Wauchope's Joe and Teen Molenkamp mark 50th wedding anniversary

Happy anniversary: Teen and Joe Molenkamp marked their 50th wedding anniversary with a successful party.
Happy anniversary: Teen and Joe Molenkamp marked their 50th wedding anniversary with a successful party.

Well-known Wauchope couple Joe and Teen Molenkamp have made marriage successful by complementing each other's personalities.

Joe loves fast cars and keeping moving while Teen plays piano and is creative.

Their 50th wedding anniversary on October 31 was somewhere in the middle, according to Teen.

"Because of the restrictions in place, we had to break up our celebration into two sections," she said.

"The 50th ended up being harder to organise than our wedding day.

"We organised some live music with Gary King and while he was supposed to play for four hours he ended up playing for about seven hours in total.

"There was plenty of fun speeches and lots of singing and dancing," she said.

"A few of us are pretty musically-inclined so there were lots of people performing.

"My cousin - Marie Jones - and I played a classical piece called Sleigh Bells which we last played together 60 years ago."

Teen says her love of music comes from listening to the radio or playing music in her early days on the family farm.

"There was no television so I must have played just about every instrument that I could get my hands on over the years," she added.

We organised some live music with Gary King and while he was supposed to play for four hours he ended up playing for about seven hours in total.

Teen Molenkamp

Joe and Teen married in Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Parish, Wauchope on October 31, 1970.

At that time Joe was in national service and he could only get a couple of days leave.

Unfortunately, according to Teen, a few of his mates arrived from his home town of Gunnedah on the morning of the wedding and took him to his bucks party at the Hastings Hotel.

"I was getting my hair cut at the same time and went home crying," she said.

Teen attended St Joseph's Catholic School in Wauchope while Joe was raised in Gunnedah before studying mechanical engineering in Sydney.

Joe was awarded a four year diploma course in Sydney and served in Vietnam.

"Like many NASHOS when they returned home, Joe didn't really know what he wanted to do," Teen said.

"We returned to Wauchope in 1973 and Joe gradually got some drafting work and we eventually opened our own business in 1988.

"He worked for Gibsons in Kendall doing mechanical work but always worked on house plans as a side business.

"Joe would eventually retire in 2013."

Health issues

Teen worked as a commercial artist - a show card and ticket writer - but poor health meant she had to give up work.

"I think that over the years we have had remarkable support from family and friends," Teen said.

"My health problems have been significant. But we have complemented each other really well.

"Joe's a bit of a speed hog in the car; he likes bike riding, paddles in the river and goes to exercise class.

"Warwick Haine has been my doctor and good friend for over 40 years. He's been really supportive of me.

"And Michelle McCudden has been more a sister to me than a sister-in-law too," she said.

Joe and Teen say their life has been "the most amazing 50 years".

Joe also survived "a nasty cancer" during 2019 but they are both now focused on the future.

The couple has one daughter, Natalie and three grandchildren who all live in Sydney.

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