For Tom and Thelma it all started so long ago
MEETING by chance on the street in Goodwood, in Adelaide, Tom Knight walked more than 4km to deliver his future wife all the way to her doorstep.
Tom, now 95, and Thelma, 94, who were both out with mates at the time, struck up a conversation that lasted all the way to Thelma’s home in Colonel Light Gardens.
Thelma and her friend Evelyn had tried to visit some friends, but they weren’t home.
“A couple of boys talked to us and said, ‘where are you going?’,” Thelma says.
“Evelyn and the other boy didn’t last but Tom and I did. “I thought he was lovely.” The pair dated for about four years, marrying at Colonel Light Gardens Methodist Church on Valentines Day, 1942.
Last year they celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary at Vermont Estate retirement village in South Plympton.
She says her favourite Valentine’s Day was about 12 years ago, when the couple spent about a fortnight in Queensland to celebrate their anniversary.
“We had a nice little place that we were staying in and we met some lovely people,” she says. “We were just feeling thankful that we were still together and well enough to enjoy a holiday.
“We had a caravan then and we used to go to different places and enjoy ourselves.”
Their wedding was a modest affair because Tom had been granted four days’ leave before being deployed to Papua New Guinea during World War II.
He said goodbye to the love of his life before leaving with the 48th Battalion 13th Field Regiment.
“I felt dreadful – I thought, ‘well, I’ll probably never see her again’,” he says.
Tom says the recipe for a long-lasting marriage is fairly simple: “First of all you have to love each other”.
“You have to accept you have differences without getting upset about it.”
Tom and Thelma Knight