Married April 4, 1975, in Ballarat
Where did you meet and how?
John: We were introduced by mutual friends at a party and were reacquainted shortly after at another party where I wrangled Mary’s work phone number from her. I then asked her out.
What was your first impression?
J: I thought she was gorgeous!
When did you decide to get married and how did the proposal happen?
J: It definitely wasn’t a down-on-theknee, diamond-in-hand proposal! We were returning from dinner at a friend’s house and discussing our mutual aims and plans for the future when it became clear we were on the same page. When we were at the traffic lights and without any thought, I said, “Would you like to get married?” Unbelievably, she said yes!
And what about the big day itself?
J: It was in 1975. Back then, there was no such thing as wedding planners! Mary and her mum, Florrie, made all of the arrangements. The wedding took place on one of Ballarat’s worst weather events – the rain just poured down all day. The reception was a great night, with dancing into the small hours. When we eventually left the reception, the battery on my car was flat! Our wedding guests had to help push-start the car to send us off on our honeymoon. This caused great hilarity among the gathered throng!
What was your first year like?
J: It was fantastic. We were exceptionally busy setting up a new flat together and spending time getting to know each other and our families.
What did you learn about each other?
J: We lived in simpler times then. We learnt to really have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Life was very enjoyable.
How were the first 10 years together?
J: A blur! We had three kids and built our first home. When we look back now, those 10 years seem like 10 minutes.
What do you love about each other?
Mary: John makes me laugh, is easy to be with and is full of surprises.
J: Mary’s dependable, fiercely loyal and has the kindest, most loving heart.
What have you learnt about marriage?
J: Marriage is a team effort. If you go to bat together, you can never be beaten.
M: You don’t have to always agree, but it’s important you always listen to your partner’s opinion and respect their wishes and expectations.
Any tips for newlyweds?
J: Enjoy each other’s company, revel in the good times and band together in the bad times, because there’ll be both.
How has your relationship changed?
M: There isn’t anything different about our relationship now than it was on the day we first met. We love each other and feel life has been good to us. Now we’re in a semi-retirement phase, it’s another journey of life to look forward to.