Alan, or ‘Popsie’ as his wife Claire and some of our Benevolent staff fondly refer to him as, was born in Mackay and was the oldest of three. His parents worked on his uncle’s cattle station near Flaggy Rock, his father a station hand and his mother a cook.
He went to school in Flaggy Rock before moving around the state in his early life. Alan then began work as a general station hand, a job he kept for 35 years. He was a very hard worker and the jack of all trades building fences, dams, sheds and everything else they could think up.
Although he lived on the property he would travel to Rockhampton every weekend for social events. He met his wife, Claire, at a Red Cross Dance on the Riverbank almost 70 years ago. Claire also lives here at Benevolent and spends every day with Alan. They have two children Gordon and Michelle who still live in the area and visit often.
The Langenfeld love story is one for the ages. In November Alan and Claire will celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary.
Claire recalls the tricks Alan used to play on her. She remembers a ball they attended together at the Leichhardt Hotel, Claire wanted to dance so Alan said, “lead the way”. Claire remembers weaving her way through small tables excitedly only to get to the dance floor and Alan was still watching from their table on the other side of the room. “The whole table was laughing at silly old me,” Claire remembers with a smile.
“That’s not the only trick he’s played on me.” “One day we were shopping in the Mall and we went our separate ways, we met back at the car and he had a present wrapped in Christmas wrapping. He said it was for me and asked if I could carry it. I carried the present around all afternoon until we got home when I asked if I could open it. He said, ‘it’s yours of course you can open it.’ So, I opened it up and it was a can of paint for the house. I had been carrying around a can of paint all afternoon!”
Alan may have been a trickster all his life, but his real passion is for woodworking. He has countless photo albums full of all his creations over the years.
“I love working with my hands, especially wood working, I hope that’s something I never forget.”
“It’s all been self-taught as well, everything I’ve learnt I’ve taught myself.”
He even renovated their family house where they have lived for 50 years. Alan had added on an iron balcony, renovated the kitchen and created many other additions over the years.
Alan may have played tricks on Claire, but he also used to make her some beautiful handmade items to make up for it!
“He’s made me everything from little jewellery boxes, lounge chairs and even our dining room table for me!”
“He’s could do anything, he is very creative my Alan,” remarks Claire fondly.
Alan keeps up his woodworking skills at Benevolent Benny Boyz club once a month. He also hasn’t lost his trickster ways, playing tricks on the carer’s and of course his adoring wife Claire!