Long-time locals and Rochester Tigers devotees Marg and Geoff McCarty will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary at Morrison’s winery this month with their six children, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Staff can expect to fill a large table for four generations of sports players and farmers whose originators moved to Rochester from Shepparton in the 70s with five kids and a newborn to start a dairy farm.
Marg and Geoff say their large and loving family is the secret to their marriage going the distance – as well as the 10km distance Geoff used to ride on his bike to court Marg in their younger days.
“We’re very proud of our children and the wonderful adults they have become,” says Marg. “We are also very proud of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren; they are a credit to their parents.”
Living a healthy, sporting life, Geoff embodies the spirit of a Rochy man as a cricket and footy player, while Marg was a tennis player and golfer up until recently.
Sport runs in the McCartys’ blood. This can be witnessed first-hand at Tigers games or whenever their grandkids play in Bendigo.
“We’ve always been known to be very vocal supporters at the footy,” says fifth-born Louise Williams, who still works in the dairy industry.
“And that comes from Mum. All the daughters are the same, whereas Dad and the boys are quieter. They’ll go to the Rochy games whenever they’re here and they’ll travel to Bendigo for my sons’ games.”
Both Marg and Geoff come from big families and their kids praise them for being humble, family-oriented and down-to-earth people.
“Their love as a couple has helped them through life’s difficulties. They’re helpful and caring and expect nothing in return.
But there will be an empty seat at the table at Morrison’s winery – for Loretta, who died tragically at 16.
Marg says the family’s struggles brought them even closer together and that her and Geoff’s love as a couple and their family connection is what got them through hard times.
Geoff believes in always doing what he’s told and holds a ‘happy wife, happy life’ attitude, and Marg trusts in always visiting family as often as they can.
“We always have visitors whenever anybody is in town,” says Marg, who keeps in contact with everyone by staying tech-savvy and using text messages, emails and Facebook.
The pair hope they have set an example to their children of caring and looking out for each other.
Marg tips Richmond for the AFL premiership this year, Rochester for the GVFL and Eaglehawk for the BFNL, while Geoff tips West Coast, Kyabram and also Eaglehawk.