Carol Baker and Bill Dersch love life. Their story is one that many would think is very romantic.
It dates back to when Bill and Ross Baker – the inaugural President of Bella Vista Farm Park – were best friends, aged 11. Their friendship continued throughout their lives.
Ross and Carol met at a dance at the Lane Cove Town Hall in 1965 and three years later, they married. Bill was their groomsman. Carol’s best friend Judy married Bill in 1972. In the following years, the families socialised.
In 2005, Judy passed away leaving Bill devastated. As true friends, Ross and Carol rallied to help. Sadly, five years later, Carol was widowed.
Then the roles were reversed and Bill and friends stepped up to assist Carol. This tale is a happy one! Carol and Bill married in 2014. They are a great team as part of the Friends of Bella Vista Farm.
It’s hard to imagine how Carol finds time to do all she does. She undertakes her role as Secretary of the Friends seriously following through with membership applications. When she accepted the job as Secretary, she instigated the serving of the ‘famous’ Devonshire teas to the public. This has become a popular tradition and contributes to the upkeep of Bella Vista Farm – the “jewel of the Hills Shire”.
Carol’s passion for gardening has voted her Secretary of the Creative Gardeners Club and Secretary of Castle Hill Agricultural Society. Many other community services culminated in her being awarded Senior Citizen of Hills Shire 2018, presented by the Mayor of Hills Shire Council, Dr Michelle Byrne.
Bill is a wonderful foil for Carol – He calls himself “a friend of a Friend”. He enjoys looking after the sheep at Bella Vista Farm and being ‘general roustabout’.
“Carol and I have been married for 50 years, but not to each other!”, he says with a smile.
Bella Vista Farm is open for tours on Sunday, December 1 from 9am to 2pm.