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Ella and Maurice sitting on Trishaw bike

71 years of love: How cycling brings Ella and Maurice Stubbs back together

There are some love stories worth telling. And Ella and Maurice’s is one of them.

91-year-old Ella and 94-year-old Maurice met at work in the 1950s, in a cotton factory in England.

They were married in 1952, and had three children – twin boys, and a daughter – before bringing the family over to Australia in 1969.

“It was Ella that wanted to come to Australia, she’s the one that likes change,” Maurice explains. “We arrived in Melbourne and went to Adelaide first. It took us two days to get there on the express bus.”

After a few years settling in with their family, the couple decided to buy a caravan and travel around Australia. They landed in Kingscliff first, a coastal town just south of the New South Wales/Queensland border, and immediately knew it would be their forever home.

Their family expanded, with grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even a 1-year-old great-great-granddaughter recently added to the mix.

May 31, 2023 will be their 71st wedding anniversary. And they’re still just as in love as ever – there’s just one thing separating them.

While Maurice still lives in an over-50s resort in Kingscliff, getting support via a Level 3 Home Care Package, Ella needed additional support due to dementia symptoms.

A love with no boundaries

Maurice giving Ella a kiss

Ella recently moved into Feros Village Wommin Bay, just five minutes from Maurice’s home and beautifully situated close to both the ocean and a nature reserve.

Maurice still comes to visit her in the residential village every second day.

“She gets well looked-after here, and I drop in to see she’s getting on okay,” he says.
“Sometimes she’ll remember my name. Mostly, she just says ‘I love you’. She says it all the time.”

And the two of them still get to enjoy outings in the fresh air together, all thanks to global charity Cycling Without Age, who provide free ebike Trishaw rides to the elderly or those living with disability.

Fresh air in Ella’s hair

Maurice and Ella sitting on Trishaw e-bike going through a park

The Tweed Coast chapter of Cycling Without Age comes to Feros Village Wommin Bay every Friday morning to offer residents Trishaw rides around Kingscliff.

Piloted by trained volunteer cyclists, and led by another volunteer cyclists who warns pedestrians of the upcoming trishaw, the aim for Cycling Without Age is to provide elderly people with the opportunity to remain active in the community.

And it works for Maurice and Ella. With the wind in their hair and the sun shining on their faces, Maurice finds that Ella has some of her happiest moments on the trishaw.

“She really enjoys it, she’ll always say yes to going on a bike ride,” Maurice says.

“We get as much out of riding as they do being passengers,” says Jim, a volunteer with Cycling Without Age. “We’ll have passengers laughing and singing along, they really enjoy it.”

For Ella, just the sight of Maurice on the trishaw is enough to make her smile, remember his name – and maybe even share a kiss.

“Love is the secret,” Maurice says, when asked to share his insights to 71 years happily married. “Love, and try not to argue over anything serious.”

Feros Care is a proud supporter of Cycling Without Age.

To find out more about Cycling Without Age, click here.

You can also click here to find out more about Feros Village Wommin Bay.

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