Gladstone seniors Searle with Rommiel Malig (L) and Finlae Harris (R).
Gladstone seniors Searle with Rommiel Malig (L) and Finlae Harris (R). Kadesh Johnson GLA270619PAST

Our Priceless Past: The story of Searle and Adele Jones

"I GOT a bride for Christmas and I'm still intent on keeping her”, said Searle heartfully. Both reminisced over their December 24, 1966 wedding at Wynnum Central's Gospel Chapel, Adele's childhood church. Committed to and loving of each other, still to this day, they enjoy a variety of hobbies together.

Searle was born November 30, 1938, in Pialba, Hervey Bay, to parents Phyllis May and Eric Daniel Lawrence Jones. He is the oldest of six siblings, with Marion, Bruce, Ann, Joy and Mary. When he was 10 years old, the family bought a Biggenden dairy farm and Searle attended school at Thabeban, South Bundaberg, finishing at Year 8. There was no high school there, then. At 17, he managed a dairy farm for a local farmer who had fallen off his barn roof, breaking his leg.

In Wynnum, Brisbane, 16 May 1941, Adele was born to parents Winifred Mary and Clifford John Burnes. She has an older brother, Bevan. Growing up she attended Wynnum Central State School, Wynnum High School, Brisbane's Domestic Science High School senior then Domestic Science College Brisbane. Adele later moved to Gladstone where she met Searle through his sister Marion, and their connection and love of the Church.

When young, Searle enjoyed playing in nearby creeks and valued time with family. In his early teens, he developed asthma, and when he was aged 18-19 he moved to the Longreach area for six months. No more asthma. Back to the coast, he worked for saw mills, sugar cane cutting, sugar mills and truck driving. His asthma returned at 25, so he moved to the Emerald area share farming. No more asthma. Moving to Gladstone, where his parents were living, he worked in a saw mill for a while. His first name is Lawrence, but the name Searle was adopted from the man who had supported his grandmother's family when his grandfather had passed away from cancer. His mother Phyllis worked as a nurse, which gave his grandmother help, after her husband had passed away.

Searle and Adele Jones were married 24 December 1966, at Wynnum Central's Gospel Chapel.
Searle and Adele Jones were married 24 December 1966, at Wynnum Central's Gospel Chapel. Contributed

Adele spent her time practising instrumental music and grasping a deeper understanding of education. At the age of five, an infection in her throat, Diphtheria, saw her admitted to the Brisbane Children's Hospital Intensive Care Unit for an extended period. This was one of the most terrifying moments in her life, as she was told she wouldn't survive it.

After a year of courting, they tied the knot in a sweet ceremony, then seven years later Mr & Mrs Jones welcomed the arrival of their daughter, Karen. Both Adele and Searle shared with us their love of musical instruments and self-discipline, which Karen has inherited. Now, Karen has made a life of her own, married to David and living in Tasmania.

Searle moved to Gladstone in 1965, with the intent of seeking employment in a rural town. Adele was transferred to Gladstone in 1964, to pursue her love of teaching, for a country town in need. Searle was hired to start the process at Queensland Alumina Limited. As a Process Operator, he pumped water and caustic sodium through pipes around the new plant. He then became a Control Room Operator and later, a Supervisor. After working there for 34 years, he retired in 2001. Adele's career began at Wynnum High School; the Queensland Education Department transferred her to teach Home Economics and Life Sciences at Gladstone State High School. After three consecutive years, Mrs Jones resigned because of her newly announced marriage, taking time to study and care for herself and her husband. Later, Mrs Jones was offered a permanent job at Faith Baptist Christian School where she stayed for 23 years. They both enjoyed their jobs as they gave them purpose and joy.

Now that Mr and Mrs Jones have retired, they have a deeper love for reading, music and volunteering. Today, Adele plays a variety of instruments in the Gladstone Municipal Band. Searle supports all of Adele's endeavours and reads widely. The two have even collected 2,000 books over the years and they have proven that love lasts forever.