing at music festivals for 20 odd years, and Rex would teach them how to make basic musical instruments,” Myra said.

The couple have four wonderful children, two girls and two boys, and grandchildren that they boast about.

“We’ve got excellent grandchildren, even our granddaughters will come up here and do work for us, and our son with three children, down in Mackay, will drive up sometimes to do the mowing for us,” Rex said.

Myra recently celebrated her milestone 90th birthday, surrounded by friends and family, who took a trip with her up to Bowen.

Joining them also were Rex and Myra’s friends in the area, who they consider to be ‘adopted family’ and have known since their move to the area, 60 years ago.

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