Fifty years after exchanging vows, Shepparton’s David and Lorraine Taylor have celebrated and reflected on their bond of marriage.
As teenagers aged 19 and 17 they met at a Saturday night dance held at the Civic Centre town hall — now Riverlinks Eastbank.
Mr Taylor had just moved to Australia from England where he had grown up, and he said it was fate that brought them together.
The pair was engaged in February 1968 and said the words ‘‘I do’’ on December 28 the same year.
After three years as a young married couple, Mr and Ms Taylor welcomed their first child into the world in 1971 — Nicole.
As a result of a job promotion that Mr Taylor received through his position with PMG — now Telstra — the small family moved to Ararat where it expanded, welcoming three sons.
During their time spent in Ararat Mr and Ms Taylor had many ups and downs, including the death of a son.
Ms Taylor said at that time, with no other family around, they faced the difficult time together — sharing their grief while growing stronger and closer.
‘‘We’re very lucky that we’ve got our faith — we’re Catholics and I believe that played a major part in that time and in our marriage,’’ she said.
After some time the office Mr Taylor had been working from was closed down and the family of five moved back to Shepparton in 1988.
With their children having children of their own, Mr and Mrs Taylor now share four grandchildren — the youngest being 18 years old.
‘‘The grandchildren are very handy because they know how to do your mobile phone,’’ Mr Taylor said.
He said not only were their technological skills handy but their chosen professions also.
‘‘We’ve got one who’s a psychologist, another grandson is doing accounting,’’ he said.
‘‘So if I have any mental problems I’ve got a psychologist, and if I have any business problems I’ll have an accountant in the family, so that’s good to know.’’
But outside of family Mr and Mrs Taylor find themselves keeping busy.
Both volunteer with the Shepparton fire brigade — which they have done for 45 years. They also volunteer with Kiwanis and take part in various activities through University of Third Age (U3A) — a social and education group for retired people.
On top of that, Mr Taylor attends the Men’s Shed in Shepparton, while Mrs Taylor volunteers at Goulburn Valley Health’s Mary Coram wing.
‘‘We’ve done more since we retired than what we did when we were working,’’ Mr Taylor said.
Mrs Taylor said she would love to do more activities with U3A but it would leave her no time to get the housework done.
Among the many things that keep the Taylors busy in retirement, they ensure they have time to get away on a cruise now and then when the opportunity arises.
Having travelled to many parts of the world on eight different cruises and ready to celebrate their 50th anniversary with a six-day cruise towards Adelaide, Mrs Taylor said it was their ideal way to spend time together.
‘‘We’ve enjoyed cruising because you can get on the boat and just relax together.
‘‘Plus, when you cook for 50 years it’s nice to have someone else do it for you,’’ she said.
The Taylors summed up their 50 years of marriage as a beautiful ongoing journey that had brought them much happiness.
Mr Taylor said he believed the success of their marriage had been a result of sticking together.
‘‘You’re going to have your ups and downs — you might even have some tragedies in your family — but as long as you’re prepared to stick to it and be honest with each other, it becomes more of a bond than anything else.’’
Mrs Taylor said although they’d had different views on many things during the years, it was their love and selflessness that had got them to this milestone.
‘‘We’ve very much put each other first — and that’s the way it still is after 50 years.’’