Shepparton couple Heather and Harry Nichols celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at Tallis Winery last weekend with their extended family.
‘‘It was marvellous to have all the family together because they’re spread out across the country,’’ Mr Nichols said.
The two met at a country dance in Wilby in the early 1950s but it was almost not to be, Mr Nichols said.
‘‘I was working on a farm at the time and wouldn’t have gone to the dance if it wasn’t for my neighbours who asked me to go with them,’’ he said.
‘‘It was supper time, the girls were bringing all the trays around and I got introduced to Heather (Willett).
‘‘She had a nice figure, pretty face and had a pleasant manner about her.’’
Following the encounter the two ignored one another for months, before meeting up again at the Coronation Ball in Yarrawonga.
Mr Nichols began writing letters to Heather following the ball which she kept for years until their children learnt to read.
‘‘I didn’t want the kids reading the letters so I burnt them all,’’ Mrs Nichols said.
Their wedding was held on May 4 in 1957 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Wangaratta, and Mrs Nichols described it as a ‘‘small occasion’’.
‘‘We honeymooned in Adelaide and settled on Harry’s farm in Barjarg, near the Nillahcootie Weir, where we owned dairy cows, pigs and poultry,’’ she said.
Since Mr Nichols’ retirement in 1993, the two have enjoyed watching their 12 grandchildren grow up and said they were ‘‘lucky to have had one another for so long’’.
‘‘My tips for marriage are to give each other personal space if they need it,’’ Mr Nichols said.
‘‘And show respect and courtesy at all times.’’
Mrs Nichols described her husband as an easygoing man who was very tolerant of her.
‘‘He means the world to me and looks after me really well,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s hard to put into words what he means to me but he’s not only my husband, he’s my best friend.’’
See today’s Around Town on page 12 for more pictures from the celebration.