70 years of mostly wedded bliss
IT'S been more than 70 years, but Bundaberg resident Joe Hutchieson is sure his sweetheart Moya is every bit as beautiful as the first day he met her.
Next Monday, the happy couple will celebrate seven decades of marriage - a rare platinum anniversary - with a meal at local restaurant and a bottle of nice red.
"You could say it's been a fair innings," Mr Hutchieson said.
"The years seem to roll by quicker and quicker but they do say that happens as you get older."
The pair was married at 5.30am as the sun rose on the morning of January 9, 1942, so Mr Hutchieson had time to catch the morning train to Deniliquin for training with the Royal Air Force.
Mr Hutchieson served with the air force for four years during the Second World War, first as a flying instructor on the homeland and later in Papua New Guinea with the Beaufort squadron.
The pair met while working on opposite sides of Albury's main street in 1939.
Mr Hutchieson was working as a meter reader for The Gas Supply Company, later taken over by Boral, and Mrs Hutchieson owned her own dressmaking business.
They enjoyed their first date at the local movie theatre where they viewed a special screening of Gone With The Wind.
Mr Hutchieson's career with the gas firm took the couple around Australia to Bacchus Marsh, Sale, Goulburn, Bundaberg and Mackay.
The couple have four children, Pamela, John, Peter and Helen.
Mr Hutchieson said the secret to a long and happy marriage was perseverance and understanding.
"We've always got on pretty well and when we do have arguments, we know once it's done we just have to get over it," he said.
Mr Hutchieson said the anniversary would be a special occasion enjoyed by close friends and family.
"We've been very blessed, really," he said.
"It's been an absolutely wonderful life.
"We've raised our children and watched them all grow up."