Teen romance leads to 60 years of marriage
KATH and Allan Male have been married for 60 years and celebrated this milestone occasion at Redcliffe with close friends and members of their family.
Kathleen Grenfell was just 13 years old when she first met 15-year-old lad porter Allan Male at the local train station when she was on her way to school in Toowoomba.
Years later on 31 January, 1959 they were married at the Margaret Street Church of Christ in Toowoomba.
Their eldest child Linda Coster was born while they were at Theological College in Melbourne. Their first ministry was in Portland, Victoria where two more daughters, Merryn Major and Coralie Just, arrived.
In 1965 Allan accepted the position of Director of Youth and Christian Education for the Churches of Christ in Queensland and the family moved into the church manse at Gotha St, Camp Hill.
As part of this work he undertook the oversight of camps at Camp Cal at Caloundra, Teen Ranch at Marburg as well as on Magnetic Island and at Emu Park. While they were living at Camp Hill their son Stephen was born.
In 1972 the family moved to Rose St, Lawnton and then in 1974 to Boundary Rd, Narangba (the road was dirt back then).
The girls attended Pine Rivers District State High School, Strathpine while Stephen attended the newly-opened Grace Lutheran College, Rothwell.
Rev Male began the work of the Shaftesbury Citizenship Centre in Spring Hill and Shaftesbury Campus at Burpengary.
He has been recognised for his work with young people many times including being named Father of the Year in 1976 and receiving an AM and MBE.
He was appointed the Director of Family Services for the Queensland Government for several years.
Allan was a member of Rotary with over 50 years of 100 per cent attendance. He was elected as the District Governor of District 960 (now District 9600) in 1985/1986.
Kathleen has always been by his side providing great assistance with the camps and women's groups and ministries including playing the organ and piano for services. She also worked as a teacher aide at Ann St, Kallangur Church of Christ Child Care Centre for several years.
During a brief retirement they first moved to Rothwell then Sutton's Beach. In 2008, Allan and Kath were asked to fill a two-year ministry at Boondall Church of Christ which went on to last 10 years.
During this time Allan was a columnist for The Bayside Star on Brisbane's northside, writing The Male Report.
Kath and Allan loved to travel and are fortunate to have travelled to every continent including enjoying a world cruise in 2014. They were delighted to see the northern lights on a trip to Norway in January 2017.
Their four children gave them 14 grandchildren: Meg Vincent; Courtney Leeton; Gemma Gale; Samuel, Kimberley, Adam and Emmilyne Major; Thomas and Matilda Leeman; Tamika Fitzpatrick; Matthew and Nathan Male; Annie Just and Charlie Coster.
So far they have been blessed with 11 great-grandchildren: Madeline and Van Leeman; Lillia, Evelyn, Amelia and William Gale; Noah and Olivia Eastall; Ruby and Jude Vincent; and Nash Leeton.
Allan has suffered several strokes since his retirement and now resides at Maranatha Aged Care, Kallangur, with Kath moving into the village soon.
Official letters of congratulations were received from members of local, state and federal government, the Governor-General and Queen Elizabeth II.
These were read out at their 60th anniversary parties, where Kath and Allan thanked their family and friends for being such an important part of their story.
Surviving members of the bridal party - maid of honour Beverley Grenfell and best man Don May - were special guests, with entertainment provided by local artist Tony Dee.