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Bankstown couple celebrate 65 action packed years

Beechwood residents Ramon and Dorothy

Sixty-five years of marriage has only made the love between Bolton Clarke Beechwood aged care residents Ramon and Dorothy Williams stronger.

The pair celebrated their blue sapphire anniversary on 6 December at the Bankstown home, reminiscing on their years travelling and working as missionaries with the Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade (WEC).

When reminiscing on their time together, Ramon remarked that “65 years married does not feel so long, especially as you consider all that was achieved in such a ‘short time’.”

The couple first met in 1958 through their local church in Surry Hills where they ran youth camps together. It was their mutual love of helping others that drew them to take their aid further afield.

“The happiest words were when the Mission asked us if we would mind being married, so that the mission would have a cook and carpenter together at the Sydney Headquarters,” Ramon remembers.

“It took 10 seconds to pray about it and agree to help.”

The couple worked as missionaries in Indonesia from 1959 to 1967. During that time, Ramon handled all the Government business for the Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade (WEC) and helped establish a church in the town. Dorothy co-ordinated a correspondence course to help local people learn English.

Their six children - two girls, a boy and triplet girls - were all born in Indonesia.

“The Baptist Mission hospital from America only had one humidicrib, so when the triplets were born we had to fit all three babies in there at once,” Ramon said.

“I took a photo of them and sent it to the head office in America. They decided to send out 50 more humidicribs so that the ward was full. We always wanted to feel like we were making a difference.”

After returning to Australia Ramon established Worldwide Photos, working as an independent news photographer to cover major events including royal tours with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, visits from political leaders and musicians, natural disasters including Cyclone Tracy, political movements like the Vietnam War protests and celebrations like the opening of the Sydney Opera House and the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

His images that went around the globe.

Now looking back on all they achieved over their 65 years, the pair say the secret to maintaining such a long marriage is trust and love.

“A willingness to accept your partner’s point-of-view saves a lot of turmoil, too,” Ramon says.

“You may not agree, but the words ‘yes dear’ save on tears and apologies.”

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