Blind date/whirlwind romance led to 35 year married life

Martin and Heather Hirsch at Burke and Wills Motor Inn restaurant on Monday 19th December. PHOTO: Contributed

Kingaroy residents Martin and Heather Hirsch chose Burke and Wills Motor Inn to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary on Monday, 19th December.

The couple met, blind-dated by a mutual friend, during a catamaran sailing excursion on Mackay’s Northern Beaches.

Two weeks later, after a couple of restaurant outings and several reciprocal visits to each other’s homes for dinner, they got engaged and, later that year, were married at Wanganui Gardens, Brisbane.

The guest list included 70 invitees from as far as Cairns and Toowoomba.

At the time, Heather was doing her country service as a secondary commerce teacher at North Mackay while Martin had landed a media position with News Limited.

It was to take the pair to countless tourist destination in both the Mackay and Whitsunday area where Martin penned his regular reviews and travel stories, while contributing to other mastheads in the group’s tourist publishing arm.

In the aggregation year, Martin joined Win TV at Mackay as scriptwriter/producer, while Heather was posted to Mirani High School in the Pioneer Valley.

In the ensuing decades, the couple called Deloraine, Tasmania, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and Norfolk Island their home.

During an 8-year residence in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, their daughter was born in 2006, completing their small family.

Early this year, the couple purchased a property at Kingaroy.

Heather continued her teaching career, while Martin has resigned from full-time and freelance journalism after 39 years, with a sixteen month stint as volunteer ambulance officer on Norfolk Island before relocating to the mainland. He continues his part-time working life as wedding celebrant, while keenly pursuing his hobby as a playwright.

Asked about a ‘recipe’ for a successful and fulfilling marriage, Martin was quick to respond, saying marriage was much about a couple having a solid common goal, yet remaining strong individuals who are prepared to accommodate each other’s at times different opinions, are prepared to compromise and share the joys in life. Part of marriage is to also shoulder joint responsibilities.

A Christian outlook on life adds a further positive dimension that instils faith, contentment and a determined willingness to share with others in the community.

Figuratively, married life could be viewed as two people in love, rowing a boat in the same direction, together.