Sharing their hearts

OLGA and Pierce Grenfell know all too well the true meaning of sharing.  

They have shared a strong commitment to each other for many years. 

They share a strong pride for their family, they share their deepest secrets, their ambitions and wildest dreams - so it only seems fitting that Olga and Pierce share their birthday. 

Born nine days apart, Pierce will turn 90 on February 15 while Olga will celebrate her birthday on February 24. 

"We think it is very special that we have had a great life together and being so close in age, that's okay," he said. 

"I am the senior partner though."

"But I am the boss," Olga said. 

"I remember when I first met him, I thought, 'I hope he is not younger than me'," she said. 

I remember when I first met him, I thought, 'I hope he is not younger than me'. - Olga Grenfell

"(I went) out with him a few times till I found out."

Olga and Pierce first meet 73 years ago.

Pierce was a member of the Eaglehawk Brass Band and Olga had her "eye on him". 

"He played in the band, he still does, and I had my eye on him - and I found out some of my mates had their eye on him too," she said.

"I don't know why.

"There were other guys there but we had our eyes on him."

Olga said a group of her friends would walk from Eaglehawk to California Gully after church in the evenings. 

She said the route would take them past Pierce's house. 

"He was sitting outside of his house knowing that we were coming and he walked home with all of us girls," she said. 

"I didn't know who he was looking at."

Olga said it was not long before she started dating Pierce. 

They were both just 17. 

Both members of the Methodist Church, Pierce said he switched from California Hill Church to Eaglehawk West to be closer to Olga. 

The pair were married in October 1945 at the Golden Square Methodist Church. 

Pierce ran a butcher shop in Eaglehawk while Olga, a skillful dressmaker, worked at HANRO, a Bendigo knitting mill. 

They now have four children, seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

While family commitments keep Olga and Pierce busy, the pair would be lost without the many clubs and groups they are members. 

To kept their minds active, Olga and Pierce complete the crossword in the Bendigo Advertiser each day at lunchtime. 

Olga said looking back on her 90 years she felt a sense of pride for her family. 

"Just having family around and being so proud of them all and having no trouble with them," 

"We have never had any trouble with them, they have never done anything to shame us or anything to hurt us." 

"We are proud of our family." 

Pierce was borough of Eaglehawk councillor, mayor in 1961 to 1962, a founding member of the Eaglehawk Y Men's Club, a member of the Eaglehawk Brass Band since he was 13, a member of Rotary and a member of the RSL. 

Pierce said he loves 

"Everything, she cares for me in every way, sees that I am dressed properly and my clothes are matched," he said.

"She is very meticulous about things like that, she is a meticulous person."

In return Olga said she loved Pierce's sparkling blue eyes. 

"When he kisses me goodnight I say 'you have lovely blue eyes'," she said. 

"You don't see them that well with his glasses on.

"He has lovely blue eyes." 

Olga and Pierce said there was no secret to a long life, it required regular exercise and healthy eating. 

"For me it is just plenty of exercise I think," said Pierce.

"And we eat well," adds Olga. 

"Yes, and sensible eating," said Pierce.

"I am only allowed one chocolate of a night." 

When it came to sharing a meaningful and fulfilling marriage, Pierce said tolerance played a big part. 

He said he would spend a great deal of time away from Olga with his commitment to his music and then the war. 

"I was always going out somewhere and she was left home with the family but Olga tolerated that and we survived the marriage," he said. 

"That is a tribute to her." 

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