Wellmans celebrate 65th wedding anniversary

By James Bennett

Although they will be mainly confined to "barracks", Jean and Keith Wellman will find a way to pop a bottle of sparkling to mark a marriage milestone when the Mooroopna great-grandparents celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary today.

According to Keith, the secret is working and doing everything together.

He said they were determined to remain as independent as possible for as long as they could.

Jean, 85, has dialysis three days a week but her husband is right by her side.

“Jean has been on dialysis for about 20 years,” he said.

“We're always very appreciative for what service the nurses provide; they've been terrific.

“She goes into dialysis by taxi but that has only being recent, before that I would always take her in.

“I'm returning to her the way she's looked after me all these years."

Keith and Jean Wellman (far right) met about the time of the 1951 Undera CWA Debutante Ball.

As a Goulburn Valley Football League Hall of Fame member, it might not come as a surprise that age hasn't slowed Keith down; the 86-year-old runs more than three kilometres every morning.

The couple met at the Undera CWA Deb Ball in 1951 and on July 9, 1955, married at Scots’ Uniting Church in Shepparton.

Soon after tying the knot, the newlyweds went by bus to Sydney for their honeymoon.

Jean said the overnight trip was so cold that they purchased a blanket in Sydney for the long trip back.

Keith and Jean Wellman's wedding photo.

The Wellmans left the region for about five years to work on a Doreen dairy farm before living in Kialla for more than 35 years.

Upon returning to the area, Jean worked for more than 15 years in the Ducat's Dairy offices, while Keith is best remembered for his 30 years with the GVFL.

The couple is blessed with four children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.