LOVE STORY: 'I'm going to marry you one day'
WHEN Donald Jaques first laid eyes on Mavis Connolly, he knew marriage was on the cards.
It was when he worked as a night officer in the Queensland Railway at Raglan where he first met his future wife.
At the time, she was studying nursing at St John's Hospital in Rockhampton and would travel back home to Raglan on the train after her shifts.
Even before being introduced, Mr Jaques spotted her one day as she got off the train and walked past him, promptly patting her on the head and said "I'm going to marry you one day."
And that he did.
They married on Saturday, December 14, 1968 in St Patrick's Church, Rockhampton.
Attendants for the bride were Rosemary Rae, bridesmaid and flowergirls, Maureen Connolly and Annette Connolly while the best man for the groom was Keith Scott.
The couple honeymooned in Melbourne before settling in Raglan to start their married life.
They lived here for just one month before Mr Jaques transferred with the railway to Carmilla, south of Mackay.
It was here that they had their first child, a daughter, Sheree.
The couple made many friends in Carmilla, but it was the move to Coppabella, west of Mackay, in 1972 that they truly made their home.
It was also here that the young couple brought their newborn son Glyn home to in 1973.
And 50 years later they share two children, two in-laws, four grandsons, and one granddaughter.
So many lifelong friendships have developed in those years within the small knit community of Coppabella with barbecues and Christmas parties that the whole town came to.
Mrs Jaques helped run a little kindergarten in a demountable wooden hut as there were no school facilities in town at that stage.
Lots of painting, playdough and fun was to be had.
She then went on to teach religious studies when the first primary school opened in town in 1980.
She also played a role in the committee of the local swimming club - and at one stage running the little bistro with a friend at the QRI on Friday nights.
In 1990, after staff movements within the Queensland Railway, Mr Jaques transferred to Bluff.
The couple made quite a number of friends there and involved themselves in the local community.
After he retired from the railway in 2000, they made the move to Emerald where they still live today.
In their usual friendly fashion, they involved themselves in the community once again where Mrs Jaques worked in the bargain shop and helped with Christmas hampers each year at the Emerald Neighbourhood Centre.
They both love having family close with their son Glyn, wife Jo and children Riley and Sarah living in Emerald.
Their daughter Sheree, husband David with sons, Joshua, Blake and Callumlive not too far away in Moranbah.