ON an occasion not often seen, around 90 guests witnessed history in the making when they recently attended the 70th wedding anniversary celebration of well-known and highly respected Central Highlands graziers May and Charlie Randell.
The couple were married in the Carmila Church of England on April 11 1947, and during the ensuing years went on to establish a very successful grazing empire which began with winning a land ballot of an 11,330 hectare block at Mt Stuart near Capella in 1963.
There was a stint in private enterprise at the Koumala Butcher Shop and work in the railway cane farms prior to this.
Having both lived through the depression years and World War II, and in later years experiencing the highs and lows of life on the land, it is fair to say that their time together has transcended some major events and milestones.
Early married life was pretty tough for May and Charlie with little or no modern conveniences which they now take for granted.
With no power, basic telephone services, household appliances such as refrigeration and cooking and reliable transport until later years, starting out from scratch was particularly challenging and life was fairly spartan by today’s standards.
Mr and Mrs Randell, who are now both in their early 90s, prevailed through hard work and determination.
They went on to carve out a successful cattle enterprise for them and their family which today consists of three children Charlie, John, and Beverly, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
The property and other grazing interests at Crinum remain in the family to this day.
The couple retired from the family property Mt Stuart to Yeppoon some years ago.
In addition to grazing interests, there was also success in the horse racing industry, and for Mr Randell, time served in local government on the Broadsound Shire Council.
Both Mr and Mrs Randell are renowned for their welcoming country hospitality and Mrs Randell’s ability to serve up a wonderful meal at the drop of a hat is known far and wide.
Both recall with fondness the many experiences, successes, tribulations, stories and anecdotes they have amassed over the last 70 years.
Mr Randell has quite often commented that if he had his time again he wouldn’t change a thing.
He draws immense pride in what they have achieved over the years and also how their cattle brand 40E has remained in the Randell family for 137 years making it one of the oldest in existence.
He has held it for the past 70 years after his father and then his grandfather before that.
The 40E brand was first registered in 1880 in St Lawrence to Charlies’ Great Grand Father William Hatfield.