Stephen and Sandra Wilmore
Stephen and Sandra Wilmore Contributed

Kombi van adventure leads to love story

SANDRA Wilmore was 19 when she put her hand up to be the sixth person on a Kombi van trip from England to New Zealand.

Little did she know that she would never get to New Zealand on that tour and she would marry a co-traveller.

The then Miss Marriott was looking for adventure and Stephen Wilmore needed another person for the big road trip.

In 1974 the Kombi set off to New Zealand via Europe, parts of Asia and Australia.

"We went the Munich Beer Festival, saw Germany, Austria and Switzerland," Mrs Wilmore said.

It was in Venice where Mr Wilmore popped the marriage question.

They continued their journey and drove close to India before heading to Australia.

After three months on the road they made it to Darwin where about a week later Cyclone Tracy hit.

"We had found jobs and a place to live - our landlord was a DJ who had a mobile disco," Mrs Wilmore said.

On the fateful night when the cyclone hit, Mr and Mrs Wilmore had dined out with their landlord for An Indonesian meal.

Their lodgings were destroyed and the pair was evacuated to Brisbane.

After a year of saving money they flew home to England to be married.

They obtained a special licence and were married in Leicestershire on January 10, 1976.

The newlyweds returned to Brisbane and later moved to Mackay where they raised their children Matthew and Sarah.

Mr and Mrs Wilmore celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary early at Christmas time with their children who came from Darwin and Brisbane for the special occasion.

They will celebrate again later in the year when they make a tour of Tasmania.


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