Forget Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, residents at Bolton Clarke’s Bongaree retirement community at Bribie Island, Queensland last week shared lessons drawn from 240 years of marriage when the whole community came together to celebrate four 60th wedding anniversaries.
Loved up couples Margaret and Peter, Bill and Cilla, Mike and Alice and Bill and Lil joined fellow residents to kick up their heels and share their secrets to a successful relationship.
Margaret and Peter met at the parish church in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, in the United Kingdom at age 17.
Margaret proposed to Peter and they arrived in Australia 26 years ago, moving north from Melbourne 10 years ago (they’ve been at Bongaree for five years). They were married on 16 August, 1938 and say the secret to a successful marriage is “a give and take partnership”.
Bill and Cilla were married on 3 May, 1938 in Portland, Victoria. They went to high school together and Bill proposed at St Kilda beach.
Bill was a policeman and Cilla a nurse. Later, they were caretakers at Bolton Clarke Bongaree for five years before moving into the village as residents in 1999.
Their secret to a successful marriage is being mates and a kiss before bed.
Mike and Alice were married in Fulham, London on 19 July, 1938. They met in a youth club at 17 but didn’t marry for seven years. Even when Mike did propose, Alice didn’t give an immediate reply.
Mike was discharged from the Army at age 20 and they arrived in Australia in 2002 after eight years in New Zealand. They have been at Bongaree for 13 years and say the secret to a happy marriage is tolerance – “the devil you know is the devil you keep”.
Bill and Lil met at Acton, London at 17 and married at age 18. They were introduced by a friend of Bill’s. Bill spent 25 years in the Army after entering at 15.
The couple arrived in Australia 40 years ago and spent 10 years in South Australia. They have been at Bongaree for eight years and say the secret to a happy marriage is the words “yes dear”.
The joint celebration for the newly-christened “diamond crowd” was supported by the village’s social club.