I had the pleasure of talking to two beautiful people to tell their story over the years.
16th March 1923 was a day the Martin household will never forget. A beautiful little girl was born in the family home in Adelaide Street Esk. Marjorie Skinner (nee Martin) was that little girl. Marj has spent all of her life in Esk and has seen many wonderful changes. Marj worked for years at the family run Martin’s Newsagency which was situated in the old Esk Small Engine building in Ipswich Street Esk that has since been demolished.
28th September 1925 was yet another day not to be forgotten. Edward Skinner aka Ted came into the world on the farm at Moore, and in Ted’s words, “Under the Pepperina Tree”. Ted came to live in Esk in 1942. He has worn many hats over his working career starting off as a Butchers apprentice in Ipswich for three and a half years until his father became ill and was called back home to help on the local mail run for a number of years. Ted was a young man in the Airforce in New Guinea for the best part of a year and when the war ended he again returned home. The Esk Butcher Shop employed Ted for many years in the 1970’s, then to his final work place, The Esk Co-op as grocery manager until Christmas 1986.
Reflecting back to that one summery Saturday evening, Ted was taking friends in his utility to a ‘Cricket Dance’ at the Biarra Hall. He plucked the courage to ask Marj if she would like to go with him to the dance. And the rest is history…this was the beginning of an everlasting union. He had met the love of his life. In Marj’s words, “I got myself a toy boy”. Ted and Marj have very fond memories of the local dances they attended at the rustic halls sprinkled throughout the district. The Lyceum Hall, Biarra Hall, Mt Beppo Hall, Bryden Hall and Murrumba Hall, some of which are no longer standing. Many readers will have fond memories of these good times.
61 years ago they married on 10th October 1953 and their love has given them two children, Kaye and Mark, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, whom they are very proud of.
As the years evolved so did their family. 25 Middle Street Esk was the family home, built from the ground up by Ted and Marj and a local builder, and had been the family home for 58 years. Ironically when Ted and Marj had made the decision to move closer to family, now that they were in their late 80’s and 90’s, the selling process was an extremely daunting task. This would be the first time ever that Ted and Marj had anything to do with buyer or selling property. They have never bought a home nor had they sold!
This energised duo has been involved in so many local charities, clubs and events. Marj’s involvement includes Youngerset, Red Cross, Uniting Church, Esk Community Choir, and not to mention playing the organ for 50 years for the Uniting Church plus Marj was an avid baker for many street stalls and was always willing to help and contribute where she was needed.
Ted spent 19 years with the Brisbane Valley Kilcoy Blue Nursing Service, nine of which he was Secretary. In the 1970’s Ted was heavily involved with the Christmas Tree Committee which seen many wonderful end of year celebrations in the main street of Esk. The Bush Bashers compere, Ted Skinner, recited many stories and told many jokes to entertain the crowds. Ted also had an impressive 62 years involvement with the St John Biarra Masonic Lodge going through the ranks. Ted fondly remembers the humour, the laughter and plenty of stories shared with his colleagues at these meetings. These were great times.
Both Ted and Marj were heavily involved with the Blue Care Thrift Shop helping others less fortunate.
Congratulations Ted and Marj on all your community involvement. It is an outstanding achievement and the compassion for others you both displayed over the years. You will both be greatly missed around town and we all wish you both the very best on your new endeavour.
Ted and Marj would like to sincerely thank Ray White Rural Esk, a trusted family run business whom they have known the Principal Wayne Jaenke and Manager Kay Davis (nee Jaenke) since they were both born in Esk.