Being up close and personable — I still do

February 14, 2018

Jack and Elizabeth Barnes have been happily married for 65 years after meeting at a dance session.

: Jack and Elizabeth Barnes on their wedding day on May 2, 1953.

Jack and Elizabeth Barnes believe the secret to marriage is simple: work through things as a couple and try not to argue.

With Valentine’s Day celebrated today, The News spoke to the Barneses about their life together.

The couple has been happily married for 65 years, tying the knot in a beautiful church ceremony on May 2, 1953.

‘‘We met one night while we were dancing in Shepparton at the Star Theatre,’’ Mrs Barnes said.

‘‘Everyone used to go there to dance, and Jack and I would meet up and talk.’’

Their love quickly blossomed, and they married at Scots Church in Shepparton with about 60 people witnessing their nuptials.

Elizabeth was 21 when she married Jack, wearing a beautiful long-sleeved gown a local policeman’s wife handmade for her.

‘‘We had what you could afford, a family wedding,’’ Mrs Barnes said.

While she has forgotten most details of the day over the years, she does remember how thrilled the two of them were to be together and become husband and wife.

‘‘We were so happy and we had a lovely time,’’ she said.

‘‘It was beautiful to say that we were man and wife and to walk down the aisle together.’’

And 65 years later, the couple has four children and eight grandchildren who take up most of their time.

The Barneses attribute their longevity to spending every day together and enjoying each other’s company.

‘‘The secret is to be happy together. We have always been very close and worked through things together,’’ Mr Barnes said.

‘‘We don’t argue or fight, it’s a waste of time.’’

Mr and Mrs Barnes say their lives have been filled with many happy memories together, most importantly building their family and watching their grandchildren grow.

Mrs Barnes fondly remembered how thoughtful her husband was, regularly sending her flowers and recognising the important milestones during their marriage.

Mr and Mrs Barnes recently moved to Mercy Place, Shepparton, where they continue to enjoy each other’s company.

‘‘We are happy together, I just hold his hand and hang onto him,’’ Mrs Barnes said.

While the couple has shared more Valentine’s Days together than they can remember, Mr Barnes said this year’s would be like any other.

While a lot has changed for the Barneses during the past 65 years, they always managed to hold on to what brought them together in the first place — dancing.

‘‘We were dancing up until a few years back,’’ Mr Barnes said.

‘‘We enjoy dancing together... it’s a nice memory.’’

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