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75 years of ‘give and take’ for Clem and Dot

Swept off her feet, 20-year-old Dot Richardson was the belle of the ball for Clem Moore.

Dot, in telling the story of how she and Clem met, recalled that her cousin Ray brought Clem to a ball at The Kings Ballroom, where they met for the first time before dancing all night.

After 12 months of courting, Clem took Dot out to a Rundle Street café and asked her to marry him.

Clem was serving with the Royal Australian Air Force and returned to the New Guinea base shortly after their engagement.

After a few weeks on base, Clem returned to Adelaide giving Dot only a week’s notice to put together their wedding.

“I borrowed my cousin’s wedding dress – it was made of lace and I carried a huge bouquet,” said Dot.

The couple were married on 21 September 1944 at the Pirie St Methodist Church, then returned to Rundle St for their reception.

Dot, now 96, said that from those first exciting moments of their relationship she has discovered that balance is the key to their 75 years of marriage.

“You’ve got to give and take, and you’ve got to have patience,” said Dot.

Clem, now 99, said ‘I can’t do without her!’

Their 75 years together have seen them travelling Australia in a caravan Clem built himself, welcoming eight children and making a handful of houses into a ‘home’.

One of their homes was in Oodla Wirra, a small town about 250km north of Adelaide.

Clem and Dot transformed the general store into a BP roadhouse which became the town’s general store, post office, service station and general carrier.

It was this venture that sparked the beginning of Clem Moore Transport, the family business which kept the couple occupied for over 30 years.

Daughter Colleen Caulfield said her parents always made sure her family ‘got the best’, especially at Christmas.

“Mum and Dad work well together – they are incredibly hard workers and they love each other’s company,” said Colleen.

Eldest daughter Margaret said she and her siblings have a ‘stubborn but determined approach to life’, a trait inherited from Clem and Dot.

“It was only earlier this year that Dad was up on the roof checking the gutters!” said Margaret.

Clem and Dot are dedicated to living an active life – Clem would ride his bike up and down the street until a few years ago after which he would use the stationary bike every day.

He and Dot continue to keep fit in the gym at Glengowrie residential care facility Allambi.

Clem and Dot celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on the weekend at an afternoon tea with family and friends.

Image: Clem and Dot at home.

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