ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A breeding pair of Howard Battlers, a protected species under the Taxation Administration Act (1953), have offloaded their four-bedroom redbrick home in Betoota Heights that sat on a 1100sqm block for a French Quarter terrace house that was tastefully renovated in recent years by two men and their sausage dog.

Glen and Rochelle Darling (both 70) epitomize hard work, in their own words, and simply by the fact they were both born in 1953, they’re both multi-millionaires. Not by investing or working a second job. In fact, Rochelle explained to The Advocate that she hasn’t worked since the Hawke era, instead dedicating her life to raising their two children.

With their kids gone, choosing to start a family and live closer to the Betoota CBD, both Glen and Rochelle decided it was time.

“We purchased the house and land package here in Betoota Heights back in 1982,” they said.

“It wasn’t easy, but we made it work. But we had a few things go our way. Rochelle’s parents had a bit of sugar and they both died in a light airplane crash with her only sibling, so we were actually about to pay off the mortgage with the balance from their chequing account, funnily enough! [they both laugh] We also inherited a number of CSL shares as well. Rochelle got about 10,000 shares from her father, who had them in his SMSF. I actually bought a thousand CSL shares at $8 just before the Olympic Games,”

“[Glen speaking] My Mum was actually quiet early in with BHP as well. Sub-$5 if you can believe it. When she dies, that should come to me [gleeful squeak] My brother and sister had most of their homes bought for them, actually, and Rochelle and I had to slog it out without holding onto Mum’s dress [laughs].”

Now Glen and Rochelle have picked out a stunning terrace house on Rue Les Gens de L’héritage, one of the French Quarter’s most exclusive enclaves.

“It’s pretty small, about 180 squares, but we bought it off these two gay blokes, well, they could be roommates actually, but they’ve done a cracking job doing it up. Not an expense spared. The workmanship is second to none. Never thought I’d say this but they actually have great taste. I like the clean lines and glass. Mirrors too to make it look bigger,” Glen continued.

“They had a sausage dog called Patrick White. Funny name for a dog but you know, back when I was a kid, I had a dog called [extremely offensive racial slur]! [explosive laughter] Can you imagine calling a dog that these days?”

“Living in the French Quarter. Great to be close to the kids and the shops. Close to the pubs! But Christ, these pubs are noisy these days!”

More to come.


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