70th Wedding Anniversary

Michael Joseph Clarke married Kathleen McCarney in All Saints Catholic Church at Kempsey in 1930 and celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary on 22 January 2000.

In an interview with The Macleay Argus reporter published on 21 January 2000, Michael recalled that he trained as a baker with his brother, working for some time at his Willawarrin bakery before moving with him to Cundletown, Wauchope and finally Long Flat where his brother built another bakery. In Long Flat they made and delivered bread and cakes to the road workers who were building the new Oxley Highway.

The Clarkes lived on the Hastings River for seven years before returning to Willawarrin in 1937, where Michael took over the bakery freehold. In 1949, they moved to Brisbane where Michael became a jack-of-all-trades, working as a tram conductor, packing and checking wholesale groceries and in an electroplating firm, where he stayed until his retirement. He had a clear view of the Eagle Farm racetrack from his verandah.

Even in retirement, Michael received job offers. He worked for fourteen days as tour manager for a trip through Singapore and Hong Kong.

In their later life, Michael and Kathleen lived at Vincent Court. He remembered achieving his career goals with clear determination to succeed.

They received a letter from Queen Elizabeth and a congratulatory note from Governor-General William Dean. Michael dispelled the honour with a shrug. “It’s something you have to treasure I suppose, not that I know any of them (the Royal family) personally,” he said.

Being the oldest person at the 2001 Clarke Reunion, Michael cut the celebration cake with Kathleen at his side. Michael passed away on 19 February 2001. Kathleen passed away on 10 January 2002.