STORY Nathan Torpey
PHOTO Dave Pattinson
The year was 1965, and apprentice carpenter Ray Griffiths thought his new job working construction on RACQ’s Water Street project would be like any other.
That was until he met Lorraine.
Lorraine, who worked in RACQ’s Driving Training Department, said there was an instant attraction between the pair but, at the time, they were too afraid to act.
“We were making eyes at each other, but we were too shy to do anything about it,” she said.
“I liked him a lot – he was tall, had blonde hair and was the type of person that I wanted to be around.”
Their starry eyes and longing looks didn’t go unnoticed by the other RACQ staff, and soon a plan by Lorraine’s colleague, Jane Russel, had been hatched to expedite their romance.
“After a few days of what I thought were sly looks, I was called into Jane’s office where she told me she was going to take a break and would call Lorraine to relieve her and wouldn’t come back until I asked her out,” he said.
“I could barely muster any words but I bit the bullet and luckily she said yes.”
Known as the Romance of Water Street, word quickly spread that the two had become an item and they were the talk of RACQ.
“It was the romance of the times,” Ray said.
“Everybody knew about it and the fact I was forced into asking.
“Even Lorraine’s manager, Ray Hoy, pulled me aside and gave me some fatherly advice telling me to look after her as she was a really nice girl.”
Certainly not ones to move slowly, the lovebirds wasted no time in making it official and two years later were officially wed.
Fast forward to 2018 and Ray and Lorraine have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and are happily enjoying life as grandparents.
“I am so grateful for what they did,” Ray said.
“Lorraine and I have had a great life together.
“Over the years, we had our disagreements as every married couple does, but I love her just as much as the day I met her.
“Our story is sometimes humorous and, like most other people, contains many highs, but Lorraine and I will always be indebted to RACQ for our beginning.”