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It was 1960, a typical Saturday night at the Ritz Ballroom in Brisbane’s CBD where Pat and Boyd first laid eyes on each other.
It’s where you went to enjoy a live band, dance the night away and potentially find your life-long sweetheart.
This was the case for both Pat and Boyd and while sparks didn’t fly straight away, several dates later, they had developed a special bond.
“We were together for a while and then Boyd went to Sydney. We then met up again at a dance in Coolangatta. A year later we were married,” Pat said.
Boyd had a job in sales and worked his way up to manager level, a role that took him around the state.
Pat was a professional milliner and sewer and she worked for a company producing a range of clothing items. It was a job she loved and where she met life-long friends.
They eventually built a house in Tingalpa and 45 years on, at 85 and 82 respectively, they still reside at the same address and their house is full of the wonderful memories they have created together.
Over the years Pat and Boyd both worked hard and saved what they could with the hope that one day they could pack their bags and explore the world, a long way from their humble Brisbane home.
“At 63 years old I decided I had enough of working so I retired. Three days later we packed our ports and went to New Zealand,” Boyd said.
This was a special trip, sparking a 20-year passion for travel, but like most things in life, not everything went to plan.
Two years after retiring, Boyd received a shocking diagnosis that he had prostate cancer.
“I had been to an iridologist and they looked into my eyes and said 'you will get prostate cancer one day'. I had the test done and I had two lumps in my prostate.
“I’ve always gone to the Mater over the years for different issues so again this time I saw a specialist at Mater and said 'how long do I have to live doc?', expecting the worst.”
Fortunately, Boyd’s cancer wasn’t advanced and he underwent radiation therapy on the Mater South Brisbane campus.
“It was really worrying at the time and he went through so much pain during treatment. It wasn’t pleasant. He was very lucky,” Pat said.
“The care he received at Mater, from everyone, was wonderful,” she added.
Twelve years and many overseas cruises later, Boyd’s health took another turn for the worst.
He was on his usual morning walk when he started to feel unwell and extremely parched. As he’s done in the past, Boyd took himself to Mater Private Hospital Brisbane and straight away a doctor diagnosed him with Type 1 diabetes.
“Once again, the care I received at Mater was second-to-none. I know that when I go there, I will be looked after,” Boyd said.
“I have had some ups and downs but I’ve generally been quite well. Pat looks after me and cooks me the right food. I don’t know what I would do without her.”
Boyd’s long association with Mater is the reason why they are avid supporters of Mater— donating to various appeals throughout the year, as well as making the decision to leave a gift in their Will.
Their wish is to have their legacy fund important research projects at Mater Research to help others who too will face an unwelcome diagnosis.
“Research is so important and it has to continue. It’s expensive to purchase the equipment they need and to one day find a cure for diseases, like cancer and diabetes,” Boyd said.
“We don’t have children and our family are comfortable, so that’s how we look at it.
“We want to leave a legacy behind so it can help others, not only in our community but across the world.
“We trust Mater Foundation to direct our gift to where it’s needed most at the time of our passing,” he said.
And it’s Pat and Boyd’s extensive travel, through countries like India, Turkey and Cambodia, that has given them a different perspective on the world.
“We have seen a lot of poverty on our travels, where people are a lot worse off than us,” Pat said
“Our gift is one day going to help the children in the world somewhere along the line. That’s what’s important to us.”
In the meantime, not much is stopping the couple embark on other international adventures.
“As long as we are in good health and we can afford it, we will continue to see the world,” Boyd said.
It’s Include a Charity Week (10 to 16 September), a time to reflect on the legacies that have been left by Mater supporters, like Boyd and Pat.
For more information on how you can leave a gift to Mater visit www.letyourloveliveon.org.au
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