‘Armadale was just beginning to build up’

‘Armadale was just beginning to build up’

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Paul and Jacky Hubbard were married in 1961. Photograph – Richard Polden.

Celebrating their diamond anniversary this month, local couple Jacky and Paul Hubbard have been married for 60 years.

The Hubbard’s have had their fair share of difficulties over the past 60 years including not seeing each other as newly-weds.

Jacky and Paul met as children at school in England and were married on February 25 1961.

Paul was a mechanic in the Royal Air Force in the UK and left four days after their wedding to return to his unit.

Then after their first child was born, Paul was re-located to Singapore for two and a half years.

Jacky was supposed to re-locate as well but having their first-born made it difficult.

“By the time our daughter was old enough for us to join him, Paul knew what it was like in Singapore,” Mrs Hubbard said.

“He said he was based in Singapore but he was never there, he was always in other places.”

Paul was on the move and sent off to other countries frequently.

“I did a month in Borneo and then returned to Singapore for six weeks. Then in that six weeks we would go to Malaya because that was during the Malaya Emergency,” Mr Hubbard said.

He was then relocated to Australia before the Australian military pulled out of the Vietnam War in 1972.

Finally in December 1974, Paul and Jacky did relocate to Australia and arrived via ship just before New Years Eve.

During their time on the ship Cyclone Tracy hit the Australian coast, creating an unreal experience for the Hubbard’s and their three children.

“One minute the ship windows would be completely underwater and the next they would be clear,” said Jacky.

“All of the Christmas activities they had organised had to be cancelled because of the weather.”

“We treated the trip as a holiday because we didn’t get a honeymoon.”

Two weeks after their rocky arrival, the Hubbard’s bought their house in Armadale where they have lived on the same street since.

“Armadale was just beginning to build up when we arrived. Down the bottom of our street was paddocks with animals and we could take our kids down to feed the horses, goats and cows.”

The ever-changing conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic have left the Hubbard’s anniversary plans up in the air.

“I would’ve liked to have to have everybody over for a party, but instead we’re having a lunch with everyone at a restaurant.”

“We always celebrate birthdays and anniversary’s because we never know what’s going to happen the next year and if we will be able to do anything.”