Hearts beat as one for seven decades
SOMETIMES there is reason behind falling in love and one special couple are proof that during these times, the love story is just meant to be.
More than seven decades ago, Gloria met her now husband Noel Jamieson when he was working for her aunt and uncle in Cunnamulla.
Aged in his early twenties at the time and Gloria just a teenager, Noel was told she would be visiting with her family on a holiday from their home in Brisbane and it was love at first sight.
“The day after she arrived, I was at the local rugby league round and I saw her on the tennis courts, which were beside it,” Noel said.
“So I introduced myself and asked her to go out to the movies with me, to which she accepted and the rest as they say is history.”
After wedding in the heart of Brisbane’s city, the pair lived in the bush while Noel returned to work at the railway.
During a duration of six years, the couple had six children including two twin boys with no electricity, appliances or help from friends and family.
“She stuck with me all the way through it and I know it was tough,” Noel said.
“Our beautiful kids are a credit to her.”
In addition to their children, the couple also have 15 grandkids and 11 great grandchildren.
Fast forward to the present day and feelings have only grown deeper for the happily married couple, who are counting down the days till their 66th wedding anniversary, which falls on the 17th of next month.
“I always thought everyone’s marriage was the same and I still do, but we were just made for each other,” Noel said.
“What I love most about Gloria … well, Gloria is one of a kind, she’s beautiful and I just love her.”
And while the pair couldn’t be any happier in each other’s company, they are no stranger to heartbreak.
The pair tragically lost one of their sons aged in his early 20s, after he was involved in a car accident.
Noel has also battled Prostate Cancer, suffered multiple strokes and heart attacks and received three hip replacements, while Gloria has lived with Dementia for more than 10 years, leaving Noel with the difficult decision to ultimately place Gloria into full-time care.
But the caring husband said he relinquished concerns after witnessing how well his wife is treated by staff at Bundaberg’s Meilene Home For The Aged.
“It got to a stage where I couldn’t really go out to the shops or anything and just pop her somewhere while I ducked into the shops quickly, because when I came out she’d be gone, especially if there was a jewellery store around … Gloria loves her jewellery,” he said.
“I’m just so grateful to the staff at Meilene because they are all just so caring and look after Gloria so well … this is not just a job to them, they all treat residents like they are family.”
And it’s not just residents who are made to feel at home, with staff welcoming Noel and the couple’s family with open arms, even if Noel is sometimes in a bit of a hurry to see his beautiful wife.
The caring yet modest husband rides his motorised scooter with an esky filled with Gloria’s favourite food every single day, arriving just in time to enjoy a few snacks before lunch at midday.
And while Gloria is always appreciative of the pies, sausage rolls, marshmallows and Coca Cola, she has pleaded with her husband not to bring anymore bananas.
Gloria who has always had a beautiful voice used to go around to all the retirement homes in Bundaberg and sing songs to residents with a choir group.
And while Dementia means Gloria’s speech is sometimes limited, she still loves her music and remembers every word to a variety of songs.
Staff members at Meilene play songs by her favourite musician Vera Lynn every morning, so she can sing along to them while she waits for Noel to arrive, much to the amusement of their children, who admit they took after their dad in the singing department.
After holidaying in Bundaberg and falling in love with the region, the couple relocated with all but one family member following suit.