60 mag­i­cal years


Les and Lor­rie Forster cel­e­brated their 60th wed­ding an­niver­sary re­cently and re­veal the se­crets to their happy mar­riage

LOR­RAINE Dul­cie Dohnt and Al­bert Les­lie Forster tied the knot 60 years ago and they re­mem­ber it like it was yes­ter­day.

Mar­ried in the Holy Trin­ity Church in Nathalia, Lor­rie and Les moved to the Forster farm in Patho.

The cou­ple met through Les’s par­ents and courted for six months be­fore they be­came en­gaged.

‘‘His par­ents in­vited me out to their farm,’’ Lor­rie said.

‘‘I sup­pose they de­cided he needed a wife.

‘‘I worked at the Echuca Ho­tel in those days.

‘‘Les used to come visit me and we’d go down to the Port to­gether. ‘‘It was our court­ing ground.’’ To cel­e­brate their di­a­mond wed­ding an­niver­sary, Lor­rie and Les will have an af­ter­noon on the Mary Ann.

‘‘I’ve told peo­ple we are go­ing for a cruise for our an­niver­sary,’’ Lor­rie laughed.

‘‘It seems fit­ting though as we spent a lot of time there when we were first to­gether.

‘‘Af­ter­wards we are off to The Bridge Ho­tel for cof­fee and cake.’’

In 1958, when the Forsters were mar­ried, Lor­rie’s dress was the height of fash­ion.

Re­cruit­ing the mag­i­cal Mrs Ben­nett — ‘who was the per­son to go to’ — Lor­rie wore a gown that sat just above her an­kles. In later years, she re­cy­cled her wed­ding dress and made her youngest grand­daugh­ter’s chris­ten­ing gown from the same ma­te­rial. She made the top piece of the dress into a sum­mer cardi­gan-style piece, which she still dearly trea­sures.

The cou­ple bought their wed­ding rings from Echuca Trea­sure House and still use the wash­ing bas­ket they were gifted as a wed­ding present — though the plas­tic has com­pletely worn off.

While 60 years is a ma­jor mile­stone in any mar­riage, Les is the third gen­er­a­tion in his fam­ily to achieve this an­niver­sary. His grand­par­ents were mar­ried in 1876 and his par­ents were mar­ried in 1925 and all cel­e­brated 60 years to­gether.

Eigh­teen-year-old Lor­rie and Les, 31, hon­ey­mooned in Can­berra af­ter their wed­ding be­fore set­tling on their dairy farm. The pair were there for more than 20 years be­fore mov­ing to a farm in Ba­mawm, where they lived for an­other 25 years. Lor­rie and Les also had land in Lock­ing­ton be­fore mov­ing into a unit four years ago.

‘‘We played sport in Lock­ing­ton,’’ Lor­rie said.

‘‘We are thank­ful to be here,’’ Les added.

The Forsters had three sons, have three grand­chil­dren and two great-grand­chil­dren, who they love to spoil with cakes ga­lore. The grand­chil­dren af­fec­tion­ately call Lor­rie and Les ‘Old Nan and Old Pa’ and now much of Lock­ing­ton know the pair by these names.

Ac­cord­ing to the pair, the se­cret to a long, happy and suc­cess­ful mar­riage is sim­ple.

‘‘Just love one an­other,’’ Lor­rie said.

‘‘I al­ways lis­tened to my wife, too,’’ Les laughed.

‘‘Well, I was buy­ing the en­cy­clopae­dias at the time we met and I’ve al­ways said he mar­ried me for my knowl­edge,’’ Lor­rie added.

It is ev­i­dent from meet­ing Lor­rie and Les that they are as much in love to­day as they were 60 years ago.

Photo: Luke He­mer

Les and Lor­rie with their two great-grand­chil­dren, Chloe and Billy.

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