People and Places
26/02/2020
Hospital meeting leads to a healthy life partnership

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Graeme and Lorraine Pollerd have been married for 53 years. Yep, you read it right. That’s a long time in anyone’s language, but possibly more important than that milestone is the fact that they are still very happy. “I first met Graeme in hospital when I was nursing,” laughs Lorraine. “He was a patient when I was on night duty and I got his number from the book, which you’d never do now. I had previously noticed him at a dance but he had ignored me. I called him up and asked him to see To Kill a Mockingbird. That was it. I was brought up in Heidelberg and Graeme was a Thornbury boy. We met in 1964 and were married in 1967 in the Presbyterian church in Heidelberg and began married life around the corner from Mum and Dad in the same suburb. We were lucky.”

This deeply committed family-first couple, who moved to the Peninsula 35 years ago and founded Progress Signs in Mornington, credit much of their partnership success to keeping busy and making sure they both have hobbies. Lorraine continues: “Our lives have never been dull. I was a nurse for years while Graeme first started out valuing cars. We had a bike shop in Watsonia, a gardening business, a partnership in a garage in Rosebud and an equipment hire and farm supply business in Mornington before we opened Progress Signs. We’ve been busy. And, of course, throughout all that we had our two sons, Steve and Craig, so there was plenty to do.” 

And the hobbies? “I have always had a passion for music and singing while Graeme likes horseracing. I’ve done a lot of musical theatre locally and I still sing at functions around town. I just love it. We both get on with things. There’s always something to do.” 

Some of you may be wondering what it takes to keep the home fires burning when you’ve been together for so long, but Lorraine sees it very simply. She explains: “We always sit down together at the end of the day for a drink and have dinner. I don’t think there’s one holiday we’ve ever taken separately. We spend time together and apart but always work as a team. We rely on each other and each of us picks up the slack when we need to. We also see our boys and their families a lot, which is easy because we all live in Mount Martha now. Time with the family is important.”

Will there be any parties happening now these fantastically fit 70-somethings have passed their golden anniversary and are heading towards their diamond anniversary? Lorraine concludes: “We won’t be renewing our vows. We’ve just seen Queen in Adelaide, though, and will be going to town to stay for a few nights soon.” 

I mean, why celebrate once when life and love has been so good? Enough said.

LIZ ROGERS 

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