A 60-year partnership
Doreen Whalan shares some insights on a successful marriage
They met at a dance one evening 61 years ago, and have been together ever since.
Doreen and Graeme Whalan will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary today with a big family dinner.
When they met at the dance in the manufacturing town of Lithgow they were both 17.
“We just sort of danced all evening and it started from that. It was his long lashes and his blue eyes that got my attention the first time.
“He was nice, (he) spoke nicely, we just sort of hit it off, quite honestly.”
Graeme and Doreen married when they were 18 at the Methodist Church on Mort St in Lithgow in 1957. They had only known each other for about 12 months.
Doreen’s friend from work, Marlene, was her bridesmaid.
Doreen wore a white ballerina length dress of brocade satin with lace sleeves over tulle, and a pearl, orange blossom veil.
“I was quite nervous, it was quite a big step,” she said.
The couple went on to have four children and spent many happy years on the Gove Peninsular at the northern tip of Arnhem Land.
When asked what has kept them together she said, “I really can’t honestly say ... when you’re married you can’t just get off and say I’ve had enough, I’m out of here.”
“You make mistakes but you look at each other and think well, we’re in this together. If we don’t agree with each other, we think about it and talk about it.”
She says she’s never known why Graeme chose to spend his life with her.
“I’ve been trying to find out for years.”
“I really don’t know, I keep saying to him, why did you pick me?
“I don’t know, he said, you were just nice, you looked good, (you) were good to talk to, I thought I’d stick with you.”
TEAM: Doreen and Graeme Whalan will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary today with a family dinner.
The couple were only 18 when they got married.