It has come as a shock to many that the Tenterfield community is bidding farewell to two of its finest in the departure of Geoff and Margy Hovey to warmer climes.
The couple are the former publishers of the Tenterfield Star, for the period 1983 to 1993 before its sale to Rural Press.
Mr Hovey said a family event had drawn them to Tannum Sands (on the Queensland coast just south of Gladstone) and they liked what they saw. A housing boom and then slump has created a small window of affordable housing of which the Hoveys are keen to take advantage. Mr Hovey said if they’re going to move, now is the time.
“We’re not getting any younger. The family have all gone.”
The Hoveys have a daughter and granddaughter at Tannum Sands, but even if they decide to move on the Hoveys feels it’s the place to spend their eventual retirement. Mrs Hovey has some health concerns and he feels the medical facilities there are superior.
The couple first come to Tenterfield at the end of 1974 when Mr Hovey drove petrol tankers and Tenterfield was the Shell hub for a run to the Pinkenba oil refinery collecting fuel, and then a distribution run to Tamworth and Moree.
Back in those days Max and Neville Butler shared one run, and Mr Hovey and Col Clarridge the other.
Following a two-year stint away from Tenterfield the Hoveys returned and took over the Star, overlapping with Mr Hovey serving eight years as a councillor up to 1996.
Over the same period he took his turn as president of the Rotary Club of Tenterfield, and 13 years as a minister. Mr Hovey has also steered a number of community management committees including Total Care.
Of late he’s been conducting a bookkeeping business, which he plans to continue at Tannum Sands. While much of this work is done online it does mean quarterly trips back to Tenterfield, providing an opportunity to catch up with old friends.
“We love Tenterfield,” he said.
“It’s been a really good experience and we’re up for a massive seachange, but if the new location works out we’ll be blessed for our eventual retirement.”
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