Bon­fire lit ro­mance

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY EMMA PRIOR

A bon­fire at a lo­cal dance over half a cen­tury ago lit­er­ally lit the spark of ro­mance between Yar­ra­wonga’s Joan and Alan Selby who cel­e­brate 60 years of wed­ded bliss on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 19.

The Selby fam­ily were plan­ning a fam­ily din­ner to cel­e­brate the oc­ca­sion at the Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Golf Club Re­sort on the week­end but cel­e­bra­tion plans have had to be put on hold as Joan is un­well in a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre in Wan­garatta.

Joan Mar­garet Se­berry and Alan Maxwell Selby were both born in Corowa be­fore mov­ing away to Days­dale and Mel­bourne re­spec­tively and later both moved back to the Corowa area in their adult years prior to meet­ing each other.

In 1954 dur­ing the foot­ball sea­son Joan and Alan first met at the McCarthy’s Wool­shed Dance on Coreen Hill.

The cou­ple’s daugh­ter Kathy ex­plained her par­ents first meet­ing.

“Dad saw Mum from his po­si­tion at the bon­fire and walked over and asked her to dance,” Kathy said.

“They con­tin­ued danc­ing all night and when Dad asked Mum if he could drive her home, she an­swered you’ll need to ask my dad for per­mis­sion.

“So dad asked her fa­ther and was granted per­mis­sion to drive her home.”

From there be­gan the cou­ple’s three-year courtship be­fore they wed­ded on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 19 1957 at the St John’s Angli­can Church in Corowa.

The cou­ple had two daugh­ters, Ju­dith and El­iz­a­beth, be­fore mov­ing to and set­tling in Yar­ra­wonga in 1960.

They then had an­other daugh­ter Kath­leen and son Gor­don mak­ing their fam­ily com­plete.

Alan and Joan have lived in Yar­ra­wonga ever since 1960 and have made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the lo­cal com­mu­nity through their in­volve­ment in sport­ing and ser­vice clubs over the years.

Many of these clubs in­clude the ten­nis, golf, Girl Guides and Scouts, Fore­shore Christ­mas Mar­ket, ju­nior foot­ball and net­ball, Yar­ra­wonga pri­mary and se­condary schools and St Cuth­bert’s Angli­can Church.

For many years Alan worked as a car­pen­ter and joiner at the Mul­wala Ex­plo­sives Fac­tory while Joan worked in var­i­ous po­si­tions util­is­ing her bril­liant cook­ing skills.

Joan’s cook­ing is well known and en­joyed through­out the Yar­ra­wonga com­mu­nity and Alan is known to be able to build or fix just about any­thing.

When asked what the se­cret to a good mar­riage was Alan said car­ing for each other and mak­ing sure the other is happy is key.

“The se­cret to a good mar­riage is to just love her,” Alan said.

“You also need to look af­ter each other and never go to sleep on an ar­gu­ment.”

Joan once de­scribed Alan to her golf­ing friends as the most won­der­ful man in the world and on Thurs­day the cou­ple will have shared 60 years of lov­ing each other ev­ery day.

Joan and Alan have four­teen grand­chil­dren and nine great grand­chil­dren liv­ing all around Aus­tralia who they love to visit when able.

The Selby fam­ily are grate­ful and proud of Joan and Alan and Kathy said the fam­ily wanted to con­grat­u­late them on their long mar­riage.

“They are to be con­grat­u­lated on this sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone of 60 years of mar­riage and it will be won­der­ful to be able to cel­e­brate such an achieve­ment in both their lives and ours.”

Joan and Alan Selby on their wed­ding day 60 years ago.

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