WHEN it comes to true passion for Kiama, few people could match that of John and Joan Fraser.
Mrs Fraser is a third generation and lifelong Kiama resident, while John’s mother was a member of the Dunster family from Albion Park.
Both were born at Brooklyn Hospital in Manning Street, Kiama - John in 1921 and Joan in 1925.
Mrs Fraser’s father owned a butchery in Terralong Street, where Scoops Ice Creamery now stands. He sold the business to George Hall in 1933 due to ill health, but later returned to his trade.
Mr Fraser’s parents were dairy farmers at Albion Park and later purchased a farm at Killalea near Shellharbour, which was eventually sold to John.
He attended Wollongong High School, studied accountancy for two years and attended Hawkesbury Agricultural College before serving in the army for five years. He then returned to the farm.
But his life was about to take an interesting, and life-changing, turn.
“I always had an interest in life insurance and one day I went into AMP to check on a policy and the manager said, ‘judging by the amount of insurance you have you must be a believer in it’.
‘‘When I said ‘yes’, he said, ‘I think you had better come and work for me’ – so I did,” Mr Fraser said.
“So we sold the farm and purchased ‘Mount Vernon’ in Bong Bong Street, where we have now lived for more than 60 years. I was AMP agent in Kiama for more than 40 years.”
The pair have been actively involved in the Kiama community, with Mr Fraser a charter member of Kiama Lions, having formerly been a member of Wollongong Lions, as well as serving as president of Kiama Rotary.
He was awarded life memberships of Kiama Show Society and Kiama Alpine Club.
Mrs Fraser was equally active as a member of the Country Women’s Association, where she received a long service award, and is still involved in Kiama Torchbearers for Legacy. She was president of Kiama Inner Wheel and, like her husband, is a life member of Kiama Show Society and Kiama Alpine Club.
“But one thing never changes – our love of Kiama – and that is something that will never change,” Mrs Fraser said.