Couple to sell farm after 92 years
FRANK EGGINS has onlyever known one home in all his 92 years.
This still-active beef cattle farmer, who turns 93 in September, was born on the family farm at The Bend, on the outskirts of Casino, and has lived all his life on the 132-hectare property – the last 70 years with his wife Lola.
However, that’s all about to change.
The couple, who still work the farm themselves with a little help from their three daughters, are selling the property and moving to town.
While common sense tells them they can’t live on the farm and work the property themselves for much longer, the heart tells another story.
Mr Eggins fights back tears when pressed on how he will feel when he leaves the farm for the last time.
“I hate the thought of it,” he said, emotion clogging his voice. “But it’s time.”
Mrs Eggins has also shed a few tears at the prospect of leaving the home and gardens she has tended with loving care for the past 70 years.
“Sometimes I tell everyone I’m not going to go,” she said with a sad smile.
Mr Eggins’ parents, James and Lillian, bought the farm in 1901, when Wooroowoolgan Station was broken up.
Mr Eggins was the youngest of James and Lillian’s five children and married Lola, who lived nearby, after three years of courting.
The couple set up home on the family farm, both working from sun-up to sundown.
In those early days there were no tractors. Mr Eggins used draught horses to plough the corn and hay paddocks.
“I used to work the horses, too,” Mrs Eggins said with pride.
“I’d work the horses to scuffle the corn.”
During their almost 70 years of marriage – the couple will celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary on August 31 – the couple have battled floods and droughts, economic hardship and tough times.
They’ve also had the joy of raising three daughters, Karole, Narelle and Thelma, and seeing eight grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren come into the world.
Memories of the many social tennis matches played on the long-gone courts which used to be at the side of the house, and the fun the family had, despite the hard work, cutting and collecting the hay, also elicit a smile from the couple.
“The work was hard. The young ones today couldn’t do what we did back then,” Mr Eggins said.
“It’s all machines today,” Mrs Eggins said, chipping in.
“But it’s been a good life,” they said.
“We thought about moving once or twice, but we never did,” Mr Eggins said.
“And we’ve never regretted it.”
To this day Mr Eggins still gets up at 6am and spends most of the day out and about on the farm, not coming inside until it’s dark.
While the thought of leaving the farm is still raw, the couple can’t hide the pride they feel in the interest being shown in their property, which will go to auction on June 3.