Valentine's mower love
IT was a match made over mowers. Those close to Ross and Robyn Honnery may even go as far to say it was a marriage made in heaven.
The couple's paths crossed at a time when romance was the farthest thing from their minds.
Today is their 23rd Valentine's Day together and love is still in the air - along with the smell of oil and fuel.
Little did she know it at the time, but Ross was Robyn's knight in shining armour, having entered her life to help her run her mower business at a very difficult time.
Looking back at the years that followed the untimely death of her late husband, Warren Jennings, Robyn Honnery feels blessed to have found true love a second time around.
Ross, a small motor mechanic, had joined the team at Gympie Mower Centre at the end of '87 to help out in the workshop while Warren was ill. Following Warren's death in March '88 at just 42-years-old, Ross was pivotal in keeping the business together while Robyn grieved.
His caring nature did not go unnoticed by Robyn's young daughter, Kerrie. Despite losing her father earlier that year, she boldly invited Ross home to dinner.
He had started working full time to help run the business and he and Robyn had been working side-by-side for several months.
"We had finished work and Kerrie and I went to leave. It was late at night and she invited Ross to dinner. I told her she shouldn't be so bold," Robyn remembers fondly.
Not one to knock back an offer of a home-cooked meal, Ross accepted and the rest is history. A friendship developed outside of work and romance soon blossomed.
A man of few words, Ross quietly worked away, building on the one major thing he and Robyn had in common - mowers. There was no ulterior motive but to be there for Robyn and the business she was left with.
"He was kind and caring and very supportive," Robyn added. "We were married in '93. I've been very happy and wouldn't be where I am today without Ross."
Valentine's Day has encouraged the couple to urge Gympie residents to support local businesses for gifts for their loved ones today, or any special day.
Ross and Robyn will be dining at Rascals Restaurant at The Royal tonight. He gave her a bunch of flowers from Florist of Distinction and she gave him delicious chocolates from Melt Me.
"When you own a small business, you know how important it is to support local businesses," Robyn said.
"There is so much to choose from in Mary St, people can get everything down there for Valentine's Day, from jewellery to flowers, a new outfit or hairstyle."