Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

February 24th 2011
Garth's 80th brings four generations together

Garth and Jan Gifford Historic Forest Haven accommodation house in Arcadia was full with 70 family members last weekend, all there to help Garth Gifford celebrate his 80th Birthday.

"I'm just so happy, so happy to be here with four generations of our family," said Garth who lives at Mount Malloy but visits Magnetic regularly with his wife Jan

The four generations had come from all over Australia and some had never been to Magnetic before. The family actually lay claim to seven generations on Magnetic stretching back to Laura and Morris Rheuben (Rheuben Terrace Arcadia) who took up freehold land in Arcadia 100 years ago this year. The family had title to most of Arcadia in those days and Laura and Morris's daughter, Ivy, married one Charlie Gifford (Gifford Street Horseshoe Bay). Charlie's son Morris married Marjorie Hof who were Garth's parents.

Garth is also the brother of Irene Dutton who operates Forest Haven with her daughter Megan. Irene's son Paul and wife Leah operated Horseshoe Bay's excellent Sand Bar for many years before moving off the Island.

Irene was a premature baby and, as Marjorie didn't make it to Townsville to give birth in time, Irene became the first European child to be born on Magnetic Island. That was in 1936.

It was a big weekend and Garth couldn't help but finish the night with some rousing songs sung in harmony with other family members who were up for the warble.

Story and photo: George Hirst

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Readers comments
Syl Hayes In reply to Fair raises $15,000 for school
What a wonderful outcome for the school! I had a great time face-painting with Luke and Sasha, met lots of kids and parents,scored some great books at the Trash n Treasure stall, and even remembered to vote. Everywhere you looked people were enjoying themselves...such a tribute to the organisers. Well done!
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