Joan and Joe, 55 years of marriage and still in love

Joan and Joe, aged 87 and 90 reside in Calvary St Paul’s Retirement Community on the banks of the Manning River in Cundletown (north of Taree, NSW).

Joan and Joe have loved each other for a lifetime, after 55 years of marriage their dedication and care for one another is still growing. To them the secret to a long marriage is “give and take, you can’t have it all one way” as Joan explained.

Since meeting each other in 1960, this couple have enjoyed a loving and caring relationship, which has stood the test of time. They are still deeply in love with one another, regularly exchanging cheeky banter and laughing at one another’s jokes.

It was love at first sight when they met each other at a church club in Parramatta in 1960. When asked what her first impression of Joe was, Joan blushed and simply said, “Oh (laughs) that was a long time ago. I knew straight away. I just knew when I first met him that I’d like to know more about him. I then found out how kind he was and we just seemed to get on so well. We were married 12 months later and here we are”. Joe remarked, “Ah well, if you’ve got the right one you just know”.

By June of 1960 Joan and Joe were engaged and married in the new year of 1961. It was a very quiet celebration at home, Joan was a dressmaker by trade so she made “everything”. “I made my wedding dress, the bridesmaid’s dress and my mother’s dress”, Joan explained.

“My dress was spotted nylon and quite plain. It had short sleeves. Didn’t have a train or anything like that. My sister, who was my bridesmaid, had the same material but hers was a dusty pink. It was very nice”.

Two children and five grandchildren later, Joan still enjoys sewing for her family. “Sewing is still my hobby, I still love it. I have my sewing machine here at St Paul’s”.

When asked how they maintain their strong relationship Joan explained, “We seem so much alike, we like home life and he’s so kind”. Joe added, “She looks after me”.

To Joe and Joan the union of marriage means everything. “It just builds and builds until it gets to the stage you just seem to be one. You seem to think the same, as one”.

“The secret is just to love each other and give and take. Nothing is perfect. You can’t have it all one way,” Joan said. “And that’s where I think sometimes there’s a mistake, young people want their own way on everything”.