Today Tony and I have reached a milestone in our lives............we have been married for 40 years.
Happy anniversary to the most wonderful man I know..........I love you more than words can ever say.
I am looking forward to our next 40 years together.
We met at a local hotel, the Princess Berkley in Hindley Street in April 1972. I worked with his sister and as she was getting married we all went to the hotel for drinks after work. Tony came to pick her up but instead ended up taking me home.
At the time he worked for the Department of Civil Aviation as an electrician. Due to his job he had to go into the country to maintain and service the country airports such as Mt Gambier, Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Kingscote, Oodnadatta and so on. Usually he was gone for a couple of weeks at a time. The Northern Territory was also serviced by the SA region.
We didn't spend too much time together in the early days of our courtship, we kept in contact either by phone or letter. On one of his 'extended' stays in Adelaide, in the month of August, he took me to the drive in movies. While taking me home he "popped" the question by telling me that he had applied for a job in Darwin and he would like me to go with him so would I marry him. I asked when would he be going to Darwin and he told me that it wouldn't be until after Christmas. Oh, that's months away I thought.
Anyway I accepted his marriage proposal. We went to Renmark so that he could meet my parents, luckily they approved of him. A few weeks later he informed me that he had to go to Tennant Creek (in the Northern Territory) for 2 months. He was gone for the months of October and November and so I had to make the wedding arrangements myself.
We set the date for Friday 22nd December. We were married at 6.30pm in the Zion Lutheran Church on Glynburn Road, Glynde. Tony wanted us to be married in a park but back then garden weddings weren't very popular and the City Council placed a lot of restrictions about what you could or couldn't do. He was Catholic and didn't want to get married in the Catholic church, and unless we went to see the priest his mother was not going to attend the wedding. The priest gave us his blessing and his mother was happy.
We went to Perth in West Australia for our honeymoon and when we came back we had a few days to pack up our belongings, say our goodbyes to family and friends and head off to Darwin. We drove to Port Augusta, put the car on the train and we boarded the Ghan that took us to Alice Springs. We arrived in Alice and spent the night in a motel, picked up the car the following morning and started the long drive north to Darwin.
When we reached Tennant Creek we stayed the night at one of his fellow workers, Dave's house. In my opinion it was here that I was given the best piece of advice I have ever been given. After dinner he took me to one side and told me that if our marriage was going to last, living in Darwin would be the test for it. He told me that to make it last, any problems that we encountered we had to sort them out ourselves. He said that I didn't have my mum or my girlfriends close by to go and talk to and so Tony and I had to sit down and talk our problems through ourselves. He also said that if our marriage didn't last in Darwin it wouldn't have lasted no matter where we lived.
We arrived in Darwin and Tony drove down the main street. It was nothing like I imagined. It was nothing like Adelaide. Where were the modern shops? They all seemed to be tin sheds. The only modern building was the Post Office. I cried and said I wanted to go back to Adelaide. Even the weather was horrible, hot and humid, after all it was the wet season.
The first few months were a struggle, we were practically two strangers living together and so we had to get to know one another. We took on board the advice we had been given and here we are 40 years later still very happy, and more in love.
Katie, you can have a wonderful, happy, lasting marriage if you are prepared to work at it.