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S: Rod Stevenson Life History 1921-2011

FC: Rod Stevenson Life History 1921-2011

1: Rod Stevenson - Life History John Roderick Stevenson (Rod) was born on the 9th February 1921 at Brisbane Hospital to John Edward Graham Stevenson & Alroy Barbara Stevenson. Most of his childhood years, with younger sister Pamela, were spent in Queensland at Mt Isa, Brisbane & beach holidays at Tugun. Rod served in the RAAF as a Flight Sergeant, Flight Mechanic, Pilot & finished as an Air Gunner. After the war, Rod moved to Merbein in Victoria where he completed a short training course in horticulture with the CSIRO to qualify for a fruit block at Trentham Cliffs in New South Wales. | He was allocated a block in 1947 and the hard work began to clear the land and develop it into a successful vineyard and citrus property. It was at this time Rod met Doreen and they married in 1950 at Shepparton. Whilst developing the block Rod and Doreen lived in a garage that he had built as the start of their home, where Jocelyn, born 1953, first lived. After the house was further developed, Gregory was born in 1955. This home, was a great place to live, with beautiful river views. Both Joce and Greg loved growing up on the property for the freedom and surroundings.The family enjoyed tennis and the many social occasions it provided as well as water sports including swimming, skiing and fishing. Over time, Rod and Doreen developed the grounds, planting trees, lawns and an abundance of roses and shrubs. For many years Rod valued the services of the permanent worker Gino Friguletti and his wife Paula who lived in a small house up on the block. Rod enjoyed working on the restoration of vintage cars, making new friends and joining the Vintage Car Club. He drove the cars for friends weddings, ANZAC days and the Bay to Birdwood Car Rally, enjoyed by the whole family. Rod was involved in community activities such as Legacy, the Air Museum at Mildura Airport and a re-vegetation program for native trees along the Sturt Highway at Trentham Cliffs. Rod was also, secretary of the Trentham Cliffs Rural Cooperative Society for 17 years. In the latter years, Rod and Doreen started to enjoy travel, both within Australia and overseas as well as golf, bowls and spending time with their grandchildren Melissa, Aimee and Carly. In 2008, the beautiful river fronted property was sold and Rod and Doreen moved to Princes Court Retirement Village, Mildura.

2: As a baby 18 months old | On his Dad's shoulders

3: Rod with his sister Pam | Rod with his parents John and Alroy Stevenson

4: Rod in his RAAF uniform

5: Don Avery, Lang Fraser, John Avery, Rod Stevenson J.E.G Stevenson Din Avery & Friend

6: John Roderick Stevenson married Doreen Raynert Ratcliffe 25th November 1950 at Shepparton

8: Here are the stages of building the family home at Trentham Cliffs. Overall the house took approximately four years to complete

9: Rod later named the house 'Yarrah' after the lovely big tree on the riverbank

12: 1956 Murray River flood - the pump house

13: Joce and Greg ready for tennis | Rod with Len Cook and a big Murray Cod | The Friguletti Family who worked on the property

14: Aerial views of the property and the Yarrah tree after which the house was named

18: Melissa born in Port Lincoln - 3 weeks old Melissa at Trentham Cliffs - 4 months old | Rod with Carly at the Queen Victoria Hospital, Adelaide - 4 days old | Doreen and Rod with Aimee 3 weeks old and Melissa 2 years and 6 months old

19: Rod and Doreen with Aimee and Carly at the animal park | Rod cooking his BBQ and standing next to his flag pole with John, Melissa, Aimee and Carly | Melissa and Aimee with the goat at Trentham Cliffs

21: Christmas celebrations over the years at Trentham Cliffs

22: Proud Moments Anzac Day Jocelyn's Wedding Melissa's Graduation

23: Rod and Doreen on their 60th Wedding Anniversary celebrated at the Lenzerheide restaurant 25th November 2010

24: Doreen's 80th Rod's 80th Rod and Doreen's 50th Wedding Anniversary Melissa's 21st Joce's 50th

25: Rod's 90th Birthday was celebrated at Glenelg with Doreen, the Chadwick family, his sister Pam Gilson, and niece Judy Issacs

26: Carly's 21st at Penny's Hill Winery McLaren Vale SA February 2011

27: John and Rod at the Gol Gol Hotel | Holiday in QLD visiting longtime friends Roy Clarke and Norm Beard

29: As a child Rod's house at Mt Isa was at the base of this hill to the right of the Fairlane

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  • By: Joce C.
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