CAR-AZY IN LOVE

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Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
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Never throwing the towel in and steaming ahead are Owen and Irene Shepherd, married for 60 years.
Camera IconNever throwing the towel in and steaming ahead are Owen and Irene Shepherd, married for 60 years. Credit: Peter Sweeney, Geraldton Guardian

It was a car — no less than an MG, mind you — which started the relationship. And it could have been the same vehicle which ended it.

In 1958, Owen Shepherd decided to sell a recent buy — in favour of a more attractive and sleeker moving model.

Car-loving Mr Shepherd had paid “1376 pounds and 16 shillings” for the 13th MG in WA and decided on a Perth-Geraldton drive.

He stayed at Grandtown Lodge in the CBD. Irene Robinson was also there, chaperoning a family friend, a blonde-headed woman, who set her eyes on the young man — and his vehicle.

Ms Robinson showed little interest in Mr Shepherd — and even less in his MG. But he showed much interest in her. There was one problem: the car.

“It was either me or the car; I didn’t want to go in it,” Irene, who 60 years ago yesterday became Mrs Shepherd, recalled.

“It (the car) was too flashy and I’m not the showy type.”

Mr Shepherd said his then girlfriend did “one trip” in the car before I had to get rid of it.

“I was booked to do the grand parade at the Royal Show. She came covered in a scarf,” he said.

“I had the car only 16 weeks and proposed to her after just six weeks.”

Mr Shepherd did yesterday what he does every day: go for a swim. “And an afternoon sleep.”

And their recipe for a long union?

“Don’t throw the towel in, we made a commitment and we’ve stuck to it,” Mrs Shepherd said.

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